What is a loop electrosurgical excision procedure? It is a procedure a doctor does in order to get rid of abnormal tissues on your cervix. They use a thin, low-voltage electrified wire loop to cut out these abnormal tissues. If you need to have a LEEP procedure, it’s because your pap smear indicated the presence of abnormal cervical cells or cervical dysplasia. Usually, before they proceed with this procedure they will do a colposcopy in order to confirm that there are abnormal cells present. Your doctor will use a lighted magnifying device (a colposcope) so they can see problems that could be missed by the naked eye. If your doctor does a colposcopy then they may put vinegar or iodine (like my doctor did) onto the cervix to see the problem areas more clearly. If any of these areas turn white from the solution used then they will take biopsies from those areas and submit them to pathology. My biopsies came back with mild and moderate dysplasia so my doctor wanted me to have a LEEP procedure. I did not have any complications and as far as I have been told, everything has healed up nicely.
Just like with any type of surgery there can be risks involved though. I was told that this should not affect my fertility but there are rare cases were it can cause infertility. I was told that the main concern is possible cervical incompetence, meaning the cervix is unable to stay closed during pregnancy. This can result in miscarriage and/or pre-term labor. A cervical cerclage, where the cervix is sewn closed, can be done to ensure that your cervix remains closed during the pregnancy. I am a bit of a worry wart so I am just hoping that I don’t have to experience either one of these.
If you would like to know the timeline that led up to me having my LEEP procedure then click here to watch my video. Also, my doctor called it a LEEP procedure and that’s what many people refer to it as…but I always feel weird saying it because the “P” in LEEP is for procedure so it’s like procedure… procedure? Anyways… If you have any questions about the procedure, feel free to ask and I can give more details on my experience!