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"Painful hysteroscopy without anaesthetic"

About: University Hospital Of Wales / Gynaecology

(as the patient),

From the information I was sent prior to the hysteroscopy it sounded as if it was not going to be any more uncomfortable than a colposcopy. I had had post menopausal bleeding and a scan showing the endometrial lining was slightly thicker than it should be.

I drove to the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff on my own - this was late summer 2020 so because of Covid there was very little interaction before or during the procedure.

The doctor and nurse were polite but nothing prepared me for the pain I felt. At no time did anyone discuss whether this could be done under a general anaesthetic or offer a general anaesthetic following the scan I had. I had had painful experiences including a fainting episode during IUD insertion and removal many years previously but no one asked me about this. Apparently if they had, or if I had mentioned the problems I experienced having a routine cervical smear then a general anaesthetic may have been considered. Although I acknowledge that I am a higher anaesthetic risk because of my high BMI.

They started the procedure and it was obvious to them that I was in pain so the nurse handed me gas and air and explained how to use it. The pain was already quite bad with the scope inserted, and it felt as if there was air or water being pushed in, I don't know which but it became more and more painful.

The doctor said they needed to take a biopsy, this was excruciatingly painful and the gas and air did not really do anything to alleviate the pain other than make me feel very lightheaded. They wanted to take a bigger biopsy as the doctor said they were not sure they had managed to get a big enough sample but had to stop because of the pain.

I think they wanted me to say to carry on but there was no way I was going to voluntarily go through that pain again. I have had pylonephritis in the past and this was much worse.

The results came back as clear about 3 weeks later, mentioning a polyp. So I believe the biopsy was enough to be able to test it. But I do know now that I could have been offered a general anaesthetic, and probably would have been if anyone had taken an adequate history.


Response from Angela Hughes, Corporate Nursing, Cardiff and Vale University Health Board last month
Angela Hughes
Corporate Nursing,
Cardiff and Vale University Health Board
Submitted on 19/05/2021 at 09:49
Published on Care Opinion at 09:49

I am so sorry to read about your experience LinB. We would welcome the opportunity to speak with you directly.

The Concerns Office is open between the hours of 9am to 5pm (7 days per week). Please call on the following telephone numbers in office hours if you wish to speak with a member of the Concerns Team.

029 218 36318 029 218 36319 029 218 36323 029 218 36340

You can also fill in our Concerns Form, e mail the team at or write to us at Chief Executive, Cardiff and Vale University Health Board, Maes y Coed Road, Llanishen, Cardiff CF14 4HH.

Kind regards


Angela Hughes
Assistant Director of Patient Experience / Cyfarwyddwr Cynorthwyol Profiad y Claf

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