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Leep Procedure
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Leep Procedure

Ok, so i just found out today that I have to have the LEEP procedure done to remove pre cancer cells in my cervix. Ive found out alot of information from websites about the procedure but a few things im wondering about I cant find answers to. I read that they dont put you to sleep, just local anastetics, numbing stuff. But my doctor said they prefer to put you to sleep. So there going to put me to sleep to do it and im not sure if I want to do that. What happens when they put you to sleep vs. just local anastetics? Do i have to not eat before the surgery? What are the Pre surgery rules I have to follow? I found all the post surgery things to expect but no pre surgery. And if they put me to sleep im not quite sure how they can get inside me without me awake to hold my legs open. That might be a dumb question but i wonder about that).And another dumb question (but i want to be as least naked as possible) ive read with local anastetics all you have to do is remove your lower clothes for the procedure. So if I get fully put to sleep is it the same? Or do I have to get completley undressed as I would if I was being cut open for a surgery? And although ive read what to expect during and after, could someone please tell me in there words how bad it really is during and after? And what if i choose to be awake and have local anastetics what do I expect during it? Im so terrified of doing this. And not only am i terrified of the procedure, but terrified of what happens afterwards and hurt and upset and mainly just pissed that i wont be able to have a normal life for at least a month. No sex, no tampons. No excercising for a couple weeks no heavy lifting. Basically my life has to be put on hold for 2 weeks. And my sex life and relationship for a whole month. I cant really explain my feelings, im sad hurt mad upset and a bunch of other things i cant really put into words. Is it really this bad? and how long before these feelings stop. Please help.
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13 Comments Post a Comment
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi,
I understand your anxieties with the information you have received, the details are a little vague.
There are procedures in which patients receive a drug to induce sleep in which even the function of breathing shuts down. This will require a tube into your lung, through which the anesthesiologist will control your breathing. Others will get a drug to reduce anxiety, induce drowsiness, and produce anterograde amnesia (this means that the memory of the procedure will not be remembered), but the vital functions such as breathing remain normal. It is likely that your doctor is referring to the second scenario - in which the goal is simply to reduce your stress prior to procedure and to make sure the mental trauma of recalling the procedure is avoided.
The bed has a harness to hold your legs open, so you need not worry about holding the position.
You'll only be needing to strip below the waist.
The procedure is quick (about 30 minutes), you wouldn't need to fast beforehand.

Then again, you could ask about doing the procedure with the local anesthesia only. There are some rare events of transitory drops in blood pressure during the application of the anesthesia (and hence your doctor may prefer doing the procedure with more drugs and with an anesthesiologist on board), but this is correctable.

The sexual abstinence is required to allow for the cervix to heal properly. While this may sound like putting everything on hold - consider the alternative scenario in which you do whatever but then chances are you'll have abnormal bleeding and you'll likely be more anxious and need more trips to your gynecologist and more procedures.

Stay positive and discuss your concerns at length. If it is something of concern to you - it is not a stupid question.
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Avatar_f_tn
Kristy,
Want to start out that I am NOT a doctor, but I have had LEEP.

My procedure was very simple and there was never any question of anesthesia. It was in the dr's office andI put my legs up in the stirrups. I was given a few shots of lidocane in my cervix, and then I had the LEEP procedure. It was so quick and painless (after the lidocane that is) that I thought they were still getting ready when in fact they were already finished!

I had my husband drive me home, but I actually went to a job interview the same day. I rested over the weekend, and started my general walking exercise again on Monday. Yes, I was sore, but not in any real pain. The doctor said to abstain from penetrative sex for 2 weeks, but I took a month. Note I said penetrative sex -- there are still other things to do!

You may want to get a second opinion on this one . . .
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Avatar_n_tn
Is the shot painful? On a level of 1-10 how would you rate the pain from the shot in yoru cervix? thats the thing im worried about. Im great with needles, in my arm and things they dont hurt me but the though of havingg a needle in there dont sound too good.
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461842_tn?1332292847
Have you had your LEEP yet? I had one yesterday. I just thought I would share with you that it was not bad at all. I had really worked myself up about it, but I did so for nothing.  The shot isn't that bad. It feels like the shot you would get in your gums if you were having your teeth worked on.  It's a little pinch and then it's over.
I am feeling completely normal today.  I'm not even bleeding.
I hope everything goes well for you.
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Avatar_f_tn
FEAR NOT .... the cervical injection.  That was the part that had me most anxious.  When I went in to my doctors office, he got me in the
position for the procedure, inserted the speculum and prepared the cervix with the staining solution.  He then said to give it a minute and we would be ready to go. I asked if he could go ahead with the injection and he then told me, "that is what I just did."  HONESTLY, I did not feel the injection.  I believe that with any surgery, one of the greatest risk is
anesthesia--and the less of it you can have, the better off you are. In this situation, I would be disappointed to have been put to sleep and faced the risk of anesthesia for the minimal discomfort of the entire procedure.  Of course the technique of the physician will all play into ones comfort level, but I can truly say that my Leep was not any more painful than my original pap smear.  Took a little longer but true pain was not there. On a scale of 1-10, for pain during the procedure, I would give it a ONE!  
After the procedure, I had some discharge of the substance used to control bleeding and that lasted for about four days. After that stopped, I did have some bleeding--I am on my 12th day of some bleeding that is about like a light period and some minor cramping along with it,  but still nothing that is preventing me from continuing with my daily activities.
I go back to the doctor Tuesday for my first follow up visit and I am going to ask if they can use more of the cream to stop the bleeding....but then again, he may feel that the bleeding is normal and helpful to the healing process. I will leave the choices up to him.
I have a great doctor and it is helpful to be trusting of your doctor and their skill level.
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Avatar_f_tn
I know this response is a little late, but I wanted to share my experience in case anyone else is looking for answers regarding being under anesthesia for the LEEP.
My doctor does the procedure out of a local hospital, and will only perform the procedure with the patient under anesthesia. When she and I discussed this, I did not see anything wrong with it, and was relieved to be "out" during the procedure. I now know that anesthesia was not at all necessary, and am actually perturbed that I had no choice in the matter.

I arrived at the hospital at 11am. I was told not to eat, drink anything or even chew gum after midnight the night before the procedure. So, by 11am I'm hungry, thirsty, and scared out of my mind. After going through admitting, I went to the short stay wing of the hospital where I had to put on a backless gown and sit in a cubicle with only sheet- like dividers separating me from other patients, including male patients. A nurse comes in and asks me all sorts of strange questions ranging from do I have any tattoos to if I have ever been hospitalized for psychiatric problems. I was then hooked up to an IV. I sat this way for two hours before someone came down from the surgery wing to get me. Once in the surgery wing, I had to wait in the recovery area for twenty minutes before being taken into the surgery room. Finally, I went into surgery. There they unsnapped the shoulders of my gown so my breasts were basically hanging out for anyone to see as they hiked up the bottom half. Then the anesthesiologist injected something into my IV, and the next thing I remember I am waking up half dressed and being taken back to the short stay area.

Once there I had to show the nurse my vagina to ensure there was no abnormal bleeding (remember, there are male patients too close for comfort in the short stay wing). Then I had to put on disposable panties with a non stick maxi pad in front of the nurse (I was still groggy, so she had to help me). After that, I had to urinate in the bathroom, but not flush, so the nurse could see. Once back in my short stay cubicle I sat for another hour until they took out my IV and allowed me to put my clothes back on. I didn't get home until about 4:30pm. That's five and a half hours for a twenty minute procedure!

After the LEEP I did not have a lot of pain or bleeding, but thinking about the day in the hospital still gives me anxiety. I would rather have had the procedure in the doctor's office under no anesthesia, especially after reading about so many other experiences of LEEP with no anesthesia. I wish I had researched this before I went into the hospital! The anesthesia was not worth the anxiety, time, or embarrassment.
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475551_tn?1284954302
I wanted to write because I just came across this.  I know you already had your procedure but there may be a woman out there who is going through the same anxiety with preperations and my experience was full of anxiety also.  It was basically like a pap smear though.  They had me get into the stirrips like an annual exam.  They "grounded" me with a wire taped to my leg and cut out a piece of the cervix.  I was awake, just a numbing shot.  I had never heard of the putting completely to sleep part. It was like an annual exam, a bit more cramping and I spotted that week.  I had to come back every 3 months for a year and every 6 months for another year.  I was 23 at the time.  I am 31 and pregnant with my first now.  I hear that I may have cervical incompitence so I may have to have a circlage (where they sew your cervix shut) in the second trimester to prevent premature labor and to keep the baby in there if my cervix is too weak.  It happens to women for other reasons and it is not that rare to have to have one. Other than that I am completely healed and have had good paps since.  I know it was hard going throug that but I too knew it was the right thing to do so I had to do it.  It only would have gotten worse if I let it go.
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Avatar_n_tn
I  had the LEEP procedure this past Friday.  It was an outpatient surgery procedure and I was completely out.  I had nothing by mouth after midnight, and was starving when I went in, as my procedure was scheduled for noon the next day.  I have to say, I was glad I was out.  I was given Versed, Robinol, and
Zofran prior to the procedure.  I remember being wheeled back to the OR and after that, I woke up back in recovery.  I had no pain, and no bleeding.  I went home, had a huge Whopper and Fries(I don't recommend everyone do that, but I was hungry), and went to sleep.  The next morning, I got up to go to the bathroom and couldn't.  I had to go so bad that it hurt.  My bladder was distended and I really needed to pee.  I felt like I was going, but nothing came out.  I called my physician who instructed me to cough really hard and deep while sitting on the toilet. After a few good coughs, I was able to urinate.  Obviously when they did the LEEP, something was sort of glued shut in my urinary tract and needed to be re-opened.  The coughing did it.  Other than the fact that the surgery center should have made sure everything was working so I wouldn't be scared to death of not being able to pee, it was not a bad experience.
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Avatar_f_tn
I had the LEEP done about 3 weeks ago. I was very anxious about the shot as I do NOT like needles at all. When some women say they don't feel the shot, that is just THEIR experience. I felt the shot and it was not pretty. Your heart rate speeds up immediately after getting the injection and if feels like you can't breathe. The procedure is very quick and relatively painless after the injection. They give you a pad to wear afterwards and then you're free to go. I made the awful mistake of allowing my boyfriend to use his fingers on me in the heat of the moment thinking that his finger is a lot smaller and he won't go all the way in I would be fine. WRONG. When they say NOTHING IN THE VAGINA, they mean NOTHING IN THE VAGINA. I started bleeding and I though we'll see if it stops, maybe he just irritated my cervix. The bleeding lasted for a week, and during that week I had clots and there was pain. It subsided a little one day when i called my doc and asked if I needed to be seen right away. She said not if the bleeding has stop (at that moment it did) but when I woke up the next morning a blood clot about the size of a base ball fell and I ran to the ER when they then used this substance (looks like long matches) and they carterized my cervix, that was also very uncomfortable. Here I am a week later (NOTHING IN THE VAGINA) and I am feeling great. No discharge. no blood, no pain, nothing. I won't however do anything sexually with my bf until I get the go ahead from my doctor next week. I just hope that my paps come back normal and that I'll be able to have children and I won't have to go through this again.
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Avatar_m_tn
I had LEEP done back in 2005. No anesthesia or numbing shot or anything to do with pain relief whatsoever. This was not by my own choosing though. I had been wating for a couple of months to do the more modern laser procedure in the hospital but there was still no appointment available. I was put on waitlist. That is on toronto, Ontario - government health care, so it is not like I could speed it up or anything. So next time I went to my gynecologist and he did check up exam he said that the pre cancerous cells have developed like really fast and is now in the very final stage, that he cannot wait for the appointment to come for the hospital and he basically had to do it right away because he said he doesn;t know if cancer could develop even in a week... so... even though I had gone there for a check up I was all of a sudden told I had to have surgery. However, in the gynecologist office he could not legally administer anesthesia because there was no anesthesiologist. He said the not to worry that it won;t hurt much. Then I wondered that how would he know if he was a man... but I kind of thought I did not have much choice at this point... The whole thing took about 40 minutes and I can tell you that it was one of the most painful things I have ever experienced... I have aslo had kidney stones and that hurt probably right up there, but it was not that excrutiating as kidney stones... I keep thinking and telling to myself, well nothing will be worse than giving birth ( I have not been pregnant yet), but I say to myself, I would need to give birth one day and that would hurt more, so... that was my kind of only consolation...

reading all these stories, I wish I had injections too, but no such luck... hearing about people saying ijection was painful though makes me thing that one second sting is nothing to complain about compared to lying with your legs wide open in full consciousness for 40 min of slowly burning your flesh with electricity (cause that is what LEEP basically is)...
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Avatar_m_tn
Can I go in there with my gf/  she wants me in there to comfort her and just was wondering if they will let me in the room? She is stting next to me too.  Shes only 24 but nervous as can be! Thanks God bless
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Avatar_f_tn
i had a leep done at 19 for precancerous cells on my cervix and they wouldn't allow me to have anyone in the room. it was pretty scary. i wasn't put to sleep but did not experience much pain since they numbed me. I felt a pinch thats it. i had to restrain from sex or anything that would involve putting anything in my vagina...including tampons. It took me about 3 weeks to heal
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Avatar_f_tn
I just had a LEEP done about 1/2 hour ago.  I had been dreading g it for a couple weeks now.  I don't take pain very well.  I am so happy to say that the procedure went great.  I worked myself up for nothing.  I was scared of the shot they kept talking about.  I cried on the table because I was so scared.  I asked the doctor to let me know when he was going to do it...and he to me that it was done...Thank God I didn't feel it.  Then I asked how long does it take to tissue of...he said he was done and was ready to start stopping the bleeding.  I did not even feel cramping on the table.  It took under 5 minutes.  The set up took the longest.  I am so happy that its over.  I truly hope that everyone else can have the same kind of experience.  There is mild cramping afterwards...
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