While we talk about the absolute necessity of certain procedures to ensure wellness and safeguard women’s health, one such procedure is the Loop Electrosurgical Excision Procedure (LEEP). Imagine navigating the aftermath of a LEEP, which is done to treat cervical issues and is minimally invasive. In this blog, we will be discussing the recovery, complications, and when to worry once the procedure has been conducted. One of the most significant points is the moment the scab falls off. But, most of us feel unknown about what happens inside the protective crust. Let us dig deep and learn about: “What happens when the scab falls off after LEEP.”
What is a Scab?
Consider scab, in simpler terms, act as a protective layer that is guarding the healing beneath. Scab is more of dried blood plasma and dead skin cells, which shields new tissue. The new skin is vulnerable to sensitivity, infections, and many other things. By the time the scab falls off after LEEP, the underlying wound has healed and is ready to face the challenges of the external environment. Let us see the significant things to follow after the LEEP.
1. Formation of New Skin
- Once the scab falls, the freshly minted skin is exposed to the external environment.
- Newly formed skin is generally pinkish-red, which is still tender and raw. This can be seen as the early stage towards a complete recovery.
- The newly formed skin is incredibly vulnerable to external infection, sunburn, scars, and irritation.
- We must adhere to extra caution while dealing with it.
- The new skin surfaced after the scab fell off, and LEEP continued to improve as time passed. It may take some weeks or even months to be completely ready.
- During this time, gradual bleeding and changes in the texture of the skin are considered normal.
- One must be vigilant and note down the changes the body can experience as the scab falls off.
- If you are feeling excessive pain, continuous bleeding discharge from the area, and fever, immediately consult a healthcare expert.
LEEP & Why It Is Done
A Loop Electrosurgical Excision Procedure (LEEP) is generally done to diagnose and treat abnormal cervical issues, like abrupt or abnormal growth of tissues. It is done with minimum invasion in the body and is considered an outpatient procedure, which means the patient can go home the same day of the procedure. There are so many reasons why LEEP can be done. Some of them are:
1. To Diagnose Precancerous Changes
- The healthcare professional can recommend you with a LEEP if your Pap results are abnormal. The abnormality can predict the presence of precancerous cells. These are those cells that have the potential to become cancerous as time passes by.
- Under the LEEP, a small sample of tissues is examined under a microscope.
- This biopsy will determine the availability and severity of precancerous changes. The diagnosis will help the healthcare expert design the best treatment course.
2. To Treat Different Cancers
Once the biopsy is successful, the presence and severity of precancerous cells are determined. LEEP can be used to remove the abnormal tissues. This can prevent cancer from developing.
- In some cases, LEEP may be used to determine cervical cancer only in the early stages.
- Once cervical cancer has been determined in an early stage, the LEEP can be used as a potential treatment. We can begin with removing the cancerous tissues.
3. Remove Polyps or Warts
- When talking about polyps are small benign growth that can form on the cervix and vagina and are generally harmless and painless.
- Similarly, genital warts are typically painless but can be extremely uncomfortable and itchy.
- LEEP can be used to remove benign growths from the cervix, which can include warts and polyps.
What Happens When the Scab Falls off After LEEP
The LEEP is a common medical intervention that a healthcare expert can recommend. The procedure can address abnormal cervical cells. Once the scab is formed after the procedure, it can act as a protective layer over the treated area. This phenomenon allows the body a natural healing process. The patient who went through LEEP should be aware of the below-discussed happenings. It will ease their situation.
1. Timing & Changes
- As a part of the natural healing process, the scab must fall off within 1-2 weeks after the procedure.
- Just before the scab falls off, it may increase pink-tinged discharge.
2. Experience Bleeding
- You may experience mild bleeding, which is similar to a light period.
- The bleeding should not last for more than a day or two.
- A mild cramp or discomfort can be experienced once the scab falls off.
- These discomforts are easily managed with over-the-counter pain medicine.
4. Follow Up Appointments
- You need to fix a follow-up appointment with your doctor to discuss any concerns and ensure proper healing.
- This is usually done after 4-6 weeks of the procedure. In case the patient feels discomfort during the healing period, there may be frequent and more than one follow-up appointment.
5. Things Not to Use
After the procedure, one should refrain.
- Using tampons
- Heavy Lifting
Complications of LEEP
We are mainly concerned about: “What Happens When the Scab Falls off After LEEP.” However, one should be aware of the complications that are involved with a simple invasive procedure. Although LEEP is considered a safe and effective outpatient procedure, there are certain complications involved with the surgery. Most of them could be managed, but the patient must be aware of all the complications. Later in this blog, we will describe the scenarios when it becomes necessary to seek help.
Below are some of the complications that can happen after a LEEP.
Generally, bleeding is considered safe, as healing skin is very sensitive, and it can happen due to sudden abrasion. There are two categories of bleeding.
- Mild bleeding can happen with anyone who has gone through the procedure.
- As stated earlier, you can experience light spotting or bleeding, which is similar to a light period.
- This may continue even after a few days of the procedure.
- In case of heavy bleeding, immediately consulting your doctor is recommended.
- By heavy bleeding, we mean if you are using one sanitary pad per hour.
- It can also be identified as continued bleeding for a few days.
- The chances of infection after LEEP are very low, but there is a possibility.
- Some symptoms which can indicate a potential chance of an infection are fever, pain in the abdomen, and abnormal discharge through the vagina.
- In case any of these symptoms are experienced, immediately consult your doctor.
- It mainly depends on the severity of the pain. If you are experiencing pain of normal intensity, it can be managed through over-the-counter pain medications.
- Consult your doctor if you cannot bear the pain even after having a medicine.
4. Cervical Stenosis
- Cervical Stenosis rarely happens during the LEEP. If there is scarring on the cervix, which narrows down the cervical opening, it makes it difficult to conceive a baby or to have a Pap test.
- Cervical Stenosis is a treatable condition, and if you feel anything concerning, talk to your doctor.
5. Preterm Birth
- This can happen in a few cases. The LEEP can weaken the cervix and increase the risk of having a premature baby—a baby who is born before 37 weeks of pregnancy.
You need to consult a doctor if you are trying to conceive a baby during LEEP.
When To Seek Help
LEEP is considered a safe and effective procedure that involves minimal invasion. However, some situations are highly unlikely and require immediate attention.
1. During Excessive Bleeding
- In case of heavy bleeding, which is when you are soaking through more than one sanitary pad per hour,
- You should seek medical attention if you are passing large blood clots.
- Bleeding for more than two days can also be a worrying stage.
2. Severe Pain
- Pain should subside with over-the-counter pain medication. If not, urgently seek help.
- If the intensity of pain keeps on increasing and extends for more than a day, consult a doctor.
3. Other Symptoms
- Some problematic symptoms can be fever lasting more than two days.
- Foul smell vaginal discharge.
- Difficulty in urinating.
Webstory on “What Happens When the Scab Falls off After LEEP”
Through this blog, we have tried to delve into one important aspect, and that is what happens when scabs fall off after LEEP, which stands for the Loop Electrosurgical Excision Procedure. This outpatient procedure normally involves minimal invasion. The procedure is considered safe, and the peeling of the scab after LEEP can be considered a turning point in the recovery journey. We have discussed the complications involved in healing. Most of the complications are easily dealt while some require expert intervention.