da Vinci hysterectomy: Shorter recovery time
Patient testimonial—Cyndie Hampton
Cyndie Hampton had places to go. She was preparing for a trip to South America for a long-awaited hiking adventure. When anemia drained her energy and threatened to thwart the trip, she made the tough decision to have a hysterectomy.
“I was running against time for my recovery, to start getting my blood cells back to a good oxygen carrying capacity,” she says. Gynecologic surgeon Paul Schroeder, MD, FACOG, offered Cyndie an advanced, minimally invasive procedure called da Vinci robotic surgery. “He told me I could be back to work in three weeks. Those were the magic words.”
“Robotic assisted laparoscopic surgery is an exciting new tool for us and for our patients,” says Dr. Schroeder. Women who have traditional, abdominal hysterectomies can expect to be in the hospital for three to five days and off work for six weeks. With da Vinci, Dr. Schroeder says, patients usually go home the same day and often are back to work in a week or two.
Cyndie underwent da Vinci surgery at 11:30 a.m. on May 3. She was home by 7:00 that evening. “I am amazed at how good I’ve felt about the whole thing,” she says. “I had little to no pain, and I never spent a day in bed.”
The shortened recovery time is “huge for women, especially single working women who don’t have the luxury of taking three months off,” Cyndie says. During her three-week medical leave, she regained enough energy to plant her garden, trim her roses, and oversee a new fence built in her yard.
Cyndie gives high marks to the Asante team for demonstrating not only excellent skill, but also great compassion and respect. “The staff needs to be commended for their care of my feelings, listening to me, continually checking and taking care of my privacy,” she says. Cyndie requested an all-female nursing team in the operating room, and her request was honored. “It meant a lot to me. It was as big a deal to the staff as it was to me.”
Cyndie was able to get back to her active life in just a few weeks thanks to robotic surgery.
da Vinci hysterectomy: Easier recovery
Patient testimonial—Julie Moss
A hysterectomy is an intensely personal experience. Does it have to be painful, too? Not anymore, thanks to da Vinci robotic surgery.
This state-of-the-art procedure, now offered at Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center, uses robotic and computerized 3-D technology to perform hysterectomies with smaller incisions and less wear on the body. As a result, patients experience far less pain and discomfort than with traditional, abdominal surgery.
“It was fantastic. I am very happy to live in this modern age,” says Julie Moss, a recent da Vinci surgery patient at Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center. “I was home the same day, up and feeling better right away, totally off the pain meds in two days and back swimming laps in two weeks.” Three weeks after surgery, Julie says, her energy level was almost completely back to normal.
Prior to her hysterectomy, Julie had surgery on her bladder as well as laparoscopic surgery to remove her gall bladder. Compared to both procedures, her hysterectomy was “even easier for a much more complicated surgery,” she says. “It was a much better experience for me.”
Scarring from these previous surgeries, combined with Julie’s large fibroid tumors and severe endometriosis, might have made laparoscopic surgery impossible without the robot. But the da Vinci surgical system gives physicians more flexibility and accuracy, enabling women like Julie to have the option of a less invasive surgery.
“I’ve been a gynecologic surgeon now for over 25 years, and I’m stunned at how much better my patients are doing after robotic assisted laparoscopic surgery,” says Julie’s surgeon Paul Schroeder, MD, FACOG. “It is a delightful step forward for me and my patients! This is progress!”
da Vinci hysterectomy: Alternative to abdominal surgery
Patient testimonial—Kimberly Hendrickson
Minimally invasive hysterectomies have been available for years. They’re good options—for women who qualify. Unfortunately, many women don’t. A variety of factors can make a vaginal or laparoscopic procedure difficult, such as large fibroids, endometriosis, or scarring from previous surgeries. In those cases, most doctors recommend abdominal hysterectomy, a traditional surgery requiring a large incision and a long, uncomfortable recovery.
Until now. Da Vinci robotic surgery—a new, highly advanced procedure available at Asante—is changing the way physicians and their patients look at hysterectomies.
“The robot allows gynecologists to avoid abdominal hysterectomy in most cases,” says Paul Schroeder, MD, FACOG, gynecologic surgeon at Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center. “In this country today, more than 50 percent of hysterectomies are still done abdominally, and the robot can dramatically reduce that rate.”
It worked for Kimberly Hendrickson, a Central Point resident who underwent da Vinci surgery on May 24. “It’s like a miracle,” she says. “I talked to other women who had their surgeries the other way; they were off work for eight weeks and couldn’t do anything for six weeks. I was up and active—vacuuming the house—after the first week. It’s amazing, the difference.”
Prior to her surgery, Kimberly had the advantage of seeing a friend bounce back quickly from robotic hysterectomy at Asante. So when Dr. Schroeder offered the option, she took it with no reservations. She was in the hospital just 12 hours and went home the same night. Compared to her high expectations, Kimberly rates her surgery “a 10.”
“Dr. Schroeder is an amazing man, a very talented and caring person,” she says. “I would definitely recommend this surgery to other women.”
da Vinci hysterectomy: Quality of life restored
Patient testimonial—Martha Kelly
Martha Kelly was a slave to her calendar. Once a month, severe endometriosis crippled her body with pain so intense, she couldn’t walk. “It was worse than labor pains—the worse pain I’d ever felt,” she says, “and it happened every month.”
Until robotic surgery changed her life.
On June 21, Martha underwent a state-of-the-art, minimally invasive procedure called daVinci robotic hysterectomy. This exciting new surgical option, now available at Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center, uses advanced computer imagery and highly precise tools to gently remove a woman’s pelvic organs.
“Women who have endometriosis are suffering from a chronic and progressive disease,” says Martha’s gynecologic surgeon, Nicholas Mills, MD. “The daVinci 3-D HD visualization allows me to identify and safely excise more endometriosis lesions, maximizing treatment with minimal incisions, which improves a patient’s outcome and reduces pain.”
At the height of her endometriosis, Martha consumed 40 ibuprofen tablets a day plus a Vicodin pill to help her sleep at night—yet the pain persisted. By contrast, one day after surgery, “I didn’t take any pain meds. No ibuprofen, no anything,” she says. “It was beyond anything I could believe. Just laying there a day later and not having pain was phenomenal.”
Martha quickly took advantage of her newfound freedom. She returned to work part-time three days after surgery and danced at a concert one week later. Within three weeks, she says, “everything was back to normal.”
A new and better normal, that is. As an avid hiker, biker, and competitive tennis player, Martha used to plan favorite activities around the time of month when she knew she’d be in pain. “I captained tennis teams just so I could control the schedule,” she explains. “But now my whole life is different. It will take months to reprogram myself to know I can plan things on those weekends. It’s so liberating. I should have done it sooner.”