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Unread 03-16-2004, 07:30 AM
LEEP anyone?

After a lot of thought, I've decided to go through with the LEEP procedure and hope for the best. What are they like????? I understand the procedure, but am so uncomfortable with hospital stuff, needles, doctors, etc.... I don't know anyone that's had the procedure done. Doctors can explain as much as they want, but my male gyn can't know how it feels. It's physically impossible!!!

Dealing with irregular cycles, heavy bleeding, major clotting (some quarter size), and just diagnosed with severe dysplasia. Turn 30 in June, but already done having kids. The doc gave my the hyster option due to my situation.

If any of the follow up tests after LEEP come back abnormal, I do plan to proceed with the hyster. I can go through all the waiting once, but don't think I can do it again. I'm going through a nervous breakdown with all the new information. Making myself sick with worry. Anxiety is running high to say the least... If I've learned anything from this wonderful site, it's that every person has a different experience and nothing is guaranteed, statistics are for mathematicians only, and your body is not a mathematician!!!

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Unread 03-16-2004, 08:52 AM


I'm also from Iowa and around the same age. Unfortunately, I have not had children yet so getting a LEEP for my severe dysplasia was the only option. I had a LEEP exactly 1 month ago. I'm almost afraid to tell you about my experience because I think I am much more of an exception than the rule (i.e. that statistical outlier). If you have it done as an outpatient with only a local, most women only feel a little uncomfortable when the Dr. is numbing the cervix (mine gave me three shots). Your heart will race a little from the medicine (they use epinepherine with the anesthesia to constrict your blood vessels). After that most women only feel warmth during the actual LEEP. My LEEP was extremely painful. I should have guessed that it was going to be because I am fairly resistent to the anesthesia they use (which I know because it is the same as used by the dentist). I basically felt like I was being sliced (which I was). However, if you don't have any problems with pain when you get fillings (for example, I need upwards of 10 shots in my mouth before I am numbed enough to work on) you should be fine.

My recovery was quick. I felt kind of feverish the first day but I was able to work by the second day and back to pretty much normal the third day. I really think that the emotional part of having a LEEP done is worse than the physical impact. Make sure you take someone with you to the Dr's office. I felt like crying afterwards, not because I was in pain but because it was so invasive. I had a discharge for about 2 weeks. I recently had my first post LEEP period and it appears to have been normal.

Good luck.
Unread 03-16-2004, 11:34 AM
LEEP anyone?

I had a LEEP done, and I have to say for me it was painless. My gyn described it to me this way: "pretend your cervix is a cheese and this is a cheese slicer....", which I found funny! I was so anxious about having it done that I asked her to prescribe me a Valium, which she did, and that really took the edge off. However, I stress that for me, the woman who could push herself off the exam table and into another county when the doc does a pap smear, it was utterly, totally, blessedly painless. I spotted for a day, had no cramping, and went on with my life right away.

My next period, though, was a nightmare. I bled so copiously that I ended up sitting on the toilet all night, since I would soak through pads in 10 minutes. It was awful, and my doctor warned me that for some women, that's the way it is.

In general, the LEEP was a good thing for me. It gave me the longest stretch of normal paps I'd had in quite a while.
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Unread 03-16-2004, 12:57 PM

Thanks to you both.

Fortunately for me, I usually go numb at the dentist almost immediately. The shot doesn't even bother me that much. I talked to my doc's nurse this am and she said it is very much like the colposcopy experience. Not the best time of your life, but not entirely horrid.

I know for a fact that the emotional aspect *****. I go in for the 'slicing' on April 9. I know... it's Good Friday. Or in my case, better for some than others Friday. I just hate waiting for results. I knew that there was something wrong after my last colposcopy. After my first, done 6 week post pardem, he called me with the results. This time, he had me come in to discuss the results. That's never good. Pap last year was fine, then this all came about.

So, I guess I wait.

Unread 03-16-2004, 01:21 PM

I had the LEEP procedure done in December 2003. It was painless. The dr. gave me a shot in the cervix. That caused me to briefly feel flushed. But, that numbed the area. They, DR and assistant, hooked up the machine and did the procedure. 30 seconds to 1 minute tops. Then they took a biopsy of the area higher up in cervix. that was it.
A little brown discharge from something the put on to stop bleeding. No pain after or during the procedure.

I felt the biopsy they did before the LEEP was more painful, because it felt like a bad cramp and I was expecting the LEEP to be much the same. I was so glad that it was painless. I kid you not.

Ended up that even after the LEEP they found Carcinoma in-situ, with a positive endocervical margin and I then got the hyserectomy. I am now 11 days post op and it is getting a little better
Hope I could help,
Unread 03-16-2004, 01:53 PM
LEEP anyone?

I know this probably isn't the best place to ask this question - it is a hysterectomy website none the less but everyone here seems so helpful.

As I said above, I'm 4 weeks post LEEP. I don't have children so I'm trying to take care of my CIS anyway I can other than hysterectomy. My question is this - I ended up with CIS after a lifetime of normal paps. I've come to terms with the fact that my CIS is the result of HPV infection. However, I must have been exposed to HPV at least 8 years before my bad pap (been with hubby that long and I know he isn't cheating). My LEEP came back with clear margins (the endocervical piece didn't have any dysplasia).

However, I can't help but worry that the CIS is going to come back. I'm especially worried because it seems like HPV usually shows up in much younger women (I'm 32) and it is usually transitory. Do you think the fact that I've had dormant HPV for almost a decade means that my LEEP is less likely to be successful? Should I be trying to get pregnant right now in case this comes back and I end up with a hysterectomy? I know someone said that their LEEP gave them the longest clean paps - how long exactly was that?
Unread 03-16-2004, 02:26 PM
LEEP anyone?

That was me, and it gave me a nearly 3 year stretch of OK paps. That's the upside. Also, please keep in mind that for about 95% of women, LEEPs are curative. As in, end of CIS. As it turns out, my HPV was one of the "big 6" that cause cancer. If you get an abnormal pap, very often your doc will request or the lab will automatically do a test to see which HPV strain you have.

You might also look in to adding folic acid and Vitamin A to your diet/supplements--they are often helpful in reversing or combatting dysplasia.

The sad truth of the matter is that sometimes CIS WILL return, and I think it is not a bad idea to accept that, but not fashion your life around it. I kept mine at bay for another 3 years after my 3 years of OK paps, but finally gave in to increasingly bad reports--high grade lesions, etc. But that was my reality, and yours may well be very, very different.

Good luck, and be optimistic. The numbers are on your side.
Unread 03-16-2004, 06:20 PM

Are you sure that your CIS is from HPV? Mine was not. Dr. said anything and everything can cause CIS.
Also, HPV can remain dormant for 20 years.
And just because you get a hysterectomy doesn't mean you get rid of HPV.
Usually HPV is destroyed by the bodies own immune system. But, sometimes it is not.
And in the long run they don't know much about eitherone
Unread 03-16-2004, 06:35 PM

I've been reading so much on this the last few days. There are a lot of things that will make cervical issues worse. Caffeine and smoking being 2. They also said poor nutrition, so a multi-vitamin is recommended for those with these issues. Not sure how much value to put into some of the stuff you find on the web, but I guess you can't be too sure about anything. Also read that you don't have to smoke, but if your man does, there's nicotine concentrated in semen. You learn something new every day!!!

I also read that HPV can lay dormant for any length of time. Some people have it and never get any symptoms or have any problems.

Should you get treated for HPV after your LEEP? I haven't asked my gyn about that yet. I have my list of ?s for the procedure day. That being one of them.

Unread 03-16-2004, 06:39 PM
LEEP anyone?

Thank you to those that answered. Three years hopefully will give me enough time to start (and finish) a family.

I'm just assuming my CIS is from HPV. I'm going to have a HPV test with my next pap - my guess is I have a high-risk strain. A boyfriend in college was foreign and his dad thought it was O.K. to send him to a prostitute for his first time (because they check them for diseases down there - yep, except for HPV . Anyway, my insisting he be tested for everything before we had sex didn't include HPV. Who knows, it might not have been him - I just assume because of his background and the fact he isn't circumcised.

Does anyone know if HPV tends to be more persistent if it lays dormant for a while instead of showing up as an abnormality right away?

I hope that I can at least keep my Paps clear long enough to have children. I think that the overall chance that the LEEP cured me is about 80% (it's lower because I also had endocervical glandular involvement). However, it doesn't seem like any of these studies were done on HPV that was dormant for a long time.

I realize that I will never be able to go more than a year without a pap smear for the rest of my life, even if I end up with a hysterectomy. I know that there are so many people on this board dealing with health problems much worse than mine. However, I'm still trying to deal with the fact that I will always have to worry about getting cervical or vaginal cancer.

This whole thing is making me reevaluate my life. The good things that have happened is I tell every woman I know to get regular pap smears, I eat better, and I take a vitamin everyday. The bad thing is that I'm evaluating the choices I've made in putting off having a family. It would devastate me to have to have a hysterectomy at this time because I always thought I'd have plenty of time. I try not to get depressed but there are just some days

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