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Postmenopausal Bleeding Clinic reduces patient waiting times

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24/03/2021
A newly developed one-stop clinic for women with postmenopausal bleeding is reducing patient waiting times at Palmerston North Hospital.

 
MidCentral obstetrician and gynaecologist Dr Sikhar Sircar said postmenopausal bleeding, where vaginal bleeding occurs more than 12 months after the last menstrual period, was a common problem among women over 50.
 
It is one of the predominant reasons for urgent referrals to gynaecology clinics.
 
The hospital clinic began in January 2020, and treated 141 women in its opening 12 months.
 
When comparing the clinic to traditional gynaecology outpatient clinics, Sikhar said the time from referral to first appointment was shorter and women had fewer visits.
 
“This is because our clinic completes an ultrasound, biopsy and hysteroscopy during a patient’s initial appointment,” Dr Sircar said.
“This can help us diagnose women with cancer up to 12- 15 weeks earlier and start appropriate treatment.”
 
Dr Sircar said about one in 10 women with postmenopausal bleeding has endometrial cancer of the lining of the womb.
When detected early, women with this cancer have strong survival rates – about 80 per cent in stage one and 70 per cent in stage two.
Each year about 500 cases of endometrial cancers are diagnosed in New Zealand.
 
Dr Sircar appreciated the work of the clinic’s nursing staff, as well as Dr Jennifer Retsinas for setting up the initial clinic.
 
MidCentral Clinical Executive of Healthy Women, Children & Youth Jeff Brown said the clinic strived to provide the best possible care to wāhine and whānau.
 
“This is an example of the clinical team putting the patient at the centre of their model of care, and working out what and who needs to change to achieve that.”
 
Patients are referred to the clinic by their GP. 
 
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Caption: Dr Sikhar Sircar is a gynaecologist at Palmerston North Hospital’s Postmenopausal Bleeding Clinic.

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