What is a LEEP (loop electrosurgical excision procedure)?

"LEEP" is an abbreviation for loop electrosurgical excision procedure. It is a way to test and treat abnormal cell growth on the surface tissue of the cervix. LEEP may be recommended after abnormal changes in the cervix are confirmed by Pap tests and colposcopy biopsies. (Colposcopy is a non-invasive procedure in which a device similar to a microscope is used to view the cervix.) LEEP allows your physician to remove the abnormal tissue and test it for cancer.

Frontal view of cervix - The electrosurgical loop removes a thin layer of surface cells from the cervix

Abnormal cell growth on the surface of the cervix is called cervical dysplasia. Though cervical dysplasia is not cancer, over time it can worsen and lead to cancer.

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