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Loop Electrosurgical Excision Procedure
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:
- Loop electrosurgical excision procedure (LEEP) is a procedure to check and treat conditions in a woman's lower genital tract. The lower genital tract includes the cervix (lower part of the womb) and vagina. The vagina connects the cervix and the vulva (the outside of the vagina). LEEP uses a wire loop that is heated by an electric current to remove abnormal tissue in the cervix and vagina. The abnormal tissue may include infections, warts, tumors, and polyps. LEEP is frequently used to diagnose and treat cervical intraepithelial neoplasia or CIN. CIN often develops into cancer and occurs when abnormal cells grow in the lining of the cervix.
- During LEEP, your caregiver may use dye to mark the abnormal tissue. This is done so the abnormal tissue is easier to remove. A low-voltage electric current passes through a fine wire loop that is attached to an electrical machine. A thin layer of abnormal tissue is cut and sent to the lab for tests. LEEP usually takes less than 10 minutes and is done when you are not having your monthly period. With LEEP, caregivers may correctly diagnose and treat your health problem and prevent further serious problems, such as cancer.
- Keep a current list of your medicines: Include the amounts, and when, how, and why you take them. Take the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency. Throw away old medicine lists. Use vitamins, herbs, or food supplements only as directed.
- Take your medicine as directed: Call your primary healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not working as expected. Tell him about any medicine allergies, and if you want to quit taking or change your medicine.
- Antibiotics: This medicine is given to fight or prevent an infection caused by bacteria. Always take your antibiotics exactly as ordered by your primary healthcare provider. Do not stop taking your medicine unless directed by your primary healthcare provider. Never save antibiotics or take leftover antibiotics that were given to you for another illness.
- Pain medicine: You may need medicine to take away or decrease pain.
- Learn how to take your medicine. Ask what medicine and how much you should take. Be sure you know how, when, and how often to take it.
- Do not wait until the pain is severe before you take your medicine. Tell caregivers if your pain does not decrease.
- Pain medicine can make you dizzy or sleepy. Prevent falls by calling someone when you get out of bed or if you need help.
Ask for information about where and when to go for follow-up visits:
For continuing care, treatments, or home services, ask for more information.
- Ask your caregiver when the results of your procedure will be available.
Rest when you feel it is needed. Slowly start to do more each day. Return to your daily activities as directed.
You may shower during the two weeks after your LEEP procedure, but do not take a tub bath or use a hot tub or whirlpool.
You may need vaginal pads for 1 to 2 days after your procedure if you have some vaginal bleeding. You may also see some dark-colored discharge from leftover dye or solutions used during the procedure. You may also have a thin, watery discharge for 3 to 4 weeks after your procedure. When you arrive home, carefully wash your vagina with soap and water. Afterwards, put on a clean, new sanitary pad. Change your sanitary pad any time it gets wet or dirty. Do not use tampons or douche until your caregiver tells you it is OK. Ask your caregivers for more information about vaginal care.
CONTACT A CAREGIVER IF:
- You have a fever.
- You have chills, a cough, or feel weak and achy.
- You have nausea (upset stomach) or vomiting (throwing up).
- Your pads become soaked with blood.
- Your skin is itchy, swollen, or has a rash.
- You have questions or concerns about your procedure, condition, or care.
SEEK CARE IMMEDIATELY IF:
- You feel something is bulging out into your vagina and not going back in.
- You have severe (bad) abdominal (stomach) or vaginal pain that does not go away, even after taking your pain medicine.
- You have sudden breathing problems, hives, or other signs of an allergic reaction.
- You have any of the following problems:
- Blood is present in your urine.
- Heavy bleeding from your vagina.
- You are urinating less than before your procedure.
- Pain when passing urine or having sex.
- Pus or a foul-smelling odor coming from your vagina.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.