LEEP treatment in Manhattan: Millions of Americans are infected with the human papillomavirus (HPV) every year
For some, this disease may result in cervical dysplasia and /or venereal warts. Venereal Warts or genital warts are sexually transmitted infections (STI) that appear as small bumps in or around the genitals. They can also be transmitted through skin-to-skin contact with an infected person. While cervical dysplasia is a precancerous condition that can lead to cervical cancer if left untreated. In this condition, abnormal cell growths form around the surface of the cervix lining and between the uterus and the vagina (endocervical canal). There are no surface symptoms, as such, it is usually detected during routine Pap smear tests. This is one of the reasons doctors strong advise patients to schedule routine checkups regardless of physical appearance. For more information on our gynecologists in Manhattan, visit 67th street OB/GYN Total Women’s Health Care today.
How is LEEP used to treat cervical dysplasia & Venereal warts?
Loop Electrosurgical Excision Procedure (LEEP treatment) is a procedure in which tissue containing the abnormal cells are removed. It can be used as both a diagnostic tool and treatment for a number of diseases. The removed tissue is examined for cancer afterward. During this procedure a small wire loop is used to cut out the abnormal tissues containing cells, the cervix is then cauterized to stop bleeding.
This procedure is often used to treat cervical dysplasia. Moreover, it can also be used to remove genital warts by separating warts from the skin. After this procedure, it usually takes anywhere from 4 – 6 weeks to heal.
What to know: Before & during & after the LEEP treatment.
Before treatment: In an appointment preceding the scheduled treatment day, your doctor will have an extensive discussion on your history and any medications you are currently taken. You may be advised to stop taking any blood thinning medication such as aspirin for at least 7 days before the procedure. The procedure should also be scheduled 7 days after your period. This will enable you to differentiate between bleeding caused by the procedure and menstrual period. This is an important step in order to catch any issues that may arise after the procedure immediately. You should neither douche nor insert any objects into your vagina prior to procedure3. You also should not have sex within 24 hours prior to the procedure. Finally, you will be asked to empty your bladder minutes before the procedure.
During the LEEP treatment: You would be placed in the same position as that of a pelvic examination. A speculum will then be inserted into the vagina to spread and hold the vaginal walls apart, thereby exposing your cervix. A colposcope will be placed in at the opening of the vagina, however, this does not enter the vagina. The colposcope is an instrument whose functions are similar to a microscope. As such, it is used to magnify the tissues of the cervical walls. The cervix will then be cleaned and soaked with a special solution and numbed3. This solution turns the areas containing the abnormal tissue white. An instrument called a tenaculum will then be used to hold the cervix steady. You will know when your doctor turns on the LEEP as it makes a loud noise. Finally, the LEEP wire will be inserted through the speculum and this thin wire loop is then passed through the surface of the cervix for the removal of abnormal tissue4. The areas of the cervix that was cut out will then be cauterized to stop bleeding, followed by an application of the ferric subsulfate solution to prevent further bleeding2.
After the Procedure: You will be advised not to have sex for 4 weeks and rest for a 2-3 days after the procedure. Moreover, you are strongly advised against inserting any object into your vagina during this period. You may shower but are advised against taking baths for a few weeks after this procedure. In addition to this, you will be advised against performing any strenuous activities for one week. There is no need to worry If you notice a brownish discharge for 1-4 days after this procedure as it is normal.
What are the risks of the LEEP Treatment?
Some of the risks associated with the procedure have been listed below:
- Difficulties getting pregnant (infertility)
- Preterm birth if pregnant when this procedure is done (always let your doctor know if you are pregnant or suspect so)
- Excessive bleeding
- Scarring and changes to the cervix as a result of tissue removed.
Though there may be risks, the LEEP treatment is very safe and there are rarely ever any complications. Hence it is often recommended by doctors. Consult with one of our OB/GYNs in Manhattan today if you suspect you may HPV or genital warts as this early detection and treatment of cervical dysplasia removes the cells before they can become cancerous.