Candidates typically have abnormal benign tissue in their cervix or vagina that has been recommended for removal by a gynecologist. Abnormal tissue includes polyps (benign growths), genital warts, or other abnormal cervical tissue.
LEEP is not effective for patients who have advanced cervical cancer, and should not be performed on women who are pregnant.
A preoperative assessment discussing treatment, anesthesia, and hospital stay should be scheduled in order to prepare mentally for the procedure. Any blood thinners such as aspirin and other pain relievers should be discontinued 7 days before the procedure to reduce the risk of bleeding. If you can, quit smoking for 2-3 days prior, as this will also reduce your risk of excessive bleeding.
Most patients will go home the day of the procedure, and will be able to return to work and normal activity 1 to 3 days after LEEP. Full recovery time will depend on the extent of the diagnosis and removal of tissue during the procedure. Mild cramping may occur for several hours after the procedure. Brown vaginal discharge or spotting for the first week to three weeks is normal. Avoid insertion of tampons, douching or sexual activity for about 3 weeks after the procedure.
LEEP is a fairly low-risk procedure, but does carry some rare risks, as well as risks of being under local anesthesia, such as allergic reactionq. Infection of the cervix or uterus or narrowing of the cervix (leading to infertility) are rare complications, as well as possible damage to pelvic organs or the vaginal walls. Additionally, a woman has a higher risk of delivering an infant early after having LEEP performed.