"Endometriosis laparoscopic surgery and after care"

About: Hope Cottage Nepean Hospital

(as the patient),

Earlier this year I attended Nepean Hospital as an outpatient of the UNSW (University of New South Wales) Gynaecological Unit under their lead consultant.

This was my third surgery; first at Nepean Hospital.

I should also mention that I live in regional NSW and was extremely grateful to be able to access Hope Cottage accommodation, which is on the hospital grounds.

During my consultations over a period of a year, I saw no same person twice and never saw the lead consultant. I was given multiple ultrasounds by different people being told there was no evidence of the disease that I had removed twice before, along with being told in one ultrasound that I had a polyp in my uterus and then being told there was potential something in my bowel, but no referral for this to be looked into further.

My surgery went ahead as planned, however, I was given no instructions for after surgery other than you may be discharged or you may be admitted for one night. This surgery also was not done by the lead consultant, they seemed mythical by this point.

I woke up in a ward and was assisted beautifully by the nursing staff who informed me that the doctor had in fact signed off on my discharge. I was perplexed that as I hadn’t seen a doctor since waking, how could they determine I was well enough to travel all the way home? The nurses seemed to agree and encouraged me and my partner to see if there was a room available at Hope Cottage which thankfully there was. I was also disappointed that I had no clue about what had been found during my surgery other than the vague recollection of seeing photos in recovery.

Instead, I had to wait 6 weeks and return to the clinic again, still in significant daily pain, to be told I do have endometriosis, that they had done an excision in the uterus, but that’s about all they can do for me, and that my best option is to commence taking an opioid and seek help from a chronic pain clinic.

I am in my mid-thirties.

I have since sought a second opinion and will be having another surgery in the coming months to have an ablation and investigatory surgery including excision of my bowel and bladder and removal of my fallopian tubes and cystic repair to my ovary, as a CT scan has shown a cyst.

So it would seem there was a lot more that could be done. Instead I was left feeling deflated and crazy.

If you aren’t equipped or don’t have the expertise required to treat endometriosis, please don’t pretend you do!

Please don’t set women suffering up to fail.

I am emotionally exhausted from the last 18 months or more of achieving nothing, taking days off work and away from my loved ones not just for surgery but to attend a clinic that left me feeling hopeless.

Responses

Response from Patient Opinion Australia

The following response has been published by Patient Opinion Australia on behalf of Nepean Hospital:

I am so sorry about your experiences at Nepean Hospital. Please contact the patient representative on 02 4734 3174 and we will thoroughly investigate your complaint.

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