"Painful hysteroscopy"

About: Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital (Wonford) / Gynaecology

(as the patient),

I had an outpatient hysterocopy after a scan and before a hysterectomy after which cancer was detected in the lab. I experienced severe cramps like labour pains and had tears running down my cheeks. Yet the doc wrote that I had mild discomfort tolerated by the patient. I was not looked after afterwards until I broke down in the cafe with my husband. He went and found help and them they were lovely.

Why is there no sedation offered, no pain relief. It was a horrible experience and the nurses did not help me afterwards. I suppose I was trying to be brave but I will not forget trying to get dressed behind the curtain with my hands shaking and the blood suddenly gushing and the nurses chatting away to themselves.

I have only just heard of this site and I want the NHS to know that there are women for whom hysteroscopy is a barbaric procedure and not to put the collective head in the sand over this. This is a shortened version of what happened.

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Response from Patient Experience Lead, Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust

We are very sorry to hear of the distress caused during your experience and would like to discuss your feedback in more detail with you.

We are pleased to note that once staff were aware that you were upset, comfort was provided to you but we very much regret that you found the rest of the experience to be so upsetting. As we only have limited details, we are not able to fully investigate your concerns but wish to assure you that they have been shared with the staff groups involved in the procedure.

The clinic confirms that pain relief can be offered in advance of the procedure but without being able to refer to your notes or speak with the staff caring for you, we are unable to comment on the details of your experience. If you feel able to discuss this further, we would very much like to hear from you and ask that you contact our PALS department. Once again, we are very sorry that you did not feel cared for, and for the distress this caused.

Update posted by Aliceb (the patient)

I was not aware of any pain relief offered, I don't know what it would have been. Paracetamol would not have done anything.

I'm not sure if I want to contact PALS as if I talk about it too much I get retraumatised. I did send a note in to the hospital a few months later but although I had a v kind phone call about other issues I never heard anything about this.

But I think the point is that the NHS overall needs to accept that this procedure is absolutely horrible for a significant number of patients and despite the cost needs to bring pain relief and sedation in line with other endoscopy procedures.