LEEP (Loop Electrosurgical Excision Procedure)


This outpatient procedure is used to remove abnormal areas of tissue from the cervix. The procedure typically takes about 20 to 30 minutes to complete.


In preparation for the procedure, the patient is positioned and a speculum is inserted into the vagina to expose the cervix. The physician may place a microscopic viewing device called a colposcope at the entrance of the vagina. The colposcope provides a clear, magnified view of the cervix. The cervix may be numbed with an anesthetic injection.

Preparing the Cervix

The physician may choose to rinse the cervix with a vinegar or iodine solution, which causes abnormal tissue to change color. This helps the physician visually identify the target area.

Inserting the Instruments

The physician inserts the LEEP device, a thin instrument with a loop of wire at the end. The wire loop is heated with an electrical current and is used to carefully remove a wedge of tissue (that includes the abnormal cells) from the cervix. As the tissue is removed, the wire cauterizes the underlying tissue to minimize bleeding.

End of Procedure and Aftercare

When the procedure is complete, the instruments are removed, and the patient is allowed to go home. The tissue is sent to the lab for microscopic analysis. The physician will provide aftercare instructions and follow up with lab results.