Monday, 25 August 2014

An Endometrial Ablation - my experience.

Before I start this blog I would like to offer you a get-out clause.  If you don't want to read personal stuff about me, or about "lady bits" then click away from this page and go and find something else to do, coz this blog might not be for everyone's eyes to read  :)   (Dad, that means you!!)

Now, I am not usually one to share such personal news, but I find when it comes to medical things that no one really likes to talk about, it can often be hard to find information without Googling it and scaring yourself stupid.

Which is EXACTLY what I did!!

So, to skip past the years of misery and endless attempts to put a stop to lady issues that are supposed to occur monthly, but in my case forget to leave, I ended up at the GP's for yet another "please help me" visit, which resulted in a referral to Gynaecology.

Using the "choose & book" system that our area now runs, I could choose between the local hospital and others within a 60 mile or so radius.  The website gave all the stats of how quickly people are seen, processed and sorted.  I decided to go with Hexham hospital which is 40 miles or so away, rather then Carlisle.  But I won't go into hospital politics on here.  It was a bit of a pain doing an 80 mile round trip for each appointment  (4 in total) but totally worth it in the end.

Appointment number one was a rather nice chat with a lady consultant, who decided that having been through lots of other 'treatments' it was now time to try an Endometrial Ablation - basically, they burn away the lining of the womb.

Appointment number two was for a quick peep up the nether regions with a camera and a small biopsy.

My daughter, Shona, came with me to this one, and instead of her waiting in the waiting room, and because we hide nothing (very little) from each other, I invited her into the consultation room with me - not realising that it was actually the room where the procedure would be carried out.   Before she realised, the poor girl was ushered to a chair (at the top end, luckily) and blocked from coming out by a trolley and a nurse.

I smiled at her with a kind of "sorry" smile at her having to sit there while her mother had her bits examined.  Next time I will make her take a book and leave her in the waiting room, she is 20 years old after-all!!

"Would you like a look"  said the nurse as she went to turn the monitor to face me (and Shona).... "Em.. no, thank you"  I replied.

A look at what?  Did I want a look?  No, I think I made the right choice.

So, the camera thing was fine, you could feel it rooting about up there like a space probe on the moon, but not uncomfortable at all, just weird.   But then the nurse got hold of my arm and said "This bit might hurt a bit" and at the same time a searing pain shot through my bits as they cut of a chunk of something.  Apparently they just suck a bit out with a pippette, but you could have fooled me!

I liken it somewhat to getting your ear pierced, you know that jumping pain that is over in a second, but you really are not looking forward to having the second one done?  Like that.

Actually, I don't think it would have been so bad if the warning hadn't been there - I told her so too.

Appointment three was a pre-opp assessment - nothing much to report there.  ECG, Swabs and Blood Tests, nothing painful, nothing remarkable - although I do think that blood extraction needle was barbed.

Question:  How can someone with so many tattoos be so wary of blood test needles?

Appointment four was the operation itself.  I had read all the literature given to me, sounded good, but then I did something REALLY stupid.  I Googled it for reviews.  That Google search very nearly made me cancel the appointment there and then  (this feeling carried on right up to the moment I climbed on the theatre bed).  Of course when you Google reviews which ones do you read?  The negative ones of course - which I did, for ages.  I am not going to go into those reviews, and I suggest, if you are thinking of having this procedure yourself, you do not Google it either. 

So, it was with trepidation that I went into the hospital on Friday morning  (7.45am)  A.M. Leaving the house at with no brew inside me, certainly no food, and not even water.

I got to hospital and was admitted to a little 'bay' with a bed, chair and locker, and got assigned my very own nurse called Ann, who was lovely.

I got given a pair of support stockings  (oooooo, trendy) and some slipper socks so I could walk down the ward without slipping.   Everything and everyone was ticking along like clockwork as first the anaesthetist came in to see me, then the surgeon, then my nurse again.  There was no time to sit and think as it was just Bish Bash Bosh - job's getting done.

Then I saw the bloke who I knew was going to take me to theatre, I thought if I didn't make eye contact he would miss me out.  When he asked if I was "Susan" I shook my head furiously and pointed at Hubster.  He calmly asked if I wanted to go home, I said I did, he shook his head...... and like a child I trotted off, in my slipper socks and doubled up gown  (to hide the bum), behind him, towards theatre.

The second you walk in the theatre doors your 'person' kind of leaves your body as you get twisted and turned and tourniqued and arm-banded, almost like a well choreographed dance, you just get swept along with it all.  Everyone has a job, and everyone knows what to do.

From one side - "Just putting the cuff on",  I turn and nod.
From the other side "Just putting the cannula in",  I turn and nod.
From the bottom end "Just taking your pants off"  (I'd forgotten, sorry.)
From the second side  "This might make you sleeee.........."

I woke up in a panic as the anaesthetic run out and I was going to feel EVERYTHING!
I was yelling, but I could hear myself not making any sense, but in my head I knew if I screeched loud enough they would realise I was awake and put me back to sleep.
A nice nurse said, "It's ok, it's all done, you are back on the ward"

Oh, relief flooded through me, I tried to say something else, so she removed my oxygen mask and I told her I had a puppy at home  ;)   She fed me water and left me to sleep it off.

An hour later I wake up again to tea and toast.  Nambarrie tea - as Hubster took in my tea bags and told them exactly how I like it  (just water, leave the bag in, please).  Brown toast with real butter, for a treat.  Proper mug too, no plastic jobbies at Hexham.


So, I was feeling ok, much better than expected.  This had to be a false sense of security didn't it?   
As I cannot take Co-Codomol or Tramadol pain killers, I knew I was going to have to rely on Paracetamol and Ibuprofen, having asked what pain relief was in my system I was ready for it to wear off and hit me like a steam train.  But apparently it should have all worked through by then... and I have had nothing since, not even a solitary paracetamol.

I had a bit of cramping on the way home, nothing worse than a regular period pain, which followed on into the evening, still not bad enough to need to take anything for it.  

I feel as right as rain today, apart from being very tired, which is the anaesthetic wearing off, no cramping, no pain, still wearing silly support socks, but they are growing on me  :)

As for other details, seems like it might have been a success, and I hope I am not speaking to soon, but so far so good.  I was even up and about making a party buffet on Sunday, feeling better than I have in ages.

I have written this as I know a couple of people in the same boat who are considering the same procedure, I wish I had read something "real" on the internet instead of snippets of horror stories then I wouldn't have been quite so nervous.  Right now, at this moment, knowing what I know, I wouldn't hesitate to have it done.

But foresight is a precious gift  :) 

Feel free to ask me any questions either in the comments or privately if you prefer.


  1. Hi. I had this done a couple of years go. Almost exactly as you described.

  2. Well done you brave woman! How long do you have to wear the sexy support socks?

    1. A week was recommended, I lasted 3 days.

  3. From the sound of it, your endoscopy was a lot more comfortable than my recent gastroscopy....except for your painful biopsy cut - l hardly felt that at the other end!
    Glad it went so well...can't believe you were up and about so soon!

  4. I like to be up and about :) One day on the sofa is enough for me to be honest.


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