LEEP is done after abnormal Pap test results have been confirmed by colposcopy and cervical biopsy. This procedure (loop electrosurgical excision) uses a thin, low-voltage electrified wire loop to cut out abnormal tissue. LEEP may be used to treat minor cell changes called low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions (LSIL) that may be precancerous and that may persist after a period of watchful waiting.
It may also be used to treat moderate to severe cell changes that can be removed.
During LEEP, a small amount of normal cervical tissue is removed at the edge of the abnormal tissue area.The tissue that is removed can be examined for cancer that has grown deep into the cervical tissue. In this way,LEEP can help further diagnoses as well as treat the abnormal cells. If all of the abnormal cervical tissue is removed, no further surgery is needed, though abnormal cells may reoccur in the future.
Most women are able to return to normal activities within 1 to 3 days after LEEP is performed. Recovery time depends on how much was done during the procedure.