There are two types of cells on the cervix, squamous cells (like skin), and glandular cells. The abnormal skin cells on the cervix are known as CIN – Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia, and the abnormal glandular cells are known as Adenocarcinoma insitu. Most abnormalities of the cervix are CIN, and are graded as CIN1, CIN2 and CIN3, depending on the severity. Both conditions are a pre-cancer, not a cancer, but both have the potential to become a cancer in the future. CIN1 is usually managed by close observation, however it is recommended that CIN2, CIN3 and AIS are treated by a Lletz procedure.
A Lletz procedure is performed to diagnose and treat the pre-cancerous cells of the cervix. If the procedure is not performed there is a strong chance that cancer will develop within the following years. LLETZ stands for large loop excision of the transformation zone. This procedure will remove a small segment of the cervix (the lower part of your womb or uterus).
The Lletz procedure is performed under an anaesthetic in our day surgery. The cervix is examined using a special microscope called a colposcope, and a fine wire loop, charged with electricity, is used to shave away the abnormal tissue from the cervix. Because the procedure is so exact, and the loop very thin, very little damage is done to the tissue surrounding the area that is removed. The procedure also allows for the blood vessels surrounding the area to be sealed. The procedure takes approximately fifteen minutes.