"Mastectomy day case surgery"

About: James Paget University Hospital / Breast surgery

(as the patient),

I have just recently had a mastectomy and sentinel lymph node biopsy at James Paget hospital, I was booked for afternoon surgery. Before hand I was told that it was planned for me to be in and home again the same day, but if I felt I needed more time I should just say so and I could stay over night. That is my problem. I can't fault the breast clinic, their staff, processes, and the volunteers and everything about it have been terrific. But the day case ward was so different.

When we arrived to book in my husband was told he was to leave straight away. I would have liked to have him stay for a while, mastectomy is a major thing to a woman. I had my surgery at about 2: 30pm and was 'encouraged' very strongly to go home at 8: 00pm. I said I wasn't up to it yet but would they ring my husband for me.

They replied they would ring him when I was ready to be picked up. That felt a little like a bullying technique to get me to go home but I managed to convince them to get him for me. They got me up to go to the toilet where I very nearly passed out, a feeling that went on for some time before the nursing staff decided I should go back and lie down in bed......before I go home!

Again I said that I would like to stay overnight, that I didn't feel well enough to go home, my husband said he thought I should stay, again but again we were told no, that the unit shuts at 10: 00pm. At 9: 30pm I was leaving the ward and heading for home.

In our opinion, I was in no way well enough to leave the hospital. When I was home I almost collapsed and my poor husband had to cope alone. It's not right.

Mastectomy is a major piece of surgery, at least to me it was and that needs to be thought of a bit more. Little things like the fact I didn't even get to see the prosthesis lady so she just had to leave me my softie in my bag while I was in surgery don't help things along.

Now I have softie that isn't the right size for me - which is not her fault but a fault of the system that wants you out of there just too quickly

All in all, my experience has been that the breast unit is fantastic and I can't fault it in any way but I can't say the same for the DCU.

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Response from James Paget University Hospital

Thank you for posting your comments. I am glad your experience of our breast care team was positive, but if you would like to discuss the issues with our day care facility, do please get in touch with our Patient Advice and Liaison Service on 01493 453240. Ann Filby, Head of Communications

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