I just wanted to share my LLETZ experience as I hope this may help some of you getting a better idea of what to expect from the treatment. This is a personal account and remember that everybody's experience can be different, but I'll try to be as detailed as possible considering what has happened and how I felt about it.
After discrepancies between smear results (moderate dyskariosis upgraded to severe, and a second one only showing borderline) and smear and biopsies (showing no CIN at all), I was advised by my consultant to undergo LLETZ nevertheless. After a lot of thinking and consulting this website, I have made the final decision to go through with LLETZ. I decided to do it under general anesthetics as I have found the previous colposcopy experience rather traumatizing.
So on the day of the LLETZ I've spent half my day teaching as I couldn't leave my students alone which was probably a good idea as it kept my mind off of what was going to happen. My partner drove me to the hospital for my appointment, where we arrived at 11:45. I had a number of questions for the nurse, specifically regarding how long everything would take (my consultant's secretary who I had rung the previous day was not able to provide me with any information). The nurse I talked to said she did not know how long things would take but in the end she then replied that normally they ask partners to call in to the hospital to see how it went after teatime. Finally some information there.
I was sat in another waiting room then for about 20 minutes until a different nurse came to pick me up. He showed me the beautiful hospital gown, one-size fits all undies and thrombosis socks I had to put on. Also, he asked me to wee in a cup to check for pregnancy. Luckily, I had undergone the pre-treatment tests a few weeks earlier, which saved a bit of time there. Once I was done, I stored my stuff in a locker .
Next up some more waiting in the general waiting area with my partner (luckily I wasn't alone). Finally, my consultant asked to see me. So I went into her office and she explained the whole procedure to me. She was very kind and probably the best thing that happened on the day. She outlined the potential risks (very low risk of infertility, an incompetent cervix and the cervical walls sticking together) and said that one LLETZ treatment should not normally lead to problems with future pregnancies. However, she also made a point that I should start trying for a baby once I'd have the result letter through (typically six weeks) and should not wait for a clear smear. I'll be 32 next week and haven't had a child yet, have experienced a previous miscarriage. My partner wants to wait though. My consultant made quite a strong case and told me about her own experience of waiting way too long and all the resultant complications. Apparently, when ladies over 35 have problems getting pregnant, the NHS won't pay, and treatment costs 6-7k per month. Something to think about.
I was sat back in the general waiting area until my anesthesist came to pick me up so I could have a chat to him. He asked me questions about whether I had GA before, any problems, dentals, etc. He was quite funny and kept making jokes, which put me at ease.
Back to the waiting area. Then, finally, at 14:30 another nurse came to pick me up for treatment. By that time I had spent 3 hours in the hospital. I was brought into the theatre and asked to lay down on a bed. A nurse then attempted to put a needle in my veins, fumbling around and this made me rather anxious, as she did not seem to be able to do it. My poor hand is still blue and swollen two days later but alas everything turned out well. Finally, the nice anesthesist came, asked what had happened to my hand and easily and quickly found the vein. He gave me oxygen and some intravenous stuff to calm the nerves, and then the GA - out I was completely and quickly.
The next thing I remember is waking up in a differen room at 15:50. I was quickly wide awake. Another nurse came who asked me a few questions (I felt fine and wide awake), and I was taken to a different ward. I was told I would have to stay there for 4 hours which seemed very long given that both my consultant and my anesthetist said I should be home by 5pm. So I tried to do my best to get out of the hospital given that I find hospitals generally less comfortable than my own home.
Altogether I was attended to by probably 6 different nurses for the time I was there, all nice and caring. I needed to go to the loo once I had arrived in the different ward and asked the nurse whether I could put my clothes back on. She said yes, so I did - well attempted to - my hand was stuck to a saline solution and I couldn't put my shirt on. So I asked the nurse to help me which she did. Nurses needed to check I was able to go to the loo and had something to eat and drink and then finally, after 6pm, I was allowed to leave. At that stage I had felt nothing but a mild discomfort in the nether regions.
Once home, we ordered a pizza and tried to chill out, but then I experienced throbbing pains and became emotional. I spent the next hours being miserable. A few hours and some paracetamols and ibuprofen later I was feeling a bit better and was able to have some food and a glass of wine. Hadn't lost any blood whatsoever at that stage. The pain can probably be best described as deep pressure pain in your core, like very severe period pain combined with a bad bladder infection. My womb area felt sensitive and swollen and created a lot of pressure so that I felt the need to go for a wee quite a lot.
The next day I felt much better. Still pressure in the nether regions and period type pains, which came in waves. Brownish discharge too, which I think is probably the solution that has been put on the wound for it to heal. Still no blood. I spent most of that first day in bed doing some online shopping and drinking tea.
Day 2 after recovery today - I have been quite lucky I think as I am not experiencing much drowsiness or grogginess from the GA. Period-type pains are still there. Your core is affected and that makes you a bit miserable (I am feeling a bit sorry for myself! :), but medication against pain helps. The pressure is still there, making me go to the loo a lot. I had dehydration before surgery (not allowed to drink anything for more than 6 hours), my ketone levels were really high and I can feel the aftereffects today (with problems going to the loo, etc.).
I am working from home today and will be taking the weekend to relax. No sex, tampons, sports, heavy lifting for 4-6 weeks. Luckily I've got my partner to look after me.
So overall I can tell you that if I were to do it again, I would definitely go with GA. The after-effects of the surgery are not nice, but not completely debilitating either. Persoanlly, I am quite surprised hearing stories of ladies going back to work the day after as I could not have possibly done that. My body needs time to heal and I can feel it. Now the last thing is the wait for the results - 6 weeks. Let's hope I'll have the all clear as a christmas gift...
Happy it's done though and it was not too bad. Ladies, don't worry because having a small treatment like this is better than the possible result if there was no treatment.