Loop Electro Surgical Excision Procedure - LEEP
The Loop Electrosurgical Excision Procedure uses low voltage high frequency radio waves to excise abnormal tissue usually within the cervical canal. This procedure is used primarily to diagnose and treat cervical abnormalities. This procedure is done when the patient is not having the period to have a clear view. During the procedure, the patient lies on her back with her legs held in stirrups. A speculum (retractor used to separate the walls of the vagina) is inserted into the vagina after local anesthesia. Once the offending tissue is identified, a loop of thin wire is inserted through which the HF radio waves pass which act as precision scalpel to excise the tissue.
The whole procedure can be done within a few minutes and the patient may have slight discharge afterwards. It may take a few weeks to heal. During this recovery period, she would be advised not to insert any objects into the vagina. She may have to abstain from having sexual intercourse during the convalescing period.
Cryosurgery is increasingly becoming popular especially in the removal of tumors. Cryosurgery involves the administration of liquid nitrogen at very low temperature to remove tumors and cancerous tissues by cell death. This method is also called as cryogenic cell death. Cryosurgery is also used in the treatment of precancerous tumors in cervical cancer.
Cryosurgery is usually performed when the patient is in a conscious state. Different types of cryoprobes are used to treat cancers or tumors associated with specific regions in the body. Once the cry probe is introduced in the body, the compressed liquid nitrogen with a temperature ranging from -20°C to -50°C is passed into it to freeze and destroy the unwanted tissue through contact. The cells are subject to osmotic pressure changes because of the increased fluid content caused by the cry probe. Cryosurgery is done at regular intervals to promote thawing of the tissue and subsequently freezing it to destroy the layer of cells that are not required.
Precautions and side effects of Cryosurgery
In most cases, an interval of three minutes is given throughout the procedure. The probe inactivates the nerve endings touching the adjacent cells to inhibit the sensation of pain caused by the abnormal tissue. Vascular changes also occur during the procedure such as initial numbness and flushing sensation during the thawing process. Cryosurgery is most suggestive in case of precancerous stages as it enables treatment of the cancerous tissue effectively. It is predominantly used in the treatment of Neuroma, prostate cancer, cervical cancer and skin cancer. Patients generally complain cramping sensation during the procedure which usually subsides on its own.
Other complications include infection and swelling. Since cryosurgery does not require major invasion, the side effects are minimal. Cryosurgery can be done both as external and internal procedure. The healing patterns after the procedure vary from one area of the body to another. In case of skin cancers or melanomas, the deterioration of the unwanted warts and subsequent tissue rejuvenation may take up to six weeks. Malignant melanomas are not treated by using cryosurgery.
Cryosurgery cannot be performed for all types of cancers and on all organs, because of the probability of normal tissue damage and formation of unwanted scarred tissues. Careful analysis is done by the physician to identify the form of tumor and the type of cells associated. Biopsy is performed to detect any form of malignancy or metastases of the respective cancer. Salicylic acid is applied on the warts prior to cryosurgery to reduce the size. In some cases cryospray is used directly on an external growth for a period of 20 to 30 seconds.
Although cryosurgery is one of the most preferred techniques, elderly persons are not suitable for this procedure. Most patients undergoing cryotherapy experience blisters, itching and oozing for a short period of time. Precautions are taken to avoid any form of secondary infection. Cryosurgery associated with skin cancers such as basal cell carcinoma, have side effects such as hypo pigmentation and hyper pigmentation. In some rare cases nerve damages have been reported. Studies indicate that patients who have a history of human papilloma virus infection also prefer cryosurgery for the removal of genital warts.
Mammography involves use of solid-state detectors that aid in detecting early breast cancer in women. These detectors work much like those that are found in digital cameras. The images produced can be stored on a computer. It is essential that women going in for a mammogram do not wear lotions or deodorants on their breasts or underarms. The breast is placed on a special platform and compressed with a paddle so that the tissue is spread out. This aids in examining every bit of breast tissue sans overlapping. There might be slight discomfort when the breast is pressed by the mammogram compression device. Screening mammograms aids in detecting small abnormal tissue growths. A screening mammogram helps in identifying cysts, calcifications and tumors within the breast. Interpretation of the mammogram results can be difficult as there can be inaccurate readings due to breast implants, powder or salve on the breasts. If there are any regions that need special mammogram views, an x-ray marker is taped on the area. In some cases, a diagnostic mammogram is prescribed.
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Bibliography / Reference
Collection of Pages - Last revised Date: November 22, 2019