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.
Heavy menstrual bleeding may happen due to underlying conditions such as hormonal imbalance, uterine polyps and ovarian dysfunction. Menorrhagia is also an inherited disorder as it is associated with blood clotting impairments like Von willebrand's disease. In most cases, endometrial biopsies are done to determine histological overview of the conditions. Many treatment options are suggested depending upon the age, lifestyle and medical history of the patient. Among many prophylactic measures, endometrial ablation or uterus ablation is increasingly becoming the most preferred method.
The inner layer of the uterus called as the endometrium is removed using the diathermy electrode. The patient is subjected to general anesthesia during the procedure. Careful examination of the uterine wall is done to identify any underlying uterine disorders. The electrode is 4mm and it helps in cutting of the endometrium. In addition to this, the myometrium is also destroyed to eliminate the underlying endometrial basal cells.
The basal cells of the endometrium are also called basalis. They enable the multiplication and thickening of the endometrium forming the superficial layer of the endometrium which is shed out. The walls of the uterus are examined for bleeding points and then the patient is sent to the recovery room. Other modern techniques such as the administration of microwave endometrial ablation, cryoablation, diode laser phototherapy are considered.
Endometrial ablation is not advisable for patients who might be in early pregnancy, have a history of uterine cancer and menopause. Women who undergo endometrial ablation have a chance of conception; however there is a possibility of miscarriage. This happens because the uterine lining has been removed.
Endometrial ablation is also recommended as an alternative to hysterectomy. Endometrial ablation is also done on an outpatient basis with a given recovery time. The results of the endometrial ablation treatment include absence of menstrual bleeding. In some cases, there is a possibility of reduced bleeding. Consult a doctor in the case of spotting to identify the emergence of conditions such as fibroids or polyps of the uterus. Endometrial ablation procedure is widely administered among women in the age group of 30 to 45.
Endometrial Resection : The Loop Electrosurgical Excision Procedure(LEEP) is used to destroy the uterine lining. The use of LEEP is faster and provides faster recovery than any comparable surgical procedure.
Complications of Endometrial Ablation
The most significant complication is perforation caused to the uterus. In these cases laparoscopy is done. Other possibilities include perforations to organs such as the bladder, blood vessels and the organs in pelvic region.
The fluid absorption during the endometrial ablation procedure may result in the lowering of blood salt levels causing damage to the lungs and brain. In post-operative cases, vaginal bleeding is common for a few days. However, if the discharge or bleeding from the vagina is associated with foul smell, infections of the uterus are suspected. Women who have undergone the endometrial ablation procedure are generally advised to take progestogens which help in reducing the risk of uterine cancers. Sexual intercourse is advised only after two weeks to prevent vaginal bleeding or pain.
An inflammation of the cervix mainly due to an infection is Cervicitis. The infected cells of the cervix become irritated and may become red, swollen and ooze mucus and pus. They could bleed easily when touched. The most important cause of Cervicitis is sexually transmitted disease although many women do not test positive for any type of infection though contracted with Cervicitis.
Symptoms of Cervicitis
Many women do not exhibit any symptoms and if tested may be positive for Cervicitis. If present, the signs and symptoms include:
Serious symptoms might indicate a life-threatening condition and immediate medical care should be sought. If Cervicitis is suspected during pregnancy, there could be life-threatening symptoms including - high fever, severe nausea and vomiting and severe pelvic pain.
Causes of Cervicitis
Cervicitis is most often caused by an infection caught during sexual activity. Some sexually transmitted diseases include gonorrhea, Chlamydia, Herpes Virus and Trichomoniasis. Other possible causes for Cervicitis are:
When the vagina is overwhelmed by unhealthy and harmful bacteria, it can cause Cervicitis. Hormonal imbalance with relatively low estrogen or high progesterone may interfere with the body's ability to maintain healthy cervical tissue. Cancer treatment and radiation therapy can also cause Cervicitis.
A doctor first gets a closer look at the cervix when Cervicitis is suspected. Then the doctor will swab the cervix, collect vaginal fluid and see how it bleeds. The patient's sexual history is noted. A routine examination of the cervix is conducted if you are pregnant or the doctor thinks that there is high risk for sexually transmitted disease like gonorrhea or Chlamydia. Inspection of the discharge under a microscope may show Trichomoniasis or Bacterial Vaginosis. Pap smear is also done. Rarely, colposcopy and biopsy of the cervix is necessary to rule out cancer.
Reducing risk of Cervicitis
You can reduce or lower the risk of Cervicitis by:
If sexually transmitted infection is not the cause, then you do not need treatment for Cervicitis. If an infection is suspected, the main goal would be to eliminate the infection and prevent it from spreading to the uterus and fallopian tubes, in case of pregnancy.
In case of bacterial infections such as Chlamydia, Gonorrhea and others, antibiotics are used for treatment. Antiviral drugs may be used to treat herpes infections. Hormonal therapy with estrogen and progesterone may be used in women who have reached menopause. When such treatments fail, and Cervicitis is still present for a long time, then cryosurgery, electro cauterization and laser therapy are adopted.
The doctor would prescribe the line of treatment depending upon the cause of infection. The doctor may advice antibiotics, antifungal medications and antiviral medications. The doctor may also recommend treating the partner to rule out chances of infection again. It is recommended to avoid sexual contact till the partner has finished treatment.
If medications such as Antibiotics do not work in some cases, there are other options available recently:
Loop Electro surgical Excision Procedure (LEEP)
Cryotherapy, Electrocoagulation or Laser to cauterize the affected tissue.
Tips to prevent Cervicitis
Avoid chemical irritants such as deodorant tampons. When inserting any foreign objects into the vagina, make sure that they are properly placed. Be in a monogamous sexual relationship. Use latex condom every time of sex to lower the risk of getting sexually transmitted infections. A condom must be properly used every time.
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Bibliography / Reference
Collection of Pages - Last revised Date: February 23, 2020