LEEP Treatment

The LEEP treatment (loop electrosurgical excision procedure) is used to diagnose women who received abnormal PAP test or biopsy results. It is also also used to detect precancerous conditions and treat cervical cancer.

  • In this technique, your physician uses a thin wire loop to collect a tissue sample or to remove abnormal cervical tissue.

How to access our services?

  • You must have a referral from your physician or another healthcare professional to get an appointment for this test.
  • The LEEP treatment is performed through the Gynecology Clinic.

About The Program

Before your appointment

  1. Your physician will fax us a request – please make sure that your contact information is accurate so we may call you.
  2. It may take a few weeks or up to a few months before we call you for an appointment, depending on the specialist’s availability.
  3. You will receive a reminder a few days before your appointment.
  4. Note: A LEEP treatment can be performed at any point in your menstrual cycle. However, if you are bleeding heavily on the day of your exam, contact the clinic to determine whether you should reschedule the appointment.

Preparation

  • You may eat and take your regular medication.
  • Avoid creams or other products near the vaginal area.
  • Bring a menstrual pad as the the biopsy may cause light vaginal bleeding.
  • Inform medical staff if you are taking blood thinners like Aspirin, Warfarine, Heparine, Clopidogrel or any other anticoagulant. These types of medication can cause increased bleeding in biopsy cases.
  • Notify medical staff if you are, or suspect you may be.pregnant.

What to bring

  • Valid Health Card
  • List of all your medications, including prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, supplements and herbal medicines

When you arrive

  • Please use the Main Entrance and register at one of the self-serve kiosks at least 20 minutes before your scheduled appointment. Clerks are available to help with the registration process.
  • Take a pager when registering. It will buzz and light up when your turn comes up and indicate in which room to report.
  • Room numbers and other public interest messages are presented on the TV screens.

Procedure

The examination procedure lasts from 10 to 15 minutes.

  • You will be lying on an exam table in the same position used for PAP tests or any other gynecological exam.
  • An instrument called a speculum is used to separate the vagina walls, allowing the doctor to see your cervix with a colposcope. The colposcope looks like a microscope and does not come in contact with your body.
  • A local anesthetic is injected into the cervix. During the injection, you might experience increased heart rate, ringing in your ears and muscle trembling in your legs. These symptoms are normal, and will last only a few minutes; stay calm and breathe deeply.
  • The physician will apply a solution to the cervix to make the abnormal cells to be removed more visible.
  • For the procedure, the metal loop is heated with electricity and the doctor uses it like a scalpel to remove abnormal tissue from the cervix. The heat helps to cauterize the wound.
  • The procedure itself lasts 15 to 20 seconds and the machine makes a sound like a household vacuum cleaner. It is important that you remain still during this time.
  • After removing the tissue, the doctor will stop any visible bleeding and apply a brown paste to the cervix, and remove the speculum.

After the exam

  • You could experience mild abdominal pain, brownish-coloured vaginal discharge and minor bleeding similar to menstruation.
  • Contact your family physician if you experience any of the following symptoms:
    • Continuous pelvic pain or cramps even after taking ibuprofen (like Advil)
    • A temperature over 38°C (100,4 °F)
    • Foul-smelling vaginal discharge
  • Report to the emergency room if you experience reddish vaginal discharges with clots or if you have to change your sanitary pad every hour.

Instructions for upcoming weeks

  • Refrain from sexual intercourse for 4 weeks following the procedure.
  • Refrain from using tampons for 4 weeks following the procedure.
  • Take regular-strength ibuprofen (like Advil) as needed for pain relief.
  • Do not use vaginal douches.
  • Do not insert anything into the vagina without the doctor’s approval.
  • Do not lift objects heavier than 15 lbs or 7kg for about 2 weeks.
  • Refrain from intense exercise for about 2 weeks.

Risks and complications

Risks and complications are unlikely but could include:

  • Heavy bleeding
  • Severe abdominal cramps
  • Fever
  • Foul-smelling vaginal discharges
  • Incomplete removal of abnormal tissue
  • Reduction of cervix (cervical stenosis)
  • Infection
  • Accidental cuts or burns to normal tissue
  • Premature labour in a future pregnancy

Talk to your doctor or nurse if you have any questions.

Test results

  • The specialist will send a report to your physician.
  • Results will also be available in your electronic medical record. For information on the creation of an account and how to access your electronic medical record, visit MyChart.