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I wanted to post my positive story of having the LLETZ - well as positive as it can be in the circumstance to help alleviate any concerns and worries people might have about the treatment. The sheer thought of someone using a loop with an electrical current going through it to excercise some of my flesh in my mind was the stuff of horror movies leading up to this procedure. I’ve googled everything until the cows cane home in the hope that my worries would float away yet I found myself in this rabbit hole of awful experiences people have had which I do not wish to invalidate as every person is different, and it is a very traumatising treatment to have to experience in any degree but there were only one or two positive experiences I was able to find.
My experience goes a little something like this. I turned up to the colposcopy clinic and was lead into the treatment room where before I even stepped foot in the door I broke down. The lovely nurse colposcopist sat me down and was very reassuring and her assistant equally as lovely and who got me a cup of water. I jumped between rational speech and a million questions to hysterical babble. She showed me my notes from my last colposcopy and showed me where the incision would be made, this gave me the space to ask questions. I then whipped out the whole A4 page of questions I preprepared but I didn’t have it in me to ask them all as I was of the mindset I just wanted to get it over and done with. I agreed with my nurse that I didn’t want to know what she was doing and asked her not to tell me and asked the assistant to talk to me to distract me. They both agreed this was fine and I felt in control as I had informed them as the earliest stage what would help me get through such an invasive procedure where you are feeling all manner of feelings. She explained that there would be 4 anesthetic injections two of which I would probably feel and two of which I wouldn’t because the other anesthetic would start to work so would block the feeling. She also said my legs might shake as there is a small amount of adrenaline in the injection.
The time had come and I was asked to undress from the waste down, the same as last time and sit on the couch, legs in the air in the stirups for the world to see albeit covered in a sheet they provided which is much better than the two sheets of blue role you get at the doctors when you go for a smear test. The nurse and her assistant came round the other side of the curtain once I advised them I was on the couch and covered up with the sheet they provided. The assistant came up to head level and the nurse colposcopist leg level to do her buisness. She explained to me that at first she would use the speculum and carry out the acetic acid test again as with my first colposcopy then the procedure. Even though I had asked not to know what was happening I found myself asking questions when things started happening, again I flipped between hysterics to intelligible conversation asking questions. Both nurses talked to each other and to me, asking about what I do for a living and what I would be doing with my day normally if I was not here. I felt the speculum go in and said it hurt, I don’t think it did and I never have had pain I think I was just being overly sensitive. After a while I felt a small pinch, and I asked what was happening she told me it was the anesthetic. It didn’t hurt at all, and I kind of felt the second one go in but after that I couldn’t feel anything other than a bit of cold every now and then which the colposcopist said was just the anesthetic again it didn’t hurt. She was right though, my leg did start to shake uncontrollably which we all laughted about as it was only one leg! Within seconds she set up her equipment I became hysterical again and she completed the job in less than a minute. I felt nothing, all I could hear was a slight slurping noise which I am told is the smoke from the machine being pulled away and that’s it. I didn’t even have the horrible smell that I have read about on here that some people experience. I was if I am honest very surprised at how quick and painless the whole process was. I have nothing but gratitude for the two wonderful nurses who carried out the procedure and the fact that we have access to such preventative treatment in the UK. I am still terrified waiting for my results but as soon as I had this done, I knew that this was another part of the process complete which, on paper does look absolutely terrifying and feels completely unfair but was absolutely nothing as bad as I thought it would be. I even laughed and cracked a few jokes a one point whilst being in the most vulnerable position I’ve probably ever been in. I had a chance to ask the nurses my questions at the end and was asked to sit in a recovery room where they offered me a hot drink and biscuits.
For anyone scared to go for their LLETZ, or has put this off, whilst I understand we’re all different here, these nurses and doctors are trained and do this on a daily basis and they will go at your pace, please please don’t put it off. And if you are unfortunate to come across a doctor or nurse that isnt reassuring or provide you with adequate information then ask for another. Know you are in control of your treatment. I asked for the same Doctor that I had for my first colposcopy, she wasn’t available so I was then given the nurse who was her assistant which meant I had already met her and she knew my individual circumstances. Which I am completely grateful for.
I hope this helps anyone who is as scared as I was feeling.