After suffering from vaginal discomfort for three years and being turned away by her GP, Jane Boutwood used her Private Medical Insurance, which she has through her employer, to access our private gynaecology service. Consultant Gynaecologist Mr Rowan Connell carried out her colporrhaphy for vaginal prolapse earlier this year. Read on to learn more about Jane’s experience.
What symptoms were you suffering from?
“About three years ago, I was suffering from discomfort and realised something was not quite as it should be. I went to my GP who didn’t seem too concerned, so I carried on as normal, but it kept getting gradually worse.”
How did you use your PMI cover?
“I work full time as a bank manager in Hastings and fortunately for me, my employers provide Bupa Healthcare! So, I decided to make use of this great service and picked a Consultant and made an appointment at Benenden Hospital.”
What was your patient journey at our hospital like?
“Being very apprehensive about taking the significant decision to have surgery at this stage, I decided to try the alternative option of Physiotherapy at Benenden Hospital. This included pelvic floor exercises, which I still do now. However, when this didn’t improve my symptoms and my quality of life was impacted, I decided to take the big step of the operation – Colporrhaphy for vaginal prolapse.
“I returned for a second consultation with my Consultant Mr Rowan Connell, who talked me through the operation. Mr Connell was easy to get on with, had a great sense of humour and was straight talking, which I prefer, as he was clear about everything that was going to happen.
It was a big ordeal for me as I had never had surgery or a general anaesthetic, but the whole process was simple and I was able to book the pre assessment and the operation at Benenden Hospital.”
“The pre-operative assessments took about 40 minutes and included taking my bloods. I was also given some literature to read which clearly describes what to expect, my hospital stay, what was normal and how to manage my recovery. The nurses at my pre-op were considerate and kind and although I was nervous about having an operation, I felt fully prepared as to what to expect.”
Day of surgery and recovery
“I actually had the operation on a Saturday and was told to come in at lunchtime (but not eat from 7 am) and when I arrived at Benenden Hospital, I was shown to a comfortable large room, with private bathroom and TV. All the nurses were attentive, kind and very reassuring. I was last down for my operation and Mr Connell came to my room and escorted me down to the theatre. There was an anaesthetist, two theatre staff and Mr Connell in the theatre. I remember going to sleep at 4:30pm and waking up in the recovery room about 40 minutes later asking for tea!
“That evening, I enjoyed some supper. The catheter, which I’d had fitted during surgery, stayed in overnight. I was woken up every two hours for a blood pressure check which did not really bother me as I am a light sleeper. The nurses checked in with me regularly and I felt very safe and looked after. I had wraps on my legs to help avoid blood clots forming in my leg and the following day when they were taken off, one leg felt quite numb, which I was advised was caused by the anaesthetic, but it did clear the day after the operation.
“The care at Benenden Hospital was first class, from the nurses to the food - and if you are thinking of having this procedure, do it. I cannot pretend the following weeks were pleasant, but if you follow the guidelines, such as not doing any lifting, after three to four weeks, you’ll feel so much better. I went back to work at week six for mornings, then full-time two weeks later.”
Jane’s advice to other women
“My advice to anyone who is struggling with their health is: do not be embarrassed and in pain and make sure you do your pelvic floor exercises. Go to see one of the Consultants at Benenden Hospital, read all the information and ask questions. The food, my private room and care was all first class and I feel so much better four months on.”
Speak to our experts
We offer a range of private gynaecology treatments in a discreet, comfortable environment where we take the time to listen and understand your specific needs. Contact our Private Patient team by completing our online enquiry form, contacting us via Livechat or by calling 01580 363158.
Published on 24 May 2023