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"Treatment for DCIS"

About: NHS Tayside / East Scotland Breast Screening Centre Ninewells Hospital / Breast Surgery

(as a service user),

I went to my local mobile screening in Blairgowrie in June for my routine mammogram.  I was seen promptly and the radiographer was pleasant and  professional in her approach. Clearly she was busy but didn't at anytime make me feel uncomfortable.  By the nature of the mobile setup I had heard her taking the time to resassure another lady who was clearly much more anxious than me.

As my results were unclear I was refered to the Breast Screening Clinic at Ninewells.  This is a very different set up.  There are two radiographers working together and clearly they have more time to see the patients.  The two ladies initially took more detailed mammograms and then after speaking to the consultant I returned to have a vacuum assisted biopsy. The ladies were brilliant. They literally and metaphorically held my hand through what seemed like a very lengthy and uncomfortable procedure. These ladies were not the exception they seem to be the rule.  When it turned out I needed surgery I had to go back before my operation to have guide wires inserted.  Again the radiographers were brilliant very calm and reassuring and explaining everything that was happening.

I must also say that the rest of the staff in unit were all really great.  The consultant  was excellent and explaining the diagnosis and what the options.  She was also very reassuring me telling me that going for my mammogram had saved my life!

The treatment I required was a combined lumpectomy and breast reduction.

I had a three night stay in hospital.  Through out my stay in the Burns Unit (ward 27 was full) I received brilliant care. The 4 surgeons (2 consultants each with their registrars) who were to be doing the operation all came and spoke to me beforehand to talk things over and as well as the consultant anaesthetist who was very reassuring explaining the process for a general anaesthetic something I had never had before and which I was very anxious about.

The operation went well but later on the day I suffered a haematoma in one breast.  I had been warned that this was a possible complication of the surgery. The nurses in the Unit were calm and reassuring as were the two on call doctors who treated me..  After these doctors had a telephone conversation with Mr Munnoch and discussed options with me, I was given a temporary procedure in my room to relieve the pressure and went to theatre the following morning to complete the procedure.  Pre-op was seen again by the two surgeons as well as the anaesthetist. I'm glad to say there were no further complications and I was discharged having been seen by all three consultants.  It being a weekend, I'm quite sure not all of them should have been at work. 

I have the contact details for specialist nurses and it is very reassuring to meet them in clinics, as an in-patient, as well as being able to phone them up talk to them if something is niggling me. This is a great idea - they are lovely people and so easy to talk to.

I cannot fault the level of care I have received at Ninewells. Everyone I met (Doctors, nurses, radiographers, porters etc), either as an in-patient or at clinics was polite, took time to introduce themselves, explain what they were doing, and generally do what ever necessary to ensure that not only was I physically well cared for but my emotional needs were met.

If I had to grade my treatment/care - 11/10.

I suppose the one area which isn't so great is the food.  However considering the numbers they are catering for it wasn't awful. I wasn't always around to fill out my menus but staff were able to get alternatives if what came wasn't to my liking..  The soup and the sandwiches were good and the breakfast rolls were lovely.  The nurses even got me tea and toast in the middle of night when i needed it.