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The loop electrosurgical excision procedure (LEEP) is used when a patient's Pap smear indicates the presence of abnormal cells on the surface of the cervix.

The presence of abnormal cells does not mean the patient has cancer, but treatment of the abnormal area is important to prevent the cells from developing into cervical cancer.

LEEP uses a thin wire loop electrode attached to an electrosurgical generator.

The generator transmits a painless electrical current that quickly cuts away the affected cervical tissue in the immediate area of the loop wire. This causes the abnormal cells to rapidly heat and burst, and separates the tissue as the loop wire moves through the cervix.

This technique allows the patient's physician to send excised tissue to the lab for further evaluation. This insures the lesion was completely removed, as well as allowing for a more accurate assessment of the abnormal area.

For more information, speak with your gynecologist or primary care physician.