Understanding LEEP Procedures
Loop electrical excision procedures, commonly known as LEEP, are one of the most commonly utilized approaches to treat a variety of gynecological female conditions including cervical dysplasia. In most situations, a LEEP procedure is utilized as a diagnostic and treatment approach for abnormal cell growth found on surface tissues of the cervix, located at the top of the vaginal canal
Benefits of LEEP Procedures
Any woman who has received an abnormal or unexplained change in Pap smear results may benefit from a LEEP procedure. Abnormal growth cells may be obtained through the use of the electoral surgical loop and biopsied for results. Cervical dysplasia is a medical term that defines abnormal cell growth found on the cervix. The condition is not considered cancerous, but when left unattended, may eventually lead to cancer.
LEEP Procedure Detail
The LEEP procedure is generally done in your gynecologist's office. Patients remain awake during the procedure, which is painless, but may be minimally uncomfortable at times. Assuming the gynecological exam position with the feet in stirrups, the patient lays back while the doctor inserts a vaginal speculum into the vagina so that he or she can view the cervix.
A special solution is dabbed on surface of the cervix. This solution changes color and causes abnormal cells to become visible. A tool called a colposcope is placed near the opening of the vagina and acts as a magnifier so the doctor can get a better view of the surface of the cervix.
The doctor then applies a local anesthesia to the cervix, effectively numbing the area. Following that, the electrically charged loop, which is made up of very thin wire, is inserted into the vaginal canal through the speculum and up to the surface of the cervix. The loop is passed across the surface of the cervix, trimming away a very thin layer of surface tissues and effectively removing abnormal cells. In such cases, cells are always tested for cancer or other diseases. Following removal of the abnormal cells, a special medicated paste is applied to the region in order to prevent bleeding.
A LEEP procedure generally takes less than half an hour, and may take as little as 10 minutes. Patients are able to go home following a procedure.
How Much Does a LEEP Procedure Cost?
In the United States, a LEEP procedure may cost anywhere between $400 and $2,000, including clinic fees, and doctors fees. Cost also depends on the type of anesthetic or numbing solution, and location of the procedure, and may or may not include laboratory, testing, and biopsied costs.
Individuals obtaining an LEEP procedure while on vacation to locations such as Latin America or Southeast Asia may save hundreds of dollars on the same procedure.
Who Performs LEEP Procedures?
Gynecologists and gynecologic surgeons generally perform LEEP procedures. Such individuals are required to undergo basic medical training in addition to 2 to 4 years of postgraduate training in gynecology obstetrics or gynecology, also known as OB/GYN. Training focuses on immediate and direct patient care. After training and residency, physicians are able to sit for exams for certification.
Members of gynecologic and obstetrical professional and surgical associations and organizations are required to maintain their professional standing, obtain a lifelong learning and self-assessment education, complete cognitive expertise through examinations and licensing and undergo periodic evaluation for performance in practice.
Accredited and certified surgeons should belong to associations or other similar organizations or boards in the surgeon’s country of origin. Always verify the education, training and experience of any surgeon who may perform surgery and make sure they are licensed to practice in the facility of your choice