Doctor said operation could cause loss of use of bowel and womb

Note from Jon:

What Joanne was told by this doctor is not supported by the evidence. The results of medical trials covering more than 200 coccyx removal operations all over the world did not result in any of the patients losing the use of the bowel or womb after surgery.

Joanne - joannemcclellan@amphenol.co.uk

I'm Joanne I fell over and dislocated my coccyx, after about two years I started to feel discomfort by my coccyx. I went to the doctor who referred me to the hospital. I had physio for about a month, this did not work so I was referred to a surgeon. Dr Kisiri told me last Dec that he would put me on a waiting list to have my coccyx removed, this being the final remedy for the pain. He told me that there would be a lot of blood loss and a chance of infection. He had only ever done two other cases before. I asked if they were ok now. He said fine.

I finally got an appointment for 24th July 2001 after writing a letter to Dr Kisiri asking about nerve damage and the birth canal and if the bone would puncture my bowels if I ever fell or rode a bike. (my bone is dislocated 45 deg angle towards my bowels.) My boss prompted me to ask about the nerve damage after talking to his osteopath. I went along and after 2 hours of waiting I was taken into a room where there sat 3 doctors, not one English one, and two nurses.

The main doctor asked me if I knew the pros and cons of the operation. Yes, I said and repeated what I had been told. "You know it is 50% chance of whether it will take the pain away and there is nerve damage that will affect your muscles", the Doctor said. "No - I was not told about that, what muscles?" I said.

"Do you know that your bottom muscle is attached to the coccyx and you could lose the use of your bowel? And if you are a woman you could lose the use of your sexual organs?" I think he meant womb, so you could end up with it prolapsed. Plus the coccyx affects the birth canal; if it is there, dislocated, it could get in the way of the birth and if you haven't got one you could still have problems. I was not told any of this in December.

I am 34, just married, and if I had been told these problems last year when I was spoken to I would have told him not to bother putting me on the list and I would put up with the pain. The Doctor I saw yesterday said that it was all in my notes and that I had been told all about this. Anyone can write something down and not tell someone. If he had told me this last year do you think I would be sitting in front of them in awe that they were going to take my pain away without any problems? I don't think so.

So I have decided not to go ahead with the op and wait for a break through of new surgery or information on this op in years to come. I will also go private as you get treated with respect and not called a liar. That Doctor has wasted my time, the doctors times and National Health Service money. He tried to cover up the other doctors mistakes of not telling me everything.

It seems from reading the e-mails that most males come out of the operation ok, but us women have more problems. In the long run I don't think surgery takes the pain away. Most people are still not sitting properly.

I think I'll put up with the pain I have now and sitting awkwardly rather than going through the pain of surgery and end up with more complications and pain than now.

Updated 2001-07-28

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