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I had loop electrosurgical exam 3 days ago. After that I had bad cramping that lasted about 2 days and vaginal discharge that still is present. It was mixed with blood at the beginning but now it is watery. So is it caused by loop? I got injection in area of vaginal lips as I remember, or it was more near cervix, am not sure. It caused numbness. When can I expect that discharge is going to disappear?

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I had loop 2 months ago and had watery discharge 3 weeks after that. It is actually normal thing to expect. I also had bloody discharge the day after procedure and cramping that was mild. Injection that you got was anaesthetic, wasn’t it? I think that it is given in cervix, not in lips? I think that it is common to have discharge that lasts several weeks after loop was done.
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What To Expect After Surgery
Most women are able to return to normal activities within 1 to 3 days after LEEP is performed. Recovery time depends on how much was done during the procedure.

After LEEP
Mild cramping may occur for several hours after the procedure.
A dark brown vaginal discharge during the first week is normal.
Vaginal discharge or spotting may occur for about 3 weeks.
Sanitary napkins should be used instead of tampons for about 3 weeks.
Sexual intercourse should be avoided for about 3 weeks.
Douching should not be done.
When to call your health professional
Call your health professional if you have any of the following symptoms:

A fever
Spotting or bleeding that lasts longer than 1 week
Bleeding that is heavier than a normal menstrual period
Increasing pelvic pain
Bad-smelling, yellowish vaginal discharge, which may indicate an infection
Why It Is Done
LEEP is done after abnormal Pap test results have been confirmed by colposcopy and cervical biopsy. LEEP may be used to treat:

Minor cell changes called low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions (LSIL) that may be precancerous and that persist after a period of watchful waiting.
Moderate to severe cell changes that can be removed.
How Well It Works
LEEP is a very effective treatment for abnormal cervical cell changes. During LEEP, only a small amount of normal tissue is removed at the edge of the abnormal tissue area.

After LEEP, the tissue that is removed (specimen) can be examined for cancer that has grown deep into the cervical tissue (invasive cancer). In this way, LEEP can help further diagnosis as well as treat the abnormal cells.

LEEP is as effective as cryotherapy or laser treatment. If all of the abnormal cervical tissue is removed, no further surgery is needed, though abnormal cells may recur in the future. In some studies, all the abnormal cells were removed in as many as 98% of cases.1

Risks
After the surgery, a small number of women (less than 10%) may have significant bleeding that requires vaginal packing or a blood transfusion.2
Infection of the cervix or uterus may develop (rare).
Narrowing of the cervix (cervical stenosis) that can cause infertility may occur (rare).
Once a woman has had LEEP, she has a higher risk of delivering a baby early.3
What To Think About
Loop electrosurgical excision procedure (LEEP) is less expensive and easier to perform than cone biopsy or carbon dioxide laser treatment.

A biopsy is done to confirm the abnormal cervical cell changes before a LEEP procedure is done.

If you have LEEP, you need regular follow-up Pap tests. A Pap test should be repeated every 4 to 6 months or as recommended by your health professional. Once several Pap test results are normal, you and your health professional can decide how often to schedule future Pap tests.

Complete the surgery information form (PDF)(What is a PDF document?) to help you prepare for this surgery.

References
Citations
Martin-Hirsch PL, et al. (2006). Surgery for cervical intraepithelial neoplasia. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (1). Oxford: Update Software.

Nuovo J, et al. (2000). Treatment outcomes for squamous intraepithelial lesions. International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics, 68(1): 25–33.

Samson SA, et al. (2005). The effect of loop electrosurgical excision procedure on future pregnancy outcomes. Obstetrics and Gynecology, 105(2): 325–332.

Credits
Author Shannon Erstad, MBA/MPH
Editor Kathleen M. Ariss, MS
Associate Editor Denele Ivins
Associate Editor Pat Truman
Primary Medical Reviewer Joy Melnikow, MD, MPH

- Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Barbara S. Apgar, MD, MS

- Family Medicine, Women's Health
Specialist Medical Reviewer Ross Berkowitz, MD

- Obstetrics and Gynecology
Last Updated January 12, 2007

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Last Updated: January 12, 2007
Author: Shannon Erstad, MBA/MPHMedical Review: Joy Melnikow, MD, MPH - Family Medicine

Barbara S. Apgar, MD, MS - Family Medicine, Women's Health

Ross Berkowitz, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology

© 1995-2008 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
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