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Loop diathermy is a treatment designed to remove abnormal cells from the cervix. The 'loop' treatment involves removing the abnormal cells but keeping them intact for laboratory testing. The Loop diathermy procedure takes less than 30 minutes and is performed as an outpatient, under local anaesthetic.
Using a speculum different solutions are applied to the cervix to spotlight the treatment area, the cervix is then desensitised using local anaesthetic. The loop is used to remove the abnormal area for testing in the laboratory and it simultaneously “seals” the area on the cervix to prevent bleeding. Loop diathermy is painless, and after the procedure medicated cream may be offered to prevent loop diathermy infection.
Loop Diathermy Recovery Time
Following loop diathermy treatment the cervix heals in 4 to 6 weeks. Some women will have a blood stained vaginal discharge, sometimes after 7 to 10 days after the treatment a heavier bleed may occur lasting 24 hours to 48 hours.
After the Loop treatment you might feel a cramp-like pain this can be treated with Paracetamol or a similar mild anaesthetic.
To help with recovery after the loop diathermy and to prevent loop diathermy infection you are advised to follow these simple guide lines:
- Use sanitary towels, no tampons and no douches or douching
- No sexual intercourse until advised safe by your Consultant
- Try to avoid straining, heavy lifting, exercise or very strenuous exercise until advised to do so.
After the treatment you can shower or bath as usual, and you might be given a medicated cream to help combat loop diathermy infection.
Loop Diathermy Complications
The following signs are an indication that further Medical Advice should be sought:
- Vaginal discharge that is offensive in smell
- Heavy bleeding requiring new sanitary towels every few hours.
- High temperature
- Pain in the pelvic are that is not relieved by Paracetamol or other mild pain killers
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