Sigmoidoscopy nightmare

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Sigmoidoscopy nightmare.

On March 2nd I had a rigid sigmoidoscopy performed on me at the out patients ward at my local hospital. I found this procedure to be very painful. It was then decided that I would undergo a flexible sigmoidoscopy , and owing to a cancellation I was booked in for the following day .

March 3rd

I checked in to the hospital for a flexible sigmoidoscopy procedure.

(camera on the end of a tube inserted into back passage/bowel) At the pre-op interview, I was informed that the procedure would be carried out with no sedation. This caused me great concern and anxiety, owing to the experience I had endured the day before. I informed the nurse about my concerns relating to this. She then assured me that the flexi-sigmoid would be a lot less painful. The hospital pamphlet I was issued with before the op clearly states that if needed, sedation would be administered.

When I was lying on the operating trolley, just before the start of the op , I mentioned to the consultant about the pain I had endured the previous day. She replied \"oh he's been knocking you about then.\" As the procedure started, I had to put up with inappropriate comments about my first name. When the consultant started to withdraw the sigmoid scope,(from my back passage/bowel ) it became increasingly painful for me. In an attempt to control the pain I started to take deep breaths. Within a few seconds the consultant and the practitioner (O.D.P) were saying out loud \"deep breath push\" referring to giving birth. The consultant then said \" there is nothing coming out of your vagina\" This was followed by loud laughter. At this stage I was feeling dreadful, in excruciating pain that was totally ignored, and being made to be an object of ridicule. The practitioner then said \" only a lot of old rope\" ( referring to the sigmoid scope being withdrawn ) The consultant then said \"old bloke \" The practitioner then said \" old rope from an old bloke\" . I had to endure more disgusting and degrading comments before the op had finished.

This whole episode caused me to suffer a lot of stress. I later reported the matter to the hospital authorities, and an investigation was carried out. A disciplinary procedure took place, however, because of the regulations I was not allowed to know the type of reprimand that they received. All along I had been demanding a face to face apology from both of them.

On the 1st July 2009 a meeting was arranged at the hospital. Those present were: Senior Nurse. - Customer Relations Manager - First line Manager - Consultant/ endoscopist - O.D.P (operating department practitioner) and myself.

The meeting was very disappointing because they would only admit to the less serious allegations ( about my name) and totally denied the rest of it. Because of this denial I have decided to submit this review. I genuinely believe that this could happen again and because this is a very undignified procedure, some people would feel too embarrassed or traumatised to complain.

I have been a patient at this hospital on various occasions and have been impressed with their high standards. So it beggars belief that amongst these good caring professional people, there are individuals who by their disgusting behaviour, are a disgrace to their profession.

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  • Posted

    Hello Lawrence

    How I sympathise, although my experience was nothing like yours. However, throughout my various meetings with consultants and doctors over the past 19 months with this dreadful complaint of achalasia, I have always been alone (I live alone and have always been an independent person) until any meeting after the last gastroscopy when the attendant nurse asked who I took to meetings with me and when I said I went alone she advised to always have a witness there.

    I realised afterwards why she said this, when the doctor lied about giving me a choice of botox, balloon dilation or sugery. I was told what I was to have in no uncertain terms but, of course, could not prove this.

    I know, in your case, you probably would be unable to have a witness there as they were carrying out a procedure but I am surprised the nurses didn't remark on the situation afterwards. When my doctor carried out a balloon dilation (during which he made two errors) without my being sedated, the nurse told me the above after recovery along with the exclamation that the procedure had been barbaric!!

    They are not all dedicated practitioners and your experience must have been so degrading as to call for sackings. But we all know there is no chance of that happening.

    I really feel for you.


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  • Posted

    Hello Jean.

    Thanks for posting a comment on my experience, It does seem that you had a bad time as well concerning consultants etc.

    The point you made about the nurse who was present at my procedure not making a comment about what happened. Unfortunately for me she was not entirely innocent herself, she did laugh at the disgusting remarks that I was subjected to, and made a crude comment. I had originally complained about all three of them. I had a long discussion on the phone with the consultants first line manager, this was because when I phoned the PALS people, I was directed to, by phone to the consultants department first line manager. I had several discussions with her before I made a formal complaint. During one of these discussions the manager assured me that the nurse was in fact very new to her job, and was training. When I thought it over, I came to the conclusion that she was very much dominated by the consultant and the practitioner. and she was the least offensive of the team.

    The point you made about it being a sackable offence, I am sure that if it was a private practice and they were overheard, they would be almost sacked on the spot!

    I must say that I did suffer a lot of stress after this experience, and for some time after, I suffered 'flashbacks. Thankfully I live in a lovely part of the UK and one of my hobbies is cycling, and this helped me to eventually get over it.

    I have checked up your medical problem(achalasia) in the dictionary,

    and would imagine it must be a very unpleasant ailment, made even worse if you have a consultant bullying you. I hope you are in good health now, and once again thanks for your comments.

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  • Posted

    Hello Lawrence

    I have a date of 4 March for Heller's myotomy and fundoplication as a day patient, which has me somewhat worried as I wouldn't imagine this to be a day patient operation. Have to investigate this on Monday when some staff are on duty at the local hospital.

    Trouble is, I no longer have any confidence in this team, which is rather frightening in itself. I do, however, have an initial consultation with the experts up at Newcastle on Tuesday and hope they can offer me early surgery so that I am in a position to cancel the local one.

    Wish me luck, I really feel I need it.


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  • Posted

    Hello Jean,

    Perhaps if you explain your anxieties at the first appointment, then maybe

    they will understand your situation and you will be able, through their channels be able to cancel the other appointment. It seems as though this would be far better than having an appointment with people you distrust.

    I hope everything works out ok.

    regards Lawrence

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