Cancer Community
6.52k Members
Avatar universal

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.
13 Responses
Avatar universal
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.
Avatar universal
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 . . .
Avatar universal
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.
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.
Avatar universal
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.
Avatar universal
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.
Have an Answer?
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Here are 15 ways to help prevent lung cancer.
New cervical cancer screening guidelines change when and how women should be tested for the disease.
They got it all wrong: Why the PSA test is imperative for saving lives from prostate cancer
Everything you wanted to know about colonoscopy but were afraid to ask
A quick primer on the different ways breast cancer can be treated.
Get the facts about this disease that affects more than 240,000 men each year.