advice needed

Hiya. I'm new to this site. Recently had my colposcopy and they have found CIN 3 abnormalities. I've received my appointment to have my loop excision. My question is, can I request to have it under a general anesthetic instead of a local as I'm absolutely terrified. The biopsy and anesthetic for that hurt me very much and I really want to avoid that again if I can. I have a high pain threshold too but for some reason, it hurt a hell of a lot. Thanks in advance and sorry for sounding so pathetic x 

Hi Hazel

I had the same experience as you with the biopsy. My biopsy hurt like hell, so much so my partner heard me shout out from down in the waiting room. I have a condition which means my joints dislocate up to 60 or so times a day and I put them back in myself, so as you can imagine I'm no stranger to pain but that was something else.

After my biopsies (four taken) I bled so heavily I had to go back into the hospital for a new pad from the nurse before I'd even made it to the car, that carried on for around 4-5 days and I had awful cramps and felt a sort of pressure inside me like I had a tampon in that wasn't sat right. It was a horrible few days.

Yes you can choose to have your LLETZ under GA, and I did have mine that way because of my existing health condition meaning it was more suitable than a local. I was glad to have it under GA as the biopsy had been pretty traumatic. However, by the time I had had two pre-assessments, sat in the hospital for five hours on the day, and had 11 attempts to draw blood - I was starting to wish I'd had it done by local and got it over with weeks ago back at the clinic.

I have tricky veins, and spend 45 minutes in anaesthetic while they struggled to put a canula in me. I have now got bruises an both arms where they tried a few times, and in the end they put the canula in the front part of my wrist where you can always see that V shape of veins. They did warn me it would hurt - but holy moses it HURT!! Getting that canula in probably hurt more than the LLETZ ever would have done.

2 days later, I am still recovering from the anaesthetic itself feeling a bit sick and very tired. But I have no pain, no bleeding, and no ill effects from the LLETZ

So all in all, it is definitely worth considering the risks and benefits of BOTH. I'm not surprised you're a little nervous, I was very scared, but to be honest I wish now I could have had it under local.

I would ask your doctor to go over both choices with you and discuss the pros and cons of each before you decide :)

Hi Hazel,

i had my lletz under GA last week. My consultant decided to do it that way because I found the colposcopy tricky! I think he found it tricky too as nerves etc make us tighten up down there.

i had never even had a night in hospital before so I was quite apprehensive. However I went into the prep room , quickly had a needle in my hand and a chat with some lovely nurses, and then the next thing I knew I was awake and it was all over! I was a blubbering wreck when I woke up, cried like a baby, but nobody minded! I then had a strange night where I watched movies on the hospital tv and dozed! I also had a catheter and gauze pack, so glad I wasn't awake for all that being done. Removing them was fun enough! (Not bad really)

I think there are pros and cons to both. GA carries its own risks, and recovery is definitely longer( the hospital gave me a sick note for two weeks!) BUT for me it was much less traumatic, and I honestly feel that my consultant was probably able to do a better job with me out for the count.

best wishes, Molly xxx

my joints also dislocate regularly lol. I have hypermobility syndrome, it was really painfull a long time ago but now it's just the normal thing to happen lol. I've had GA's before and the thought of it doesn't make me bat an eyelid. I definately want the GA and really don't want the LA. My problem is, I have no idea how to go about it. Who do I contact to make the change, can they refuse me? Will it delay my appointment dramatically? sorry to be a pain x 

Hello Hazel,

As has already been said, yes you can ask to have LLETZ under GA. I've had LLETZ twice, with a local and under GA. Although the local was bearable, it wasn't an experience I wanted to repeat as certain elemets stayed with me - the smell of burning flesh for one (but that might just be me).

My GA was strightforward - no canula issues, no cathetar or gauze. I had laser treatment and LLETZ and was home again within a few hours of going to theatre. Yes I felt a bit groggy for a few days after the GA but it was bliss being asleep for it and the whole experience was much less traumatic. 

If you contact the clinic, or better still if you know which consultant you're under, you can speak to the clinic/consultant's secretary and say you'd like to have the LLETZ under GA instead of with a local in the clinic. Hopefully they'll advise from you there and will probably be able to give an idea of how long you'd have to wait. 

All the best x

Similar boats then Hazel, I have Ehlers Danlos. I couldn't have the local because it doesn't work on people with Ehlers Danlos :(

I just told my consultant who did my colposcopy that I am resistant to local, and she sent a letter to the hospital to book me in under a general with a new consultant as it was a different hospital. I guess you just need to do the same really.

Good luck :)

I tried to call the number that is on the top of my appointment letter today to tell them I really want the GA and not the LA. Nobody answered :-/ I'm hoping to god someobody answers tomorrow as my appointment is on Tuesday so really just want to get it sorted before then. I just hate to sound like I'm overreacting because so many women have it done with the LA. The thought of going through the pain that I did with my biopsy again just makes e know in my head that I won't show up for my appointment. I know how important it is so get it sorted before anyone shouts at me for even consdering not going. Desperately just want to be away with the fairies while it's happening

I spend most of my life calling hospitals and doctors, it's pretty common for nobody to answer the phone. You can try ringing the switchboard and asking for different departments such as outpatients, gynaecology etc until you get to somebody who will help. Alternatively, call your consultant's secretary who will be able to help. If you're not sure which consultant you're under, call your GP and ask them - often the GP receptionist can see the referral letter and tell you. Or even just call your GP and ask them to pick it up on your behalf - doctors will answer calls from other doctors.

Just keep calling and be persistent, but remember when you go in on Tuesday you don't HAVE to consent to having it done you can tell them you've decided you'd like the GA instead. Nobody can force you to do it under local. But at least go and speak to them if you're having no luck getting through on the phone x