When Lucy O’Connor suffered complications from a surgery, she turned to King Edward VII’s Hospital to make sure she had the correct treatment that enabled a full recovery.
“I am glad to say that the treatment has been a success and the staff at King Edward’s have been excellent,” she says. “The levels of expertise and nursing care have been first rate.”
Consultant urologist Jeremy Ockrim guided her through the procedures which involved a series of scans to determine what was needed after an earlier hysterectomy to remove fibroids had resulted in a vesicovaginal fistula.
“A vesicovaginal fistula is a hole between the bladder and vagina
which cause constant urinary leakage.” Mr Ockrim explains. “In the developed world it most commonly occurs after hysterectomy but is fortunately rare with only 100 cases per year in the United Kingdom. Surgical repair should only be considered by clinicians with expertise in treating these rare complications, and most cases should be referred to expert centres.”
The scans were followed by an exploratory procedure before a four-hour operation under general anaesthetic in February.
“As a result of the earlier surgery at another hospital, I developed a bladder fistula,” adds Mrs O’Connor, a 54-year-old office manager for a luxury chauffeur company based at Stansted Airport. “Mr Ockrim explained things very clearly so I knew exactly what was happening at all times.
“The scans were followed by a day surgery so he could see what the damage was. That took place at King Edward’s in December when we were in the thick of the COVID pandemic so there were strict restrictions in place with social distancing, face masks and no visitors.”
“Under the difficult circumstances, I thought the staff were excellent.”
Mrs O’Connor, from Essex, who has four children aged 20 to 25, is recovering well and gradually regaining her fitness with walking and a little bit of running and cycling.
“I had to bed rest basically for three months after the operation so, after the initial experience of the hysterectomy going wrong, I was uber cautious with my recovery. But when I returned to see Mr Ockrim in May he said everything was ok and I’ve slowly been getting my life back together,” she adds. “I’m delighted with the outcome and that I can now look forward in good health.”
“I am delighted that we could repair Mrs O’Connor’s fistula and that the urinary leakage has stopped.” Mr Ockrim said, “She can return to normal activities after many stressful months.”
Mr Ockrim is a member of the national specialist centre in complex incontinence, fistula repair and mesh complications and has been chief investigator or co-investigator in 11 studies, has written over 100 peer-reviewed papers and delivered over 100 national and international presentations and invited lectures.
- If you think you have a vesicovaginal fistula or urinary complication and would like further advice, try speaking to your GP. (Don’t have a GP?)
- To discuss your symptoms with Mr Ockrim, you can contact us to book an appointment
- Additionally our Urology Department can provide further information and assistance in managing your symptoms.