"I have been to the colposcopy ..."

About: Guy's Hospital

(as the patient),

What I liked

I have been to the colposcopy department twice and both times had a biopsy. Each time the nurse (first visit), doctor (second visit) were calming, informative and cheerful. Both times the assisting nurse let me hold her hand during the biopsy and kept me talking to distract me!

I liked the second visit best - the procedure was near painless, quick and efficient. I got straight up and walked the near mile back home.

What could be improved

I did not like the first visit - the biopsy was incredibly painful, there was a ridiculous amount of blood (at the time I assumed this to be normal - having had the second visit I know it is not), the colposcopy nurse took two biopsies when (as the doctor on visit 2 pointed out) I only needed one. After this I could barely stand I felt so faint - very uncharacteristic. It would have helped at this point had I been told that they had made an error - I assume due to not using a long enough speculum (I'm 5'10) - and had messed up the biopsies. On visit 2 the doctor pointed out he had to change to a longer speculum.

I was in quite severe pain for about 30mins after the appointment and the period-pain like ache was still there 48 hours later - as was fairly heavy bleeding... unlike visit 2 - light bleeding for about 12 hours and no pain whatsoever.

Had I been told the first visit was not the norm I would not have been in such a panic about my second. I am still in slight panic about the next one in 6 months just in case I have a repeat.

Also - though it is supposed to be 6-8 weeks till results, I am now in week 10. I phoned up to check re postal strike. I was informed they have not yet received/written up my results - the lady did not know which.

Anything else?

Despite all this, I would definitely recommend the hospital. I'm hoping visit 1 was a fluke.

Overall, the staff were caring and considerate.

Story from NHS Choices

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Response from Guy's Hospital

Without going into too much detail, there are clearly some things we can learn from your experiences, which we will discuss with relevant colleagues. Thank you for taking the time to pass them on, and apologies that your first visit was uncomfortable.

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