For nearly two decades, Dr. Chad Hill has served as the owner and physician at Siloam Springs Women’s Center, an obstetrics and gynecology clinic in Arkansas. In this capacity, Dr. Chad Hill provides patients with a wide range of services, including pap smears, IUDs, and loop electrosurgical excision procedures.
A loop electrosurgical excision procedure, or LEEP, is most often performed when abnormal cells are discovered during a pap smear, or vaginal or cervical problems are found during pelvic examinations. The procedure removes tissue and cells that may appear precancerous, meaning they are abnormal, but have not developed into cancer cells.
LEEP may also be performed to assist physicians with treating and diagnosing various conditions. These include polyps, genital warts, and diethylstilbestrol (DES) exposure, an event that increases the risk of reproductive system cancers. In addition to this, LEEP can help detect vaginal and cervical cancer.
The procedure is performed using a heated wire loop. Patients lay on an examining table with their feet elevated, and a physician opens the vaginal walls using a speculum. These initial steps are very similar to the steps required for a pap smear.
Once the vaginal walls are open, a local anesthetic is administered to numb the area around the cervix and the fine wire loop carefully removes abnormal tissue and cells from the lower genital tract. Physicians may subsequently apply a chemical to reduce bleeding in the area, and the removed tissue is tested at a lab.