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If you’ve been invited for LLETZ treatment, otherwise known as a loop excision, it will usually takes place in a colposcopy clinic. At this clinic you will be asked to lie down, with your legs in stirrups, to allow the clinician to have a closer look at your cervix in more detail with a colposcope. The colposcope is quite simply a pair of binoculars on a stand with a light source attached to it.
The actual treatment itself will only take around five minutes. It shouldn’t be painful, everything that we do is absolutely in your own time, so if anything is too much at any moment its really important that you tell the clinician that’s performing the treatment or the nurse that’s there to support them and you.
When you come in for the treatment to your cervix we will ask you to lie down on the couch with your legs up in stirrups so that we can take a look at the cervix, from the outside in, with the binoculars on a stand.
We are then going to put a speculum in and then were going to put some solutions on. The solutions that we use are acetic acid, which is a medical vinegar, and iodine. The acetic acid allows us to look carefully at the abnormality because those cells absorb it. We are also able to identify the abnormal area with the iodine.
When you have treatment to the cervix we will give you local anaesthetic. The local anaesthetic is injected with a fine needle into the cervix. It might be a bit uncomfortable as it is actually given, but it will very quickly take effect. By giving you local anaesthetic we want to make sure that the treatment is not painful in any way.
So once we’ve given a local anaesthetic we’re going to use a small fine wire loop to remove the cells that are abnormal. Although this happens very quickly it is really important to remember that you’re in control. So if at any point its too uncomfortable, painful, if you feel anything sharp or hot, then you let the clinician or nurse know, and they’ll be able to consider giving you more local anaesthetic or stopping the procedure.
If you’re on your period most clinics would advise you not to come in for the treatment, but I think its really important that you do speak to your individual consultant, clinical, nurse specialist, just to see what their advice would be.
Catherine King- Colposcopy Clinical Nurse Specialist
Published September 2013comments powered by Disqus