Loop Electrosurgical Excision Procedure
Loop Electrosurgical Excision Procedure (LEEP)
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 retained 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).
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