CUH NHS 75th birthday logo

Loop diathermy aftercare

Patient information A-Z

Name: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Non-urgent advice: Useful numbers

  • Colposcopy co-ordinators: 01223 216603
  • Nurse Colposcopists: 01223 256139 or 01223 216603

The nurse in clinic will have explained the procedure to you and gone through this leaflet. Please read it again when you get home.

The technical term for pre-cancerous cells is cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN).

There are three grades according to the degree of change: the cells that are being looked for following your treatment are described below.

  • CIN1 means that only a third of the cells in the affected area are abnormal.
  • CIN2 means that up to two thirds of the cells in the affected area are abnormal.
  • CIN3 means that all of the cells in the affected area are abnormal.

If any biopsies have previously been taken they will have shown which grade of CIN is present.

The specimen removed today will be sent to the laboratory for assessment and to make sure all the affected area has been removed.

Only very rarely will a biopsy or treatment show cell changes that have already developed into cancer.

Surgery and more extensive treatments are generally used to treat cervical cancer.

Other relevant information

95 per cent of women never need any further treatment.

CIN appears to be related to sexual intercourse. There is also a link with the human papilloma (wart) virus.

Women who smoke are known to be at much greater risk of developing CIN than non-smokers. If you have an abnormal cervical sample and smoke, we can refer you to CamQuit.

Loop treatment (LLETZ) has shown to be associated with a small increased risk of pre-term delivery and low birth weight in subsequent pregnancies. However, this very small risk is more than outweighed by the benefits of removing the abnormal cells from your cervix which if left untreated are at risk of developing into cancer in the future.

If you have any concerns regarding this please discuss them with your colposcopist.


You will have a blood stained discharge for approximately three to four weeks. Please use pads not tampons until the discharge has stopped. You may have bleeding today and at any time during the next three to four weeks, especially around the seventh to twelfth day when pieces of scab may be shed. If your period is not due and the bleeding becomes heavier than a normal period you should telephone: 

Clinic 24 on 01223 217636

  • Monday to Friday 08:00 to 20:00
  • Weekends 08:30 to 14:00
  • Closed bank holidays


Daphne ward on 01223 349755 – at all other times

Avoid heavy lifting for at least 24 to 48 hours after treatment if possible. Other normal activities including light exercise may continue.

If for any reason the discharge becomes foul smelling, please contact your GP.

You should not have intercourse for four weeks. This is to prevent infection and further bleeding. Abdominal pain is not usually a problem when the local anaesthetic wears off. Your normal painkillers may be taken if necessary.

Please try and rest, it is not unusual to feel tired, low and tearful for a few days.

If you would like to speak to the nurse colposcopist you are very welcome to telephone Monday to Friday between 12:45 and 15:00 on 01223 216603.

There is a risk of heavy bleeding following the treatment. In view of this we usually advise that you avoid going abroad within four weeks following treatment. There are no known health grounds for avoiding travel following treatment however, medical attention for complications arising from the treatment may not be covered by insurance and you are advised not to go swimming for at least two weeks.

You may experience a temporary change in your menstrual pattern following a loop diathermy treatment.

You may also find the website Jo’s Trust helpful. They have a section on LLETZ treatment, what to expect and aftercare.

Follow up

A letter will be sent with your results and follow up arrangements. You should receive this within approximately four weeks.

If you have not received the expected letter or appointment after four weeks please telephone the colposcopy coordinators on: 01223 216603. Results will not be given over the phone.

If you are unable for any reason to come on the appointment date given it is absolutely essential that you telephone the clerical co-ordinator on: 01223 216603, 8:00 until 10:00 Monday to Friday. If you do not contact us the appointment is wasted and another patient is denied the opportunity of attending.

Please telephone if your name, address or GP have changed since your last visit.

Useful websites

We are smoke-free

Smoking is not allowed anywhere on the hospital campus. For advice and support in quitting, contact your GP or the free NHS stop smoking helpline on 0800 169 0 169.

Other formats

Help accessing this information in other formats is available. To find out more about the services we provide, please visit our patient information help page (see link below) or telephone 01223 256998.

Contact us

Cambridge University Hospitals
NHS Foundation Trust
Hills Road, Cambridge

Telephone +44 (0)1223 245151