"Excellent, I can't say anything else!"

About: Peterborough City Hospital

I took part in the over-60s Bowel Cancer Screening Program in March 2015, the results of which meant that I attended an appointment at PCH to see a member of the Screening team. As my results had been inconclusive, I was offered a colonoscopy the following week. This was also inconclusive, as a stricture in my bowel prevented the camera from seeing more than 10% of my bowel, so a CT scan was needed to see the rest of my bowel. During my failed colonoscopy, 2 biopsies were taken, and I got the results a week later, informing me that there was no sign of cancer but that I had diverticular disease.

A CT scan was arranged for late May, but as I was going on holiday, and, as I did not see an urgent need at this point as I had no signs of feeling ill, I postponed this until my return in early July. Throughout this process, everybody involved was very accommodating and reassuring.

My CT scan results, which I got in September (again postponed by me until after another holiday), showed that the stricture could ultimately narrow to the point where it could become life-threatening, although that may be some years in the future, or it may be sooner, so I elected to have surgery to remove the affected part of my bowel. The scan also showed that one of the diverticular had burst at some point in the past, and that I had had an abscess, of which I had been unaware. Again, I postponed surgery from late November until after Christmas, so on 4th February, I had the operation. Originally, it was planned as keyhole surgery but it was discovered during surgery that I had 2 near-blockages as well as a longstanding perforation, so it was necessary to open me up a bit more to remove a section of my small intestine in addition to a section of my large bowel.

I can only say that the expertise of the surgical team was brilliant and that, as a result of their skill, I did not even need a stoma. The post-operative care which I received was exemplary by all concerned and I can happily report that I now feel like a new man - I did not realise how ill I actually was until now that I am feeling so much better than I have for a very long time.

I was out of hospital only 4 days after my operation and, less than 2 weeks after the operation (I still have my stiches), I am fully mobile, pain-free, and with normal bowel control. I can't thank everybody involved at PCH enough for their professionalism, dedication, care, and expertise.

P.S. The food was varied and good, although I did not have much appetite for it at the time!

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Response from Lesley Crosby, Deputy Chief Nurse, Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Thank you for your lovely comments and I will pass on your comments regarding the food.

I hope that you are continuing to recover

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