My treatment: Prolapse repair

Sometimes a procedure carried out at Spire Harpenden can be very personal. Here, one of our patients shares her story from her diagnosis to treatment for prolapse by Mr Fayyad.

I had symptoms of heaviness ‘down there’, at first it wasn’t interfering with my day to day life very much, but when the symptoms got worse I went to my GP. There was a bit of a delay in seeing a female doctor at the surgery, but after I saw her she wanted to refer me to a gynaecologist.

I did some research and found Mr Fayyad online. He is a specialist in this field and I wanted to see the best, so I rang his secretary to speak to her. She said that I could be referred to Mr Fayyad by my GP, so I asked my GP and saw Mr Fayyad just after Christmas.

I’m a very fit person and hadn’t been to hospital since I was 11 years old, so the prospect of an operation was slightly daunting and I was really nervous. I was welcomed as soon as I arrived by the reception staff in the outpatients department – everyone was kind and reassuring. I felt like I was in good hands and I got a confident feeling from all of them.

Mr Fayyad explained everything, he was very calming and I felt like I was in such good hands. He was reassuring in a really good way.

I was referred for a hysterectomy by my GP, but Mr Fayyad told me that I needed a different procedure as I had a prolapse of the womb, bladder and rectum. He explained everything and used his iPad to show me pictures of what he would do and how it was done. He explained it really well to me and I was delighted that I would only need to be in hospital for two days. He didn’t talk above my head at all, which was one of my concerns about consultants. He spent time with me answering all of my questions, and nothing seemed rushed at all.

When Mr Fayyad was speaking about surgery I was concerned that I wouldn’t be able to go on a family holiday, with my new grandson which had been booked eight months earlier. I told Mr Fayyad and he reassured me that I could still go, and he gave me advice on how to be careful, including not lifting anything heavy (so I couldn’t pick up my grandson). I was so pleased that I was still able to go and enjoy myself. He booked me have the operation soon after I came back.

My surgery was booked for 21 January – he told me then and there at the appointment, I couldn’t believe it.

I got the paperwork through soon afterwards and it explained everything that I needed to do beforehand, and everything was very clear.

I emailed Jo Bedwell, Mr Fayyad’s secretary, with a few other questions before the surgery and she emailed me back both times within a couple of hours with the answers to my questions, which was fantastic. Everything was so immediate and quick.

On the day everything went smoothly.  Mr Fayyad and the anaesthetist came to see me before the operation.This really put my mind at rest; I knew that he knew everything and that I was in good hands.

Mr Fayyad explained that his father was unwell and that he would be flying to see him on the Saturday. I was so grateful to him for still taking the time to carry out my operation rather than postponing it – he really puts care first.

I mentioned to the anaesthetist that I sometimes suffer from acid reflux when I lie down, as I was concerned that this could happen in the operation.  She took this on board and gave me some medication to ensure that this wouldn’t happen while I was in theatre, which really put my mind at rest.

Things moved very swiftly – I was walked to theatre by Cameron, who was so nice and cheerful, and he explained that everything was in hand and ready for me.  My husband walked down to the theatre doors and then I went in.

Everyone in theatre made me feel safe and reassured. I was told I would feel a buzzing sensation in my hand, which I did, and the next thing I knew I was coming round in recovery. I couldn’t believe it was all over and I was very drowsy – I kept going in and out of consciousness.

When I was back on the ward the lovely nursing staff were checking up on me.  They called my husband, and when I came around properly he was there by my side.

The nursing staff were so caring – they kept reassuring me that everything was fine.  They explained that there was a pack in my vagina, and that they would take it out the following day. I was wearing stockings to ensure that I didn’t get any clots as well as vibrating pads on my legs, which was all explained to me.

My recovery went fine, in the evening everything that I needed was brought to me. I was totally pain free which was unbelievable – Mr Fayyad said that I must have a high pain threshold! Everything was explained to me as a patient, they told me everything that they were doing and explained why. As I wasn’t in much pain I asked to only have paracetamol rather than any other pain killers, and I was totally involved in the decision making. It was completely up to me, they just noted what I had taken and checked that I didn’t need anything else.

I felt slightly nauseous that evening and was given some anti-sickness medication to ease my symptoms and they passed.

By the night time I wasn’t very sleepy, and propped myself up and was reading a book bought for me by my daughter. I asked the nurse if she thought I should sleep and she said I could do what I felt was right. The light was right next to me, so I was able to control this, and as I was in a private room I wasn’t disturbing anyone. I was really pleased that the nurses didn’t just come in and do things, everything was explained to me.

My breakfast the next morning was very nice, I had hot eggs and it was like being in a hotel. The nurse later removed my bandage pack and she was there with me when I got out of bed and helped me to the en-suite bathroom.  I was getting quite nervous about the catheter being taken out, but the nurses were very relaxed and calming, telling me not to worry when I wasn’t able to pass urine straight away.

Mr Fayyad visited me the following day to explain that the operation had gone really well. He also told me that he had found endometriosis during the operation. He explained what this was, and that it had meant that the operation had taken a bit longer than expected as he has needed to “unstick” my ovaries during the operation. I had never had any symptoms from the endometriosis but Mr Fayyad booked me an appointment with the radiology department at Spire Harpenden just to check that everything is alright. He assured me that it didn’t look too thick and that he wasn’t concerned.

I was discharged the next day, just as was planned, and did everything I was advised to do at home. I called the ward a couple of times with questions, and they answered my questions straight away, so I was much less concerned.  They told me that although I didn’t need to worry, if I wanted to come in they would be very happy to check me over, which was really reassuring.

I emailed Jo Bedwell, Mr Fayyad’s secretary, to thank her and Mr Fayyad and to ask a question and she replied straight away.

I feel so super well, I have to keep reminding myself not to lift anything heavy, but can have my grandson on my lap. I’m just a bit sore, but not in huge pain and am free of prolapse symptoms, which is amazing. I can go for short walks and feel really well.  Everyone says how well I look and I feel just great.

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