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Loop Electrosurgical Excision Procedure

Loop Electrosurgical Excision Procedure (LEEP) Overview

Loop electrosurgical excision procedure (LEEP) is a technique used in the treatment of mild to moderate precancerous changes (dysplasia) of the uterine cervix (cervical dysplasia). The cervix is the base of the womb (uterus) that leads out to the birth canal (vagina). LEEP can sometimes also be used to treat severe dysplasia or cancers that have not invaded into the deeper tissues of the cervix (known as carcinoma in situ).

With the LEEP technique, a low voltage electric current is used to cut away the abnormal tissues. Unlike techniques that destroy the abnormal tissue (such as laser or freezing), the abnormal tissue is preserved after LEEP, allowing for microscopic examination by a pathologist.

LEEP generally does not have significant risks or side effects, but mild pain, cramping, and vaginal bleeding can occur. LEEP is also sometimes referred to as large loop excision of the transformation zone (LLETZ).

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 8/19/2014

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