Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need a referral letter from my GP?
 We would advise you to see your GP in the first instance to discuss the problem 
you are experiencing or the treatment you are considering. If you will be claiming 
under a medical insurance policy, please provide your insurance details when making contact to arrange an appointment. Usually you will need to phone your insurer to give
them the date of consultation and the name of your consultant, Mr Elkington. Do I need to have private medical insurance?
 No, we have self-funding complete care packages available for all procedures. We
also have flexible payment packages available. For more information and guide prices, contact the relevant hospital customer service team. How do I get a private appointment? Most patients are referred by their GP, but Mr Nick Elkington is happy to see self referrals as well. If you are insured and are intending to claim the expenses from your insurer, it is highly advisable that you seek a referral from your GP (or a private GP) as your insurer may refuse to cover self referrals. It is best to seek approval of the insurers prior to considering any consultation. How do I get an NHS appointment?
 All patients have to be referred by their GP. What do you charge for a consultation?
 Consultation fees vary depending on the type of consultation booked. Hazel will be
happy to discuss fees with you by telephoning 01252 342602.

 How long do I have to wait for an appointment?
 Appointments are usually available within 2 weeks of request but often much sooner. How long will I have to wait for my procedure?Gynaecological operations are usually best performed shortly after a period, but can 
usually be performed within 2 to 3 weeks of your consultation. Where can I have my operation?Mr Elkington operates both at Frimley Park Hospital and Clare Park Hospital. He performs his robotic operation exclusively at Frimley Park Hospital.

Frequently asked questions about robotic surgery

Does the robot actually perform the surgery?No. The surgery is entirely controlled by the surgeon. There are many safety devices incorporated into the system to stop the robot acting independantly of the surgeon. How do I know if I can have the surgery performed with the robot?Ask your GP or Consultant to refer you for a consultation. Informal non-specific enquiries can be made via Mr Elkington’s PA, Hazel Jones. Can all hysterectomies be performed with the robot?The majority of hysterectomies can be performed by the robot but it may be more suitable in some patients to have a ‘vaginal hysterectomy’ where all the surgery is perfomed through the vagina. Occasionally fibroid uteruses are so large that a laparotomy (incison in the abdomen) may need to be performed. Will I be asleep for my operation?You require a general anaesthetic for laparoscopic and robotic surgery. How long will I be in hospital after my hysterectomy?Most patients go home the day after their operation. You will need a responsible adult to pick you up and drive you home. You may be admitted to hospital on the day of the operation or the day before. Will I have my ovaries removed at my hysterectomy?This will depend on your particular circumstances. Mr Elkington will discuss this with you before your procedure. When will I be able to eat?If your hysterectomy is performed in the morning you will normally be able to eat in the afternoon. Occasionally you will not be able to eat until the following day. You will need to be fasted for 6 hours before your operation. Will I have a catheter?If you have a simple hysterectomy you will have a catheter in your bladder, which will be removed on the evening of the operation or on the following morning. When will I be able to get out of bed?If your operation is performed in the morning you may feel able to get out of bed in the evening initially with aid of the nurses. When will I be able to drive?After 3 to 4 weeks you should feel fit enough to drive. It is important that you can control the car without discomfort. How much pain will I have after the operation?The level of pain will vary from one patient to another. The majority of patients only require simple analgesia e.g. paracetamol and diclofenac on discharge and are able to mobilise independently on the following day after the operation. When can I return to normal activities after my operation?This will vary between patients. What is most important is that you slowly increase the amount of activity you do each day. Resting completely is inadvisable and can slow recovery but over-strenuous activity can also be detrimental. When can have sexual intercourse after my operation?It is best to avoid intercourse for at least 6 weeks after the operation as the top of the vagina needs to heal. When can I return to work after my operation?Most patients will feel fit enough to return to work after 6 weeks, but it would be advisable to tell your employer that you may need 2 months off work. Will I have stitches that need to be removed?There will be 5 small incisions (approximately 1cm in size) on your abdominal wall. There will be a dissolvable stitch in these incisions which will not normally need to be removed. Occasionally the stitches can become uncomfortable before they dissolve in which case, Mr Nick Elkington, your GP or practice nurse can remove these after a week.