AFTERCARE following a LLETZ (loop diathermy)
A LLETZ (Large Loop Excision of the Transformation Zone) procedure is most commonly performed to remove abnormal cells from the cervix. Most women feel fine after having an abnormal smear treated, but a few may feel the need to go home and rest. Either way, it is recommended you don’t plan to do anything else that day.
You may have some period type pains for the rest of the day once the anaesthetic has worn off, and it seems that having pain seems to be more likely in women who haven’t had children. You may take your normal painkillers or paracetamol.
You should expect to have some bleeding or discharge after this procedure, sometimes up to 3-4 weeks, with the amount varying depending partly on the type of treatment you have had. Some women have none. The bleeding may stop after a few days but start again 10-14 days later. This is the scab coming away and nothing to worry about. It will stop eventually.
You may also notice that your next period may be slightly heavier than normal, and again, this is nothing to worry about. If you are on the pill, I recommend that you take the pill back to back for a couple of months to avoid the heavier period if you so wish. This is safe to do.
If you start to bleed very heavily, you should either go to A&E or contact your treating hospital who will contact me or my deputy for advice.
Infection can occur occasionally, but to minimize this, do not use tampons or have sex for four weeks after the procedure. Heavy exercise is also not recommended for three weeks.
If you develop an infection (pain, high temperature, unpleasant smell and/or generally feeling unwell) you will need to return to see me or see your GP who may prescribe you antibiotics. If you are unsure, you can ring your private hospital for advice.
I will write to you with the result of the treatment and tell you what follow-up is required. It will be dependent upon the results of the LLETZ, but usually involves a repeat smear at six months. This sample will also be screened for the high risk strains of the HPV virus, the results of which will determine your continuing follow-up. You should ring my secretary if you have not had your results in 3 weeks.
Nitu Bajekal Nov 2013