You might have heard about LEEP, but do you actually know what it means and how it might affect you? Women’s Care Florida experts help break down the procedure, so you can feel more informed and know which questions to ask in the event you need this type of care.
LEEP, which stands for Loop Electrosurgical Excision Procedure, is a procedure during which your OB-GYN removes genital warts, polyps, and abnormal cells from your vagina or cervix. Your OB-GYN may suggest that you undergo a LEEP if your Pap test reveals abnormalities that increase the risk for cancer. Knowing what to expect from a LEEP can help you further reduce your risk for developing cancer in the future.
How LEEP is performed
LEEP is generally performed in-office by your OB-GYN, and takes only minutes to complete. Your OB-GYN will administer local anesthesia to prevent pain, and use a thin, metal wire loop to remove any abnormalities from your cervix or vagina. Some women report experiencing mild discomfort during the procedure.
Side effects of LEEP
You may experience mild cramping for one or two days following LEEP, for which your OB-GYN may prescribe medication. You may also notice discharge that looks watery, and that may or may not be tinged with blood. Stick to wearing pads to manage discharge, since your doctor will advise against inserting tampons or menstrual cups into your vagina for several weeks after surgery.
Safety of LEEP
Studies have shown that LEEP is safe and effective, and associated with few complications. Contact your OB-GYN immediately if you experience heavy, abnormal bleeding, severe abdominal cramping, and/or the passing of large blood clots during your period. Your OB-GYN will perform an exam to determine if your symptoms are associated with LEEP in any way.
LEEP follow-up and aftercare
Following LEEP, your OB-GYN will send the abnormal tissue extracted from your vagina over to the lab for proper diagnosis. Your doctor will contact you soon with test results, and discuss the importance of follow-up visits, if necessary. Going forward, your doctor will screen you regularly for cervical cancer and to determine whether any abnormal cell growth is still present.
To further lower your risk for cervical cancer, stick to seeing your OB-GYN as often as recommended to undergo routine Pap tests. Also, stop smoking to lower your cancer risk, and practice safe sex using a condom to prevent the exchange of sexually transmitted infections between you and your partner.
The board-certified physicians at Women’s Care Florida are dedicated to providing the gold-star standard in women’s healthcare. Each of our Physician Care Groups has a distinctive style and practice that can be tailored to fit your individual needs. For more information about how WCF can help you take care of you, contact us to schedule an appointment.