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Leep Procedure Leep Procedure

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Unread 08-06-2003, 08:38 AM
Leep Procedure

I have just had a colposcopy with a biopsy that concluded more abnormal cells (pre-cancerous) the nurse said, and I am now schedule for a leep on 8-15-03 and would like to know what you have been through with this, what happens, how long recovery, and what to expect! Thanks for your support. My mom had cervical cancer 20 years ago, and I am a little scared. I am 41 y.o.
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Unread 08-06-2003, 10:46 AM
Leep Procedure

Kelli, I was treated with a Cone and never had a LEEP. I think others will come along who have had it, but in the meantime here's a link to some information.


Unread 08-06-2003, 11:17 AM
It's not so bad

I had a LEEP last week. It's not as bad as the biopsies, in my opinion. My doctor first injected a local anesthetic into my cervix (this was a little uncomfortable), but after that, I didn't feel a thing. The LEEP took only a few minutes. I took it easy at home the rest of the day, and the next day I felt fine with just some mild cramping. I had some slight bleeding/discharge a few days after the procedure, which is normal. It's important not to use tampons, have intercourse, lift heavy items or do any strenuous exercise for a few weeks to allow your cervix to heal (your doctor will likely give you specific guidelines).

I hope this helps. Good luck to you!
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Unread 08-06-2003, 11:49 AM
Leep Procedure

I had a LEEP/cone on June 21st. Mine was done as an outpatient procedure and I was under conscious (sp) sedation, meaning tecnically I was awake, but for all practical purposes, I was OUT. I think most LEEPs are done in the doc's office though. Mine apparently was pretty extensive, so therefore, outpatient. According to my doctor, the actual procedure should take about 20 minutes (mine took about an hour, apparently) Since I was out, recovery was a little different that had it been done in the office. I didn't do anything for that day and the next two days, although,honestly, the third day was more of a mental health day than a recovery day. I was feeling fine after the first day. I had vaginal packing that I had to remove the day following surgery, but again, I don't think this was typical for a LEEP. That was worse than the procedure, really. I guess it's like a giant tampon with a string that you pull on to remove. Well, apparently my string found its way up my vagina and my husband had to get it out (after several consults with the doctor and using a flashlight, he finally found the string) It was a nightmare! (sorry if I am being too graphic)

Anyway, I had some moderate bleeding for the first day or two, then my period showed up, then after 2 days, that stopped (yes, usually mine are 2 days), then I had spotting for another 4 weeks. My DH and I resumed "relations" after 3 weeks, which is probably why I kept spotting for 2 weeks after that.

The important thing to remember is that the LEEP is an extremely efficient way to treat precancerous cells and usually no more treatment is needed, just more frequent paps for the first few years (typically every three months for the first year, six months after that). Even if your margins arent clear (meaning the precancerous cells extend past the edge of the sample the doctor takes), those cells remaining will regress to normal in 70% of cases.

As I am sure will be mentioned, consultation with a gynelogic oncologist is advisable if you have any concerns. I don't think there is a genetic link with cervical cancer, but if you do have concerns because of your mother, you might want to consult with one. My margins were not clear from my procedure and my gyn wanted to do an immediate hysterectomy. I did consult a gyn/onc and he took more of a wait and see attitude. I am scheduled for a repeat colposcopy in Sept. If the CINIII/CIS is still present, we will have to decide what to do from there, but at least it gives my cells a chance to return to normal, potentially saving me from major abdominal surgery.

Good luck to you! This site is a wonderful resource.

Unread 08-06-2003, 01:24 PM
Leep Procedure

My experience is NOT normal, so don't let it scare you. I have had THREE LEEPS.

I had a bad pap - CIN II. I had a colposcopy and then I had a cone biopsy first, but that didn't take care of things. I had progressed from a CIN II to a CIN III in just two weeks - and the margins were not clear.

My first LEEP was terrible. Just a local anesthetic, and I still could feel some shooting pains and a "pulling" sensation. They had to give me more anesthetic. (I also awoke from surgery as soon as they were moving me to recovery - I have HIGH tolerance to any drug etc.).

Afterward I was VERY lightheaded and sick to my stomach. I turned very pale and the nurse made me lie back down for a while. I thought this was supposed to be a very simple in-office procedure, so I had driven myself 60 minutes to my appointment, and needed to get myself home. I couldn't drive for a couple hours afterward.

Then rather than just spotting, I hemorrhagged. And I was in severe pain. That kept up for over a week. Then I spotted for another 3 weeks. It quit just about my 5 week check. My doctor told me NOTHING in the vagina for 4 weeks - no tampons, no sex, etc. I followed that - I was too sore from the discharge to want to do anything. I had a period during that time, and it was a nuisance not to be able to use tampons. I wasn't able to work for a week.

My next pap 3 months later CIN III again. I needed another LEEP. This time I had my mother come and drive me. I learned my lesson. Because of the problems the first time, for the second one they gave me an injection of epinephrine (same thing that bee-sting alergics take). It is supposed to help with some of my problems, and they did more cauterizing than the first time. The epi-shot felt really funny, but I didn't get as light-headed this time. I also got pain pills for the first two days. Also I didn't hemorrhage. I still had heavy bleeding for the first week, but WAY less than the first one. It went better than the first, but once again, a month of nothing in the vagina. This only kept me from work and school for a few days. But some of my work I was not allowed to do (commercial cleaning) for a full week.

My next few paps were clear - I even made it over a year (paps every three months the first year - every six months the second). Once again I was at a CIN II.

I had a colposcopy, and it showed that my cervix had healed enough for one more LEEP. They were worried that they had taken so much of the cervical neck previously that I couldn't even have another LEEP. I had the third one. Very similar to the second one.

Then at my next yearly - it is back - full-blown CIN III again. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. I already have four children, I'm 41 and have had terrible problems with heavy bleeding and cramping and irregular periods all my life (surgery for endo almost 20 years ago helped some). I knew that I'd lose a few days fully, and then another month partially of my life again if I had another LEEP. The doctor said that most likely this would just keep recurring every 3-18 months. Rather than keep needing paps every 3, and repeated LEEPS, I chose a hysterectomy.

I AM SO GLAD I DID IT! The hysterectomy wasn't much more difficult than my first LEEP. If I had it to do over again, I'd have done the first LEEP, to see if that could take care of everything, but then insisted on a hysterectomy the second time. That would be my advice to others - but only IF they were done having children. Otherwise, although bothersome and a pain, I'd do the LEEPS to buy more childbearing time - but have them QUICKLY.

Make sure someone else drives you to your appointment - and make plans just in case you can't do anything for a few days.

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