Treatment for Precancerous Conditions of the Cervix

NYU Langone doctors may use one of several approaches to manage precancerous growths on the cervix, which are also called dysplasia. Removing these growths can prevent cervical cancer from developing.

Loop Electrosurgical Excision Procedure

Your doctor may use a loop electrosurgical excision procedure, also known as LEEP, to manage precancerous growths on the surface or in the canal of the cervix, which connects the vagina and uterus. In this procedure, the doctor inserts into the vagina a thin wire loop carrying a small electrical current that removes the precancerous tissue.

This procedure is usually performed in the doctor’s office with a local anesthetic.

Following the procedure, doctors continue to monitor you using Pap tests to make sure there are no additional precancerous changes.

Conization

Doctors remove a cone-shaped piece of tissue from the cervix in a procedure called conization. They may use conization to remove precancerous tissue high up in the cervical canal, along with a border of surrounding healthy tissue, to help ensure that all of the precancerous cells have been taken out.

During this procedure, doctors use either a scalpel inserted through the vagina or a laser to remove a piece of cervical tissue. Doctors usually perform this type of biopsy in an outpatient surgical center, often with general anesthesia.

Doctors continue to monitor you with Pap tests following the procedure to make sure there are no additional precancerous changes.

Some women treated with loop electrosurgical excision or conization for dysplasia require additional treatment. A hysterectomy—which is the removal of the cervix and uterus—may be recommended.

More Cervical Cancer Resources