How to find out waiting times for endoscopy

Posted , 5 users are following.

Hi all,

I've been having some problems with my bowel (I've got IBS) which has conincided with a lot of back pain (to the point where I am struggling to complete normal day to day activities).

I have been diagnosed with having lordosis and an anterior pelvic tilt, but the physio doesn't think that it is just this that is causing issues (the back pain started when I was having bowel problems & I haven't had issues with my back prior to this). However, I've been given some exercises to do to work on reducing the tilt as obviously this needs to be addressed.

I've had an ultrasound on my abdomen which has come back clear.

I've also been referred to a gynecologist as the back pain could be caused by endometriosis. My consultant is going to refer me for a laparoscopy to check this avenue. He has also said that he thinks that it is possible that the back pain is referred pain from my bowel.

There is a history of bowel disorders in my family, all the women (I'm female) on both sides have had diverticulitis in addition to IBS.

So I have asked my GP to refer me for an endoscopy because this seems the next logical step, in addition to checking that it isn't a gynacological issue.

I have been given a choice of which hospital I want to go to, but I don't mind where I go, I just want to go to the one with the shortest waiting times. 

Does anybody know how I can find the waiting time for this specific procedure to be done?

Also, has anybody else experienced anything similar?

Many Thanks.

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  • Posted

    Hi Moogle.

    I'm assuming you are in the UK. I guess it will depend on your PCT and the urgency that your GP ascribes to your case but with a family history of inflammation in the bowel one would hope they think it is.

    In my experience it's better to opt for an NHS hospital rather than go as an NHS patient in a private hospital under the choose and book scheme. In the latter you will have to see the consultant first and then if they deem an endoscopy necessary they have to compete for theatre time with other doctors. I went via that route once and the whole business took three months.

    An NHS hospital will have a dedicated endoscopy department (or mine does anyway). Going via that route, I'd had the endoscopy (colonoscopy) within two weeks of the GP referral, diagnosed and prescribed medication immediately and seen the consultant for a follow up all within a month.

    You could try ringing the endoscopy department of the hospitals within reach and simply asking what the average wait time is between GP referral and procedure. They may just say it's a long as a piece of string as they can't possibly know how many referrals they are going to get in any period but worth asking.

    I can't comment much on the symptoms. I have ulcerative colitis which does not cause me back pain. However, I did have endometriosis and that did cause abdominal and back pain as the sticky adhesions were all over the place gumming up the works. And I'm sure I don't need to tell you that other more serious gynae problems can present with back pain so definitely get that checked.


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  • Posted

    I think it actually depends on the area of the UK you live in (presuming you live in the UK), and also like Limeleaf said on how urgent the consultant thinks it is. 

    Your doctor tor may know how long the various hospital waiting lists are.  My doctor booked an appointment for me to have something done recently and did it via computer and could see how long each waiting list was. 

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  • Posted

    Thanks for the advice.

    My GP doesn't seem to think that its urgent at all. In fact they aren't really treating any of it with a sense of urgency to be honest. 

    Bearing in mind that this has now been going on for about 8 weeks & I've now had to have a month off work, I'm getting very impatient with it all.

    I am seeing my gynacologist on Monday, but he seems to think that my gynae issues are due to referred pain from my stomach. 

    So apart from the physio, nobody really seems to want to deal with the back pain (& the back pain is what I'm taking codeine for all day, every day). I'm doing what I can to manage it myself like doing yoga every day, but I can only do so much without a diagnosis. I'm not sure if they don't seem to be treating it with any urgency because my stomach seems to have settled down. But the stomach issues definately brought on my back probems.

    My doctor didn't seem to know the wating times, she just asked if one hospital (in the UK) would be OK & I know that they generally have quite long waiting times, so I asked if she could also put another 2 on the list that tend to be better. Then for some reason she only put one of the hospitals that I asked for, plus the original one that she suggested.

    I've been given a referral number for the NHS e-referral system so I can deccide myself, but she did say that I have to have a telephone appointment first & that they will ask a lot of questions.

    I will try giving the different hospitals a ring tomorrow to see if I can find out the waiting times.

    Thanks for the advice.

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    • Posted

      It's interesting that you say your stomach issues are brought on by your back problems. Could there be an element of emotional stress involved in this? Have you had a look at the NHS web pages on back pain? I can be caused by so many different things, some simple such as sleeping awkwardly or on an old mattress, being overweight to serious conditions such as ovarian cancer and myeloma. I'm assuming you've had blood tests to rule out the latter. When is your back pain worse? In the mornings? Does the yoga help?

      Wait times are frustrating when you are feeling unwell. Don't assume what you hear about general wait times applies to the whole hospital. Some departments are more overloaded than others.

      I hadn't heard of telephone appointments. It's not something I have come across in my area. It may be a time saving thing for the actual day of an endoscopy. In my local NHS hospital a good 30 minutes is spent with a nurse going over lots of questions and being given lots of information before the actual procedure. Maybe some hospitals have decided to do some of that by phone.

      Good luck and let us know how you get on.

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  • Posted

    Just to let you know, it is possible to have back pain when you have problems such as IBS or other problems in the bowel, this could be why everyone is being vague about your symptoms.
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