"Excruciating pain during hysteroscopy"

About: Royal Derby Hospital / Gynaecology

(as the patient),

I was referred to see the Gynecologist by my GP due to having heavy bleeding at the age of 56. I had had a scan and transvaginal procedure May 2015 that showed a thickening of my womb, but it wasn't until I had had two more heavy periods in June & November 2015 that I was referred.

At the referral appointment I was told that it would be best for me to under go a hysteroscopy to find out what the cause of the heavy bleeding was. I was told that I would need take pain relief an hour before the procedure like ibruprofen, I said I had got some codeine has I had just had a knee replacement 8 weeks ago.

The consultant got me to sign a consent form and said an appointment would be sent in the post for about 4-6 weeks time.

I received the appointment along with a information sheet, it said to take the pain relief one hour before my appointment as I may experience cramp like period pains. After the procedure I would be taken to a rest room where I would be given a cup of tea and would need to rest for 15 to 30 mins before going home (at no point did it say it would be best to have some one with you)

On the day of my appointment I took 1 codeine tablet (30mg) and 1 paracetamol tablet (500mg) an hour before my appointment as recommended. On arriving I was seen by a nurse that did the usual tests BP etc and she asked me if I had taken any pain relief I said yes and she wrote it on my notes. I was then taken through to see the consultant and the person who would be conducting the hysteroscopy. The consultant asked me about my previous history of bleeding and other questions concerning the menopause. I said I had had no symptoms of going through the menopause and she said it would be best to proceed with the hysteroscopy and take a biopsy from the lining of my womb and also to have some blood tests done to check my hormone levels.

I was then taken in to a room where I changed into a hospital gown and was led into the room to have the procedure done. There was a nurse sitting next to my head and she said to take a good deep suck on the gas and air she offered me. The nurses were talking to me about my work as the procedure started but within seconds I couldn't answer because of the pain building. The nurse kept telling me to keep taking the gas and air but the pain got so excruciating I bit the mouth piece of and was screaming in agony. The consultant said they had nearly done and I was doing really well but I just wanted it to stop I felt myself passing out and the nurse kept saying you are o. k you are nearly there but the pain was unbearable I was crying. The consultant withdraw the instrument and said I was just going to feel a bit more pain whilst they took the biopsy, I was just in agony I was completely out of it.

Afterwards I was told to rest for a while and only get up when I felt ready, I just wanted to get up and run out of there as quickly as possible. After I had dressed I was taken back to see the consultant who told me all looked fine and I would be sent the results from the biopsy. I was given the request to have my blood test taken and then the nurse took me to a rest room where she brought me a cup of tea. I drank it quite quickly because to be honest I just wanted to get out of there and go home.

I got to my car and just cried and rang my husband, he couldn't believe what had happened and said he wished he had gone with me. I said to him at no point was it mentioned about having someone with you and to describe it as "cramp like period pains" was the biggest understatement of the century!

I have been through two knee replacements, had a kidney stone four weeks after giving birth to my son, had two children but nothing on this earth was as painful as having the hysteroscopy.

I have since read that some women feel no pain or mild pain and have them for various conditions, perhaps the health service need to look at and understand which group of women really find it excruciating and offer them the chance to have a local if not general anesthetic.

I would just like to had that all of the nursing staff and consultant where lovely, but it didn't take away the trauma I have taken with me from this experience and for two nights following I have woken in the night crying and thinking about it.

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Response from Umar Zamman, Head of Complaints, Derby Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Good Afternoon,

Thank you for taking the time to share your experience and I would like to take this opportunity to offer you my apologies for the upset and distress caused in respect of this matter.

I can confirm that your experience has been shared with the management team for that area. However, if you would like some feedback or to discuss in further detail, in confidence, please contact the Patient Advice & Liaison (PALS) Team on 0800 783 7691.

Kind Regards,


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