What is a loop electrosurgical excision procedure (LEEP)? (http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org)

Loop electrosurgical excision procedure (LEEP) uses a wire loop heated by electric current to remove cells and tissue as part of the diagnosis and treatment for abnormal or pre-cancerous conditions in a woman’s cervix.

Risks of the procedure:

As with any surgical procedure, complications may occur. Some possible complications may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Infection
  • Bleeding
  • Changes or scarring in the cervix from removal of tissue
  • Potential for preterm birth or having a low birth weight baby

Before the procedure:

  • If you are pregnant or suspect that you may be pregnant, you should notify us. Unless you are using reliable contraception, we will request a pregnancy test before the procedure (we will arrange).
  • Please eat as you would normally do.
  • Have someone drive you home.
  • Please take 2 plain acetaminophen + 2 plain ibuprofen about 30-60 minutes before your procedure (unless you have a medical reason you can’t take this medication).
  • Bring your phone or device to listen to music (we have a docking station you can use).

After the procedure: 

You may want to wear a sanitary pad for bleeding. It is normal to have some mild cramping, spotting, and dark or black-colored discharge for several days. The dark discharge is from the medication applied to your cervix to control bleeding. You may have watery discharge for the first couple of weeks.

  • Do not douche, use tampons, or have intercourse for two weeks after LEEP.
  • No strenuous activity or heavy lifting for two weeks.
  • You can use ibuprofen and/or acetaminophen for any post-operative cramping.
  • Generally you follow-up in 6 months in colposcopy unless otherwise directed.

Notify your health care provider if you have any of the following:

  • Heavy bleeding with clots
  • Foul-smelling drainage from your vagina
  • Fever and/or chills
  • Severe abdominal pain