Cromer patients benefit from micro technology

A new technique for investigating the lining of the womb is proving to be a great success for patients at Cromer Hospital. Known as an ‘out-patient hysteroscopy’, it uses the latest technology to allow surgeons to ‘see and treat’ patients in a one-stop clinic.

“This new technique is an updated version of a D&C (dilatation and curettage) but is much less painful because the equipment we use is small enough to pass through the cervix without the need for a general anaesthetic,” says consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist Mr Eddie Morris.

“In a straightforward examination, we take a sample of the womb lining and the whole procedure is over in about five minutes. If polyps are discovered, we can remove them at the same time.

“Only around 20 per cent of cases show evidence of cancer and the pictures are so good that we can usually give patients feedback straight away – although it may take up to a week to have the diagnosis confirmed by histology results.”

One of the first 100 patients to take advantage of the new technique is Kirstie Pearce, from Overstrand, who was referred by her GP to investigate very heavy periods.

“I’ve had a D&C before and it completely wiped me out,” she said. “This procedure was so much simpler – I was able to take my two children to school first and it was all over by 11am. I’d been warned to take some ibuprofen before I came in case I suffered from stomach cramps, and I did experience some discomfort afterwards, but no worse that my usual period pains.

“I’ve been very impressed by the staff here at Cromer Hospital. Everyone is so warm and friendly – it was a bit like having a chat with strangers in a café. You can’t help but relax when people go to such trouble to explain everything to you.”

The hysteroscopy clinic is part of a growing list of outpatient and day-procedure services available at Cromer Hospital. The £50,000 cost of the equipment was met by the Sagle Bernstein legacy, enabling patients in North Norfolk to take advantage of the very latest technology.

However, research carried out over the past year has shown that the technique is extremely cost-effective and is less risky for the patient as it does away with the need for a general anaesthetic. So far, 98 per cent of patients at Cromer who have undergone the procedure said they were very happy with the process.

Friday 26th of May 2006 01:00:58 AM