Life-changing surgical technique praised by women

A surgical technique pioneered in primary care in Bradford, which can reduce the need for women to have a hysterectomy, has clocked up over seven years of life-changing outcomes.

The procedure, known as Novasure endometrial ablation, is carried out on the NHS at Bradford’s Westwood Park Diagnostic and Treatment Centre, which was the first place in the country to do it as an outpatient procedure under local anaesthetic outside of a hospital setting.

Almost 200 women have been treated using the technique and it continues to be praised by patients for the dramatic difference it makes to many of their lives.

The Bradford, Airedale, Wharfedale and Craven clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) commission the service which is carried out in a primary care setting, meaning women do not have to travel to hospital and are able to leave just an hour after surgery.

Endometrial ablation is used to treat women who experience abnormally heavy menstrual periods and involves the surgical removal of the lining of the womb.

Treatment takes about 90 seconds and requires local anaesthetic. In the latest survey of women who had the surgery, the vast majority said their symptoms had gone completely or improved significantly, and they would recommend it to a friend.

Comments such as: “I have got my life back”, “best thing I have ever done” and “amazing procedure” reflect the difference the procedure has made to women’s lives.

Dr Anne Connolly, the CCGs’ clinical specialty lead for maternity, women’s and sexual health, said the results continued to show the success of the procedure.

“I’m delighted that Bradford’s still leading the way in delivering a procedure which can literally be life-changing for women who suffer from very heavy periods,” said Anne. “It can also reduce the need for women to have a hysterectomy – which is more cost efficient for the NHS and means patients can get back to work much sooner, without the recovery time needed for major surgery.

“Our local CCGs are committed to continuing this service which is available for any women in England to access, as it’s on the Choose and Book system.”

Novasure is part of the hysteroscopy service available to women in Bradford which means they have faster access to a range of gynaecological treatments and investigations.

The service is run by Dr Connolly, who is also a Bradford GP, and nurse hysteroscopist, Sister Helen Ludkin, working in partnership with Professor Sian Jones, consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist, from Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Prof Jones added: “Our results continue to be very encouraging; we have short waiting times and recovery is very quick for most women. The procedure is not suitable for everyone with this problem but for the majority of women it really works and can make a huge difference to their lives.

“And for those women who choose not to have the procedure under local anaesthetic, they can still have it done under general anaesthetic at the hospital.”