Choice of LLETZ under GA or LA offered

Hi there

Just had an call from the consultant who did my colposcopy, and will be doing the LLETZ procedure later this month.

First, I'd like to say that I really like this doctor, she's a proper no-nonsense lady (reminds me of my Yorkshire relatives), with a real interest in her subject (probably a bit of a nerd about it) which I find very comforting.

I think that the main reason she called was because she saw that I had delayed my appointment, and thought that might be because I was very anxious about it. I explained that it was simply because I was going on holiday a week or so after the initially proposed date, and was worried about potential after effects ruining (or in worst case cancelling) my trip.

She then said that if I preferred, she could change the booking to a LLETZ under GA. Stressed that if I was very anxious about it, and would find the whole experience too upsetting, it was perfectly fine to do it that way and that they were not in the business of torturing people!! So that got me to wondering why she's asking this, is it a huge area to remove or something? I think we were talking at slightly crossed purposes by then though - she thinking that the delay may still be related to unconfessed anxieties and me getting paranoid thinking that she maybe had another reason to ask me about GA (is the area so huge it'll be hideous to do it under local??) ....

Anyway, I took a deep breath, and asked her straight

1) is it a very large area then (most people who have had GA recommended seem to be due to large or hard to reach area)

2) did you think I was too nervous at the colposcopy and that makes you concerned as to how I will cope with LLETZ whilst awake?

she said it's not huge, but not small either, perfectly possibly for her to do it under local. Also said I did really well at the colposcopy so she thinks I would be fine, but that it's really up to me.

I think I am actually more scared by the idea of a GA, never had one either so I have no idea how it would affect me, so I decided to stick with the plan for LLETZ under local on the 24th. And the kindest thing of all, she said "look, it's fine to see how you feel on the 24th, if it has been worrying you or if you feel OK about it .... you have an appointment, that's all and that doesn't mean we have to do anything. We can even try on the day and if at any point you're getting really uncomfortable, we can stop and revert to doing it under GA."

Anyone worrying about it, it might make it easier to know that these people are professionals, they know it's scary and so far they have been nothing but kind to me. I do think that I have been lucky with the consultant I've been assigned too :-)

Also interesting to know that the option appears to be there to opt for GA if that is your preference. It seems that you only have to ask.

For anyone who hasn't read my previous posts, the other reason for her concern is that I came into this whole saga with a severe medical phobia, which I did warn the doctor about at the first visit, just in case I went to pieces in her chair. I went for a session of cognitive hypnotherapy before the colposcopy and it was nothing short of amazing - I am now able to attend appointments and remain quite calm, when even walking into a hospital before would have triggered a panic attack. So possibly the other reason for her concern was knowing the history of that, even though I was fine for the colpo/biopsies

I'd be interested to know if anyone else opted for GA and why, and whether there's anyone out there who has had both and what their view on it is

Take care all

Elise

 

Hi

I didn't have my lletz under G/A so I don't no how much help I will be I just wanted to say I had my lletz done at the same time as my first colposcopy because it was so severe the doctor didn't want to leave it any longer then I had a colposcopy on its own last week and the only difference between the 2 was the injections for the local they can be a little uncomfatable but after that you don't feel a thing. If you were ok during your colposcopy with only a local you should be fine with the lletz, it all depends if your more worried about the G/A or the actual lletz xx 

Hi Vicky

Thanks so much for replying :-) It seems that quite a few people find that the LLETZ is not really any worse than the colposcopy.

I didn't actually feel the biopsies at all, none of the 'pinch' that other ladies have described, just the slighly odd sensation of someone touching bits of you that are not normally touched.

It sounds like I have made the right decision to try to go with the local anaesthetic then!

Hope you manage to get yours sorted out soon. I really feel for you, getting hit with all of this on your first smear. I am 44 so had nearly 20 years worth of normal ones before I got dragged onto this merry-go-round!

All the best

Elise

Hi Moggsy I can honestly say in my opinion the lletz was absolutely fine I think the anxiety and waiting is worse, I went in and had my colposcopy and lletz at the same time also for severe cells, it was very deep but the local injections were fine, I had really worried myself up also but the consultant was fantastic and totally put me at ease, like Vicki said after the injections you don't feel anything, I hope it all goes ok for you and you can take someone with you if it makes you feel better xx

Hiya

I did ask the consultant whether she was talking about GA because it was a huge area or something, and she said no, medium sized so no problem for her to do it. If they had to go very deep for yours and you still couldnt feel it, that's pretty encouraging.

If it's not too nosy, one thing I was wondering is when you say you couldn't feel it, do you mean you didn't feel any pain, or literally that you couldn't feel anything? The reason that I ask is that I found the colposcopy not too bad, no pain and not really what I would describe as discomfort, I just found it odd and slightly unpleasant to be able to feel someone touching and pushing bits that no-one normally touches! So probably if you can feel the pressure when they do the LLETZ I will find that part of it a bit gross .....

Better to be prepared and know what to expect though!

many thanks

Elise

Hi Elise - from what I've heard, you're probably better off with LA as GA has a longer recovery time. 

I was quite anxious about mine (LA) but its all over and done with so quickly, that if you can stomach the thought of it, its definitely worth having that rather than being put to sleep and staying in hospital for the whole day.

You can feel the initial pinch of the local, but then after that you don't feel anything, no prodding or pushing, because its all numb. The thought of it is worse than what's physically happening. But it sounds like your therapy really helped you to relax, which is such a brilliant thing. I might look into that myself should I need any further treatment, I have my 6 mth follow up on Monday :)

Thanks for replying jj. That's kind of what I figured as well, also I have no indication of how well my body would deal with GA, having never had one. The other consideration for me is that I am self-employed so no work = no pay. I wouldn't want to lose several days' work due to have a GA unless it was entirely necessary.

It's reassuring to know that you really don't feel anything. I wasnt sure if the local stopped you feeling pain, or stopped you feeling anything at all. I'm pretty glad it's the latter becuase as I explained to my doc (who was so nice and kept checking to make sure I wasnt uncomfortable) the part that grosses me out is feeling someone prodding me inside. It's just such an odd and unaccustomed sensation to feel someone poking your cervix.

I would thoroughly recommend the hypnotherapy. I am still astounded by what it did in one session and listening to a download afterwards. It's weird though, you kind of expect something revelatory or really noticeable when you are 'cured' but it's not like that at all. I was trying to explain it to a friend who has a fear of lizards and the best way I can put it is that afterwards you won't be fascinated by lizards, you won't love them or want to go to look at them, but you'll see one and whereas before you'd be panicking, sweating, wanting to run out of the room, you'll instead just say "oh look, a lizard" and be pretty indifferent to it. My hynotherapist describes it as "neutral" which is a very good way to put it. I am not excitedly running into hospitals, but there is no feeling of dread in the pit of my stomach, or panic when I think about it, it's just .... yeah, neutral. Which is great, because it lets me focus on more useful things, like finding out what it will be like on the day, and reading the helpful advice from all of my lovely fellow forum users.

Best of luck for your follow up,  I'll keep fingers crossed for you that it's all clear. And thanks again for your advice

Elise

Hi Elise,

 

it sounds like you have researched this really thoroughly and have all the information to make the right choice For you  

 

I chose to undergo my lletz under ga and just thought I would share my experience.   I chose ga because it was a large area and frankly I was scared to death!!!!

 

i was very scared of the whole 'going under' process - this was my first time.  But honestly it was easy peasy, painless and I certainly enjoyed being completely unaware of the whole process.  The recovery process from GA is certainly at least a week so like you say is something to factor in.

 

i think your so brave to overcome your fears and get this sorted.  Very very best of luck. 

 

X

Hi Moggsy,

I've had LLETZ with both local anaesthetic and GA and so can share my experience, for what it's worth.

It's certainly bearable with a local and doesn't take long, and hopefully you'll only have to go through it once as most ladies are treated successfully first time. It wasn't painful, just some weird sensations - for example tugging, a strange wave of warmth at one point. The adrenaline they give you made my heart race and legs shake. I felt very wobbly when I left and for the rest of that day, and it took me a few days to get over it. There were a couple of things that stayed with me - the sound of the machine was a bit like a hoover, and the smell of burning flesh affected me for quite a while afterwards. I wished someone had warned me about it so I could've been prepared. It's kind of obvious when you think about what they are doing but that moment of thinking'what's that smell' and then realising what it was did affect me (although of course we're all different). 

I needed LLETZ and laser second time, hence my GA. I was out within seconds and woke up with it being all over, and it was wonderful. I was only in hospital a few hours. I went to theatre in the morning and was home again during the afternoon. I was a bit groggy headed for a few days afterwards (although GA does tend to affect me and everyone is different), and you get the same soreness etc regardless of whether it's a GA or local. 

You aren't out long with GA, but of course it can make you feel groggy for a few days afterwards and you do need to have someone with you for 24 hours afterwards. With local it takes less time. Maybe go with your instinct, and if you're feeling comfortable with local then go for it. There's no right or wrong, the important thing it to make what decision feels right for you. There are a lot of good doctors out there, and it sounds like yours is one of them.

All the best x

These comments have all been really helpful for me too as I've been trying to make the same decision so thank you! I found the colposcopy really uncomfortable and quite painful, even just the speculum going in is difficult and hurts so I'm just not sure if I can do it again! Still not sure what to do though as I'm also self employed so would rather have a quicker recovery time. It's a difficult one! 

Hi Jane and Twilight

Thanks so much for sharing your experiences. It has really helped me to think about what I want to do. I think given that I can't really afford a week off work, I have to give the local a fair crack, though the idea of going to sleep and waking up with it all over is sooo appealing!

I am expecting it to be a bit gross under local I suppose but it is quite comforting to know that the doctor is leaving it to me and will try to treat if I want her to and stop if I want her to. I think it would be a harder choice if she wasn't so kind, and there was a chance that I could be freaking out after 5 mins and she wouldn't listen to me and wouldn't stop (which is pretty close to at least one of the 3 sources of my medical phobia in the first place!)

Lizzie, when are you booked in? Message me if you want and I will let you know how mine goes, if that will help at all. I'm going in on the 24th July (after my return from hols)

Best of luck ladies and please do keep us posted on how it goes for you all

x x Sending hugs and good vibes to you all and thanks again for the advice/info

Hi all

Wanted to post an update as today was LLETZ day and it looks like your invaluable advice on GA will apply to me after all.

Everything was going fine, until the doctor said "I'm going to do the injection now, you'll just feel a little scratch". I was totally cocky about it, because that's what she said for the biopsies as well, and honestly I didn't feel a thing.

OMG they nearly had to pull me down off the ceiling. Twice. Yeah, we had another go, just in case the first one was bad luck. I don't understand it, she says I must have a very sensitive cervix, but I have never felt any pain during smears, or for the biopsies. Generally speaking, I would say my pain threshold is on the high side. I have sat through 2.5hr tattooing sessions, for example.

So I will be having my LLETZ under GA after all. Looks like it's the only way the poor doctor will be able to keep me still enough not to chop off the wrong bit by accident!!