What is the LLETZ procedure?
The removal of abnormal cells, detected on a smear, from the cervix with a heated loop. It’s also called a LEEP procedure.
Why do I need would I need a LLETZ?
Following an abnormal smear test, colposcopy & biopsies, it becomes clear that the abnormal cells present on the cervix aren’t mild and likely to go away by themselves. Therefore, it’s important to have them removed in a simple way before they develop, over the course of several years, into cancer of the cervix.
The procedure itself takes about 10 minutes, and is very straightforward.
How is it performed?
It’s very similar to a coloposcopy.
- You will be asked to lie on the examination bed with your legs supported by stirrups.
- A speculum will be placed like when you have a Pap smear.
- The colposcope – a special kind of microscope – will be set up for viewing the cervical area.
- A staining solution will be applied to your cervix. This highlights the abnormal cells.
- Your cervix is anaesthetised with local anaesthetic. This may be slightly uncomfortable.
- The abnormal cells are then removed by an heated wire loop. This does not hurt.
- The treated area is then sealed using heat to prevent bleeding.
- The removed cells are sent for testing by pathology.
Let us know if you’re having a heavy period | have an infection | are travelling | are getting married | or have an important event in the month after your appointment. We can easily rearrange your appointment for another time.
After the procedure
- You might get a little cramping pain afterwards, although many patients do not. Take paracetamol, ibuprofen or panadeine if you want
- You will get a blood-stained discharge initially. This may be pink, red or brown/black
- It will then become watery and continue for up to four weeks after treatment while healing takes place
- Use panty liners NOT TAMPONS
Seek medical advice from your GP or an emergency department or give us a call if you experience any of the following
- Offensive & smelly vaginal discharge
- Heavy vaginal bleeding up to 14 days after treatment
- Severe abdominal cramps | pain
- Heavy or vigorous exercise for 2 weeks.
- Tampons, until the discharge has settled, usually about 4 weeks.
- Sexual intercourse, until the discharge has settled, usually about 4 weeks.
- Long baths. Short baths are OK.
- We are unable to give the results out over the phone.
- As soon as we get results, a letter will be posted to you with the results & planned follow up.
- A follow-up smear & colposcopy is nearly always required 4 months after treatment.
- This is to make absolutely sure all cells have been removed.
- We’ll automatically book this appointment for you. Call us to change it if it’s inconvenient.
- You will then need a smear every year until you’ve had two negatives. Then you can return to normal screening
Stopping smoking is an important way of reducing chances of the cells coming back. It allows your body’s own defences to fight the pre-cancerous cells. If you smoke we’d strongly advise you to stop.
PEARL obstetrics | gynaecology
The clinic is situated in Attadale Private Hospital, and is easily accessible from South of the river suburbs like Fremantle, Bicton, Applecross, Melville and Mount Pleasant. The Western suburbs of Cottesloe, Mosman Park, Claremont, City Beach and Swanbourne are all within easy reach.