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Tess describes her colposcopy and subsequent LLETZ experience:
The gynae treating me explained everything clearly and with some humour as he was obviously trying to calm my nerves. He started with a similar process to the cervical screening but had a sort of glorified binocular/microscope that he could see inside with. This machine doesn't touch you but let's them see clearly any areas that need to be dealt with. He then used acetic acid (this is vinegar which he cracked a couple of jokes about) but it shows up any dodgy areas as white when it's swabbed onto the cervix) and with me he could see an area about 5mm x 7mm which he wanted to remove so he then used what I think was iodine to mark the area clearly. He confirmed there were abnormal cervical cells (precancer) and said he'd prefer to treat them there and then and said he'd cut down to about 1cm as the glands start at 8mm so this way they could test and make sure they have got everything necessary.
Then he put some local anaesthetic in to numb the area - that wasn't the nicest but it wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be and checked if I was numb first before he started cutting away the affected area. It did feel a little uncomfortable despite the local but it was fast and then he quaterized the area (that didn't hurt but smelt a bit as it's your burning flesh!) further saying that it would help with any bleeding from the wound and also be taking it back even further than the 1cm he cut out so he was confident that he had got everything.
Reassuringly he said he wasn't worried about what he could see but he was cutting out more than necessary to be sure. He showed me the area he cut out and I was surprised how big it was - it looked about an inch cubed sort of size.
Then he explained the biopsy results would be back in a couple of weeks and he'd call me with them. He said even if it wasn't clear margins he would want to leave it to the 6 month check up as he was confident that he had caught everything necessary. I came away feeling so relieved and a bit wobbly still from the local so I sat down for 10 mins and had a cuppa while I got a bit more with it.
The nurses were lovely, the gynae couldn't have been nicer and the whole experience was a lot less scary than I had been working myself up to be. It was nothing like as bad as I thought it would be so to all newbies out there, I know it's so easy for me to say, but please try to not scare yourself witless as I have.
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