A loop electrosurgical excision procedure (LEEP) is a minor surgery that helps prevent cervical cancer. Board-certified OB/GYN Donna Richey, MD, performs in-office surgical procedures, including LEEPs, at her private practice in Torrance, California. If you need a LEEP and want to avoid a hospital visit, call the office or book an appointment online today for a convenient, in-office procedure.
A loop electrosurgical excision procedure (LEEP) is a type of surgery that uses a wire loop with an electrical current running through it. Dr. Richey uses the loop like a scalpel to remove abnormal cells from your cervix or vagina. She sends these cells to a lab for testing.
If your Pap test comes back with abnormal results, Dr. Richey may have you come in for a follow-up test, like a colposcopy. This procedure provides more information about why the Pap results were abnormal.
Dr. Richey may take a small tissue sample (biopsy) for lab testing if she sees an area of suspicious tissue during your colposcopy. If the biopsy results reveal the tissue is precancerous, Dr. Richey may perform an in-office LEEP to remove it.
Just because you need a LEEP doesn’t mean you have cancer. However, LEEPs play an important role in preventing cervical cancer that may develop years down the road.
Dr. Richey may also use a LEEP for other reasons, such as removing noncancerous growths (polyps) or genital warts.
Dr. Richey performs LEEPs right in her office so you don’t need to worry about going to a hospital. During the procedure, you lie on your back with your feet in supports just as you would for a pelvic exam.
Then, Dr. Richey inserts a speculum into your vagina and numbs your cervix with a local anesthetic. She inserts the wire loop tool, which gets heated by the electrical current, and uses it to remove the abnormal tissue in thin layers. Then, she applies a bandage-like paste to stop the bleeding.
After the numbness wears off, it’s common to experience mild cramping. You may also notice a brownish-black discharge from your vagina as you shed the bandage paste.
It takes a few weeks for your cervix to heal from the surgery. Dr. Richey provides you with instructions on how to care for yourself at home, which may include avoiding sexual intercourse and tampons for a period of time.
For convenient, in-office surgical procedures, call Donna Richey, MD, or book an appointment online today.