IS SURGERY SAFE FOR PREGNANT WOMEN?

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Have there been any research studies on the necessity and safety of doing loop electrosurgical excision procedures (LEEP) in pregnant women who have severe dysplasia and test positive for human papillomavirus 16 or 18?
—Lane Reed, MD, Dallas

It is best to avoid doing either LEEP or conization of the cervix during pregnancy because of the high likelihood of excessive blood loss with the procedure and potential fetal death. Colposcopy and directed biopsies of abnormal areas of the cervix may be performed, but unless there is a high suspicion that cervical cancer is present, it is best to postpone LEEP or cervical conization until about two months post partum.
—Daniel R. Mishell Jr, MD (111-3)

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