What is a leep?
An outpatient procedure used to remove pre-cancerous cells in the cervix. The instrument is a fine metal loop that has an electrical current passing through the loop, and is used to cut the tissue. The electrical current allows for the tissue to be excised and helps reduce the bleeding.
The loop electrosurgical excision procedure (LEEP) uses a thin, low-voltage electrified wire loop to cut out abnormal tissue.
Cut away abnormal cervical tissue that can be seen during colposcopy.
Remove abnormal tissue high in the cervical canal that cannot be seen during colposcopy. In this situation, LEEP may be done instead of a cone biopsy.
LEEP is also known as large loop excision of the transformation zone (LLETZ).
A vinegar (acetic acid) or iodine solution, which makes abnormal cells more visible, may be applied to the cervix before the procedure is done.
why it is done?
LEEP is done after abnormal Pap test results have been confirmed by colposcopy and cervical biopsy.
LEEP may be used to treat:
Minor cell changes called low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions (LSIL) that may be precancerous and that persist after a period of watchful waiting.
Moderate to severe cell changes that can be removed.
how well it works:
LEEP is a very effective treatment for abnormal cervical cell changes. During LEEP, only a small amount of normal tissue is removed at the edge of the abnormal tissue area.
After LEEP, the tissue that is removed (specimen) can be examined for cancer that has grown deep into the cervical tissue (invasive cancer). In this way, LEEP can help further diagnosis as well as treat the abnormal cells.
LEEP is as effective as cryotherapy or laser treatment. If all of the abnormal cervical tissue is removed, no further surgery is needed, though abnormal cells may recur in the future. In some studies, all the abnormal cells were removed in as many as 98% of cases.
what to think about:
Loop electrosurgical excision procedure (LEEP) is less expensive and easier to perform than cone biopsy or carbon dioxide laser treatment.
A biopsy is done to confirm the abnormal cervical cell changes before a LEEP procedure is done.
If you have LEEP, you need regular follow-up Pap tests. A Pap test should be repeated every 4 to 6 months or as recommended by your doctor. After several Pap test results are normal, you and your doctor can decide how often to schedule future Pap tests.