Loop Electrosurgical Excision Procedure (LEEP) (cont.)
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LEEP can be performed in a doctor's office or clinic or in a hospital outpatient surgery department. The patient lies on her back on an examining table with the feet supported in stirrups (the position used to obtain a Pap smear). The doctor will use a speculum to open the vaginal walls, again similar to the procedure for a Pap test. Local anesthetic medication is typically injected in the area of the cervix (known as a cervical block). Sometimes, medications for pain control are also given intravenously or taken in pill form.
After the cervix is visualized, special solutions may be applied to the outside surface of the cervix to make the abnormal areas of tissue more recognizable. To remove the abnormal tissues, a low-voltage electrical current is delivered via a thin wire that is passed through tissues. To be sure that all abnormal tissue is removed, a very thin layer of normal-appearing tissue surrounding the area is also removed. The area is treated afterwards with a chemical substance to help prevent bleeding.
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