Every year, 60,000 women in Europe and about 600 Greek women are diagnosed with cervical cancer. These numbers were much higher 20 years ago. Thanks to surgical interventions such as LEEP (Loop Electrosurgical Excision Procedure) the number of women who have cervical cancer, today has been reduced. With this surgical intervention, we remove precancerous lesions on the cervix and thus reduce the possibility of developing cancer at that site. If you need this surgical intervention or if you want to find out how LEEP can help you, make an appointment in our office.
Questions and answers about LEEP intervention
What is LEEP?
LEEP is an abbreviation of “loop electrosurgical excision procedure”. When electric energy passes through the loop, the loop heats up and has the possibility of cutting the tissue of the cervix in a thin layer.
LEEP and LLETZ (large loop excision of the transformation zone) are synonyms.
When do I need a LEEP?
The purpose of the Pap test is to detect cervical cell changes that, if left untreated, could turn into cancer. We call these changes dysplasia or precancerous lesions. They occur on the cervix, on the part that is easily accessible to gynecologist and which can be removed with LEEP surgery.
If a cervical biopsy shows precancerous lesions, we will suggest LEEP. There are a few exceptions when LEEP intervention can be delayed. This applies to pregnant women, young girls and women who want to give birth in future. Several factors play a role in making decision when monitoring of precancerous lesions is acceptable. If you want an examination and consultation, make an appointment in our office.
How is LEEP performed?
While the woman is in the usual gynecological position, dr Davidovic-Grigoraki places a speculum (vaginal dilatator) to access the cervix. Under the control of the colposcope, she determines the size and shape of the zone she wants to remove (cut) and accordingly selects the appropriate loop size. Pain control is provided by local anesthesia or mild sedation. The gynecologist uses a diathermy carrier with the selected loop to cut off the area of the cervix where the vast majority of HPV lesions occur. Bleeding is stopped by cauterization and the use of special solutions.
The intervention itself does not take long and after that you are free to go home. You may feel cramps after the local anesthesia subsides. It is the same feeling like the one you have in the lower abdomen on the first day of menstruation.
What can we expect after LEEP?
It takes several weeks for the wound on the cervix to heal. In order for the wound to heal properly and without complications, it is necessary to avoid sexual intercourse, use of tampons and a hard work.
It is normal to notice vaginal discharge and scanty bleeding during this period.
If the bleeding from the vagina intensifies over time or if you have a strong unpleasant odor discharge with pain in the lower abdomen, call us immediately.
What happens when we get the HP (histopathology) report ?
In HP report of the removed cervical tissue we learn some very important data. The first is the diagnosis and the second is an information whether the lesion has been removed completely. For women who are planning to give birth, the data on the depth of the removed part of the cervix is also important information for us.
A checkup of the cervical wound is planned for 4-6 weeks after the intervention.
In the end, LEEP can save you from cervical cancer, which is a rare opportunity when it comes to cancer of any kind.