Thursday, October 7, 2010

LEEP Procedure Update

{TMI Warning: This post contains a picture of the piece of my cervix that was removed during the LEEP procedure today. Collin says no one wants to see this.  I say, yes they do. It's in the name of education! And then I reminded him that people liked reading about the time I chapped my ass.  Okay, so maybe you didn't *like* it....but, whatever, anyway, consider yourself warned.}

As I knelt down to give Keaton a kiss goodbye I thought "I'm doing this for you."

Then I walked to the center of the kitchen where my mom was holding Hutton, leaned down and kissed his cheek and thought "I'm doing this for you."

In the car my eyes welled up with tears and I asked Collin, "what if this makes me loose a baby?"  "What if I get cervical cancer?" He tried to comfort me by saying neither were going to happen, which only slightly helped.  So I turned up the radio and tried to thump the nasty thoughts out of my mind.


After being escorted into Procedure Room B the nurse took my blood pressure and asked if I had any questions.  In the reading I've done it has only said that electric currents are passed through a wire loop to remove the abnormal cells.  I thought that meant that in essence the cells were being burned off.  That was incorrect.  The wire loop instead acts as a scalpel, actually cutting off and removing the part of your cervix with the abnormal cells. She told me to think of my cervix as a donut, they were basically going to remove a piece of the top layer.  She then showed me a little cup and said, it will be small enough to float in here. And of course, I asked if I could take a picture.

There are a few other procedures that can be used to treat the abnormal cells but because my results were CIN 3 - severe dysplasia they needed to actually remove the tissue. The good news is because we have actually removed it hopefully the abnormal cells won't come back.  Obviously nothing is for sure.

When the doctor came in the room he explained everything to me again.  The abnormal pap that led to the biopsy, the biopsy results that led to this.  He said because the biopsy came back reporting severe dysplasia I had to do this, I had to have these cells removed, there was no choice.

We talked at length about future pregnancies, about the risks from this procedure and he basically said that assuming all heals okay we could start trying again in about a month (we have no intentions of actually doing that, but the point is we don't have to wait for some certain amount of time).  From what I understand this procedure doesn't necessarily increase my risks of having an early (first trimester) miscarriage, but it could increase the risk of having a miscarriage in the fourth or fifth month.  I asked if there was anything I could do during the pregnancy to prevent this and he basically said no.  They could check the cervix with an ultrasound one day, all could look fine, and it could decide to open the next.

His advice to me, which is the same piece of advice my old boss used to always tell me, was not to worry about what I can't control.

Of course you know I'm still going to worry.


After my feet were in the stirrups, the speculum inserted, and my cervix locked in place he used local anesthesia to numb the area.  Before the loop was inserted he told me "now it is very important once this is inserted not to move because I've only numbed the area that will be removed."  With that I took a deep breath and froze.  Hell if I was going to even let that breath out, worried any slight twinge might cause the loop to knick a part of my un-numbed cervix.

Within, I don't know, seconds? he said "okay, we're done." And they lifted the plier looking thing that held a piece of my cervix up for me to see:

With that my doc said "wait, she wants a picture!"

(I have to be honest with you, the piece of tissue was larger than both Collin and I were expecting.)

After the removal was complete he cauterized the area.  This was done for two purposes: 1) To burn off any remaining abnormal cells that they might have missed around the outside edges and 2) to prevent/stop heavy bleeding. 

This was the worst part of the procedure to me. It wasn't necessarily painful, but it felt funny, I had some cramping, and it felt like it took awhile (though in actuality the whole thing only took 5-10 minutes).  I didn't realize it at the time but Collin also said that the machine was pretty loud. 


The nurse that brought me to the room and answered my initial questions suggested I take ibuprofen right away, before the doctor even came in.  So by the time we left it had already kicked in and pain wise I felt better than I did after the biopsy.  That doesn't mean I'm not gimp walking, but it didn't reduce me to tears, like the biopsy.  It probably also helped that Collin was with me.  But... now that I think of it... I did kinda snap at him as we were getting in the car and whimpered "Why can't you just be nice to me?!" when he tried to crack a joke, so maybe I was a little on edge.

Although that whimpering worked to my advantage as Collin took me through the Starbucks drive through for a Pumpkin Spice Latte on the way home - so if you ever have to have a LEEP I'd highly suggest the post-procedure whimper.  I mean, if you like Starbucks.


We're home now and I'm camped out on the couch.  I'm not in unbearable pain but it does feel better to just kinda sit here.  So Mom's outside playing with Keaton, Collin's working on the basement, and Hutt's laying on the couch next to me - everyone is pretty happy!

(Look at the way he is holding his nuk.  I love this kid.)

I go back in four weeks for a follow-up to make sure everything has healed correctly and will have a pap every six months until I have three normal results.


Thank you all for the prayers, emails, phone calls, etc.  I appreciate your support more than I could ever express!



Jill said...

Oh Kate - I'm so thankful that this procedure is over for you. Sounds like it went well and I will continue to pray for normal paps! Keep strong! Love you!

samantha said...

Oh honey so glad it was quick and easy. And seriously, I liked seeing the picture!

Please keep me/us posted. Praying everything turns out well!!

Em said...

Oh thank God. I was so worried about you today. I'm glad you're doing okay for the most part...mostly, I'm glad it's over for you so that you can move on and begin to heal. I have to say, the size of that's bigger than I would've expected, too. I'm thankful your doctor was so helpful and explanatory with everything, though. And he has good advice about not worrying about things you can't control. I know the thought of losing a baby is absolutely TERRIFYING, but don't let your mind go there right now. That won't do anyone any good. One step at a time. Keep us posted on how you're feeling, and I, too, will be praying for normal paps for you! Love you much!

Rachel said...

Sounds like you have a great doctor. I'm glad things went ok. You will remain in our thoughts during the healing. And the 2nd picture totally made up for the first one. Holy cow, that is a cute baby.

CaSondra Shim said...

So glad you are okay and it is done! Praying for fast healing! Yes, it's hard not to worry, but it worrying won't change anything- at least that is what I am learning and try to keep telling myself. Love you.

Gail said...

...I keep re-reading to make sure I understand what happened and that I didn't miss anything. Now that I think I've understood it all, I can say - I'm glad it was a quick and somewhat painless procedure (hopefully still so the day after).

I do have to say that it is a bigger piece than I expected but, I am thankful (too) that your Dr. was a good explainer! And I of course, am praying this is the last one of these deals that you have to endure!

I'm thinking of you, praying for you and wishing you well! :)

Amanda said...

I'm so glad that this part is over and now the healing can begin! Prayers for a quick recovery and that you will be blessed with another baby as soon as you're ready :) Love ya!!!

Unknown said...

I just had leep done wasnt too painful, just really uncomfortable. The monsels solution is now coming out and it smells awful...i phoned my doctor and she said its normal....uggh!! Theres nothing normal about this...any who, i have an appointment on 5-16-16 to make sure everything is healing correctly....wish me luck...

Aimee said...

Came across your very frank and honest post while panicking about this same procedure being done on me tomorrow morning first thing. Thank you. It seems like it will be similar to my biopsy, only with local anesthetic which will be a relief. Good to know to hold still and to whine at the loved one taking me to the appointment for some kind of treat afterward. I'm thinking something pretty spectacular, like Jacek Chocolate, but that might be asking a lot. Thanks again for quenching my fears about tomorrow, but holy dina that was a big piece of cervix in your picture!