VACO

VULVA AWARENESS CAMPAIGN ORGANISATION

Vulva Biopsy Aftercare Information



Vulval Biopsy Aftercare Information & Advice

 

Written by Patients, for Patients!
 

If you have are going to have a vulva biopsy there are a there quite a few things you can do to make help make this procedure more comfortable for you and help with your healing.

A lot of them are practical tips and which you should find very useful and the list has come from Ladies who have experienced this procedure and what has helped them may also help you. If in any doubt any health concerns, please seek medical advice

 

It can be painful when you have a vulva biopsy especially if you are awake for the procedure, some Ladies are given a general anaesthetic for this procedure and some are give a local one in clinic. This depends on how much your Consultant wishes to remove and how many biopsies they wish to take. A punch biopsy is usually done with a local anaesthetic in the clinic.

 

Whichever you have, knowing what has helped other Ladies will be a great help for you and also a great source of support.

 

If you do  have a local anaesthetic the worse part is the injection to administer the anaesthetic and very few if any ladies are offered numbing gel to apply prior to the injection.

 

I have listed what has helped us all, and if you would like to take a look at The Aftercare Booklet which has been written for vulval surgeries, there are also a lot of tips in this booklet which may also be useful for you. You can access this at the following link.

http://www.vaco.co.uk/aftercarebooklet.htm

If you do not have access to a pc ask the nurse in clinic or a friend to access the website for you where they can print the relevant pages for you or print off the whole of the Aftercare Booklet which has a lot of information on which will aid you in your recovery.

 

We hope the following tips will be useful for you and help your recovery less painful.

If you have been booked in for your biopsies, as opposed to having them done at your clinic appointment as some Ladies do, you will have time to ask for some Instillagel which you can apply about 30 minutes prior to the injection which will numb the area and help prevent any pain when they inject you with the local anaesthetic.  Ask your Consultant about this or the nurse in clinic and do not let them put you off saying “you will not need it”.  Be sure to bathe yourself before the biopsy to remove any Instillagel which may still be on the vulva.

Having injections in you vulva can be quite a painful procedure and is certainly an eye watering one, so anything which makes this experience a lot easier for you is worth doing. Regardless of the fact the injection does only last a few seconds, it will make a difference to you. Only Ladies who have has this done know how painful this can be. You can also speak with your GP or your practise nurse about getting some Instillagel prior to the biopsy.

Take some pain killers beforehand so they will be in your system - the numbness soon wears off and the swelling starts quickly.

Rinsing with tepid water after passing urine and then drying on the cool setting of a hair dryer, or soft swabs, (particularly ones that do not shed lint which can inflame the area) apply a soothing cream afterwards, whichever one you have found that suits you best.

A mixture of Epsom salts and warm water put into a squeezy bottle and used when you need to urinate will soothe the area for you. It also helps soothe the area when it feels irritated. It is also very soothing to put the Epsom Salts in the bath and have a good soak in them as they really do help ease the tenderness.

Also, bathing in a warm tub with baking soda helps.

Dermal lotion is one to be sure to have in for bathing in after the biopsies. This is a really soothing lotion and is dermatologically tested and as yet, none of the Ladies have had a reaction to this, but always do a test area before applying to the whole of the vulva. It is very soothing and you can also add this to the bath water, and use it to bathe with applying this on warm damp soft swabs. It also keep the vulval skin feeling very supple which will be more comfortable for you.

Feme Pads will also help numb your vulva and these can be purchased at Mothercare you just need to pop them in the freezer for approx 45 minutes, then apply the disposable gauze sleeve and place over the vulva. “Do not apply a Feme Pad without the gauze sleeve or you risk getting a freeze burn which will be very painful”. This will numb the area for you so you will not feel any discomfort they are very flexible and soft and contour to the vulva area. They are also useful to apply after the biopsy as keeping the vulva numb will help keep you pain free.

If you have had stitches after your biopsies there are a few things you can do to prevent these feeling uncomfortable.

Have a bath every day which will help keep the edges of the stitches soft so they do not dig in your skin and cause discomfort. If you do not have a bath, use the shower head for a few minutes on a cool and low setting every day, anything higher will aggravate your vulva as you could be sore for up to 2/4  weeks depending on the size of the area removed and the stitches you have in. Always check the temperature of the water to be sure it is not too hot.

           If you can purchase a sitz bath this will be a great help for you to easily bathe after you have passed urine. You are able to purchase them very easily in the USA.  

       I am still trying to find a supplier in the UK for the sitz baths. So please, If  you do come across a supplier in the UK please email me the details so I can pass them on to all the other Ladies.

Thank You

Try not to wear any underwear as the stitches will catch on this and it can be quite painful if you do catch those stitches

Most stitches used on the vulva are dissolving ones, unfortunately they do not always dissolve and they may have to be removed by a district nurse or your practise nurse or sometime in back in clinic.

You can make this procedure a lot less painful if you know in advance when your stitches are being removed.

Have a soak in a warm bath prior to them being removed as this will soften the stitches and make them a lot easier to removed.

You can also apply some Instillagel prior to them being removed, this will numb the area so you should not feel anything when the stitches are removed.  

Try not to wear any underwear as the stitches will catch on it and this can be quite painful.

If you go back to clinic and they find any stitches and they tell you they wish to remove them there and then, ask for some Instillagel to be applied to numb the area which will make this procedure
 a lot less painful and much more comfortable for you.


"do not allow them to fob you off and say there is no need"

Only ladies who have had this done can say whether this is painful and we can’t all be wrong!

It takes a few minutes to work and anything which makes this procedure less painful has to be worth doing.

Wear loose fitting clothes, ie ling skirts preferable with no underwear as underwear will irritate you

Avoid jeans and any tight fitting trousers until the area has fully healed.

Take a sanitary pad with you, the ones they supply in the hospital are not as soft as the ones you 
would usually use yourself.

Ask how long the results take and find out if they will contact you or do you have to contact
them. If you have not heard by the date you have been told, call the hospital and ask them
to check your records to see if the results have come back.

As one Lady said: The Doctor referred to it as just being a “bad bee sting” so she wished he could
have that “bad bee sting” sting him just once!

We hope your procedure goes well, and your results are good ones and we wish you well with
your recovery.

The VACO Ladies

Email: vacouk@yahoo.com 


It may be easier to print this information directly from the word document, so please click below for this and print off as you usually would in word document, if you have any problems printing this please email VACO at vacouk@yahoo.com where I will be happy to help you out or print you one off and post it on to you.

http://www.vaco.co.uk/vacofrontpage/BIOPSY AFTERCARE LEAFLET FOR LADIES NOV 2008.doc