LLETZ is a common procedure used to remove abnormal cells from the cervix.
What is LLETZ?
LLETZ stands for 'large loop excision of the transformation zone'. In the USA, this procedure is called LEEP or 'loop electrosurgical excision'.
LLETZ is a common procedure for diagnosis and treatment of pre-cancerous cells of the cervix identified during a colposcopy and cervical biopsy. It is a simple and safe way of removing a small part of the cervix that contains abnormal cells.
What happens during LLETZ?
LLETZ usually takes about 10 minutes and is performed under local anaesthetic. If you need to have a large area of tissue removed, or if you are very anxious about the treatment, you may be given general anaesthetic. You may have this treatment at the same time as a colposcopy.
The transformation zone is an area inside the endocervical canal. The exact position of this area varies depending on your age and whether you've had children. For this reason, the transformation zone can't always be seen clearly during a cervical smear. Your consultant can examine the area more closely during a colposcopy. During LLETZ your consultant will cut away the transformation zone using a loop of wire and an electric current. The area will also be sealed at the same time.
Going home after LLETZ
LLETZ is usually performed as a day case treatment meaning you can go home the day of your procedure. You will have some bleeding or discharge for about 4 weeks. To avoid any infection you should not use tampons or have sex until your cervix is totally healed and the bleeding has stopped. Be sure to discuss any concerns you have with your consultant.
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