Auditing the complications of LLETZ cervical treatment versus cold-coagulation over a one-year period (2017)

Type of publication:
Conference abstract

*Ali N.; *Kandareachichi P.; *Blackmore J.; *Papoutsis D.; *Panikkar J.

BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology; Nov 2017; vol. 124 ; p. 33

Introduction We aim to audit the complication rates of women treated with either LLETZ cervical treatment or cold-coagulation in our colposcopy unit against the standards set out by the NHSCSP guidelines. It is reported that the proportion of treatment associated with primary haemorrhage that requires a haemostatic technique must be less than 5%, and the proportion of cases admitted as inpatients because of treatment complications must be less than 2%. Methods We retrospectively collected data from our electronic colposcopy database for women treated over the time period of August 2015 – July 2016. Hospital notes were retrieved for those who were identified with complications for further data collection. Results We identified 494 patients with LLETZ and 24 patients with cold-coagulation treatment. There were no complications noted after cold-coagulation. There were 12/494 (2.4%) patients who had post-LLETZ bleeding with one patient being admitted as an inpatient for further management (1/518 or 0.2). The bleeding occurred between 2-28 days after treatment, with 42% of women having had treatment under a general anaesthetic mainly due to a large lesion size. The mean age of women with bleeding was 39 years (range: 27-59) with a mean BMI of 26 kg/m2 (range: 17-34). Only one in three women with bleeding required oral antibiotics, and less than 8% of women had a temporary vaginal pack. All women with bleeding were self-referred directly to the colposcopy service without prior GP consultation/examination. Conclusion We are compliant with the NHS-CSP auditable standards with regards to post-treatment complications and inpatient admissions. As very few women actually necessitated further management this puts into question the appropriateness of the initial referral of these women. Areas for improvement therefore involve educating both staff and patients about the possibility of bleeding after excisional treatment and the role of the GP in reviewing these women before onward referral to the colposcopy service.