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Loop Electrosurgical Excision Procedure

What is 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 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).

LEEP Preparation

Patient Comments

LEEP is performed after the precancerous changes of the cervix have been identified through screening tests and cervical biopsies. Typically, findings on the screening Pap test will signal that further examination of the cervix is necessary. Colposcopy is the examination of the vulva, vaginal walls, and uterine cervix using illumination and magnification in order to detect and examine abnormalities of these structures. Colposcopy is performed to evaluate abnormal Pap test results. During colposcopy, further testing, including biopsies (sampling of abnormal-appearing areas for examination by a pathologist) are performed to determine whether cancer or precancerous changes are present.

If dysplasia confirmed through colposcopy and/or biopsies, treatment options, including LEEP, are considered.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 1/7/2016

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Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Loop Electrosurgical Excision Procedure (LEEP):

Loop Electrosurgical Excision (LEEP) - Preparation

What did you do to prepare for your loop electrosurgical excision procedure (LEEP).

Cervical Cancer

Cervical cancer occurs when abnormal cells on the cervix. grow out of control. The cervix is the lower part of the uterus that opens into the vagina. Cervical cancer can often be successfully treated when it's found early. It is usually found at a very early stage through a Pap test.

Cervical cancer is one of the most common cancers in women worldwide. But in the United States and other countries where cervical cancer screening is routine, this cancer is not so common

SOURCE: Healthwise

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