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What is a leep procedure and what is it for?

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If you have an abnormal PAP smear, your doctor will usually perform a procedure called colposcopy on you. Colposcopy involves looking at your cervix with a microscope in the office. Sometimes, if an abnormality is seen, small biopsies of the skin of the cervix will be obtained at the time of the colposcopy. The biopsies will be sent to a pathologist to determine if there is any dysplasia(precancerous cells) present. If there is dysplasia present, then you may be a candidate for treatment.
How the procedure is done:
A speculum is placed in the vagina just like for a PAP smear. The doctor will then place a numbing medicine in the cervix (similar to what the dentists use to numb your teeth before filling.) After the cervix is numb, a special wire loop is used to remove the abnormal area. The wire loop is hooked up to a special electrical machine and a sticky pad is placed on your leg in order to complete the electrical circuit. The procedure itself is usually painless, although some mild cramping may occur afterward. The whole procedure typically takes about 5 minutes to perform.
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