It was just unbelievable to me that I had no pain whatsoever.
Anna and her doctor tried many ways to regulate her menstrual cycles. A total hysterectomy with Bronson’s daVinci Surgical System® and a single pain pill took care of the problem.
Anna Rose says she was 42 when her cycles started getting “out of whack.” She would have her period for 3 or 4 months at a time. Then it would stop, only to come back a few days later with a vengeance.
Her doctor, Tempest Allen, MD of Bronson OB/GYN Associates, prescribed birth control pills to control Anna’s cycle to no avail. Next they tried endometrial ablation, where heated saline solution is flushed into the uterus, destroying the uterine lining, in order to reduce or eliminate uterine bleeding.
Not this time. “Three weeks later, my period was back!” Anna says. So Dr. Allen worked with Anna’s insurance company to approve a total hysterectomy, which removes the uterus, cervix, fallopian tubes and ovaries.
For the surgery, Dr. Allen chose to use a laparoscopic procedure aided by Bronson’s daVinci Surgical System. Bronson Methodist Hospital has the most experience in robotic surgery in Kalamazoo with this technology—a robotic- and computer-assisted system for minimally invasive surgery. The daVinci system lets surgeons perform procedures through small incisions, rather than the large incisions necessary for conventional, open surgeries. The result is a much shorter hospital stay, less pain and a faster recovery.
Though Anna’s incisions were very small – just four, each about an inch long—she anticipated post-procedure pain. Anna took just one does strong pain medicine the night after her surgery, “and it was mostly because the nurse suggested it,” she says. The next day, she took a couple of Motrin. By the time she went home the following day, Anna needed no pain medicine at all.
She is quick to point out that every person’s pain threshold is different. And in fact, Anna knows this firsthand from her job—she’s a Patient Care Assistant (PCA) at Bronson. But she says, “It was just unbelievable to me that I had no pain whatsoever.” Four hours after her surgery she was up and walking the halls, and she even ventured down to the Bronson cafeteria with friends.
“I asked to be put on the same floor where I work—the General Surgery Unit, so I had a lot of co-workers stopping in to check on me,” she says. Anna works days, so she hadn’t spent much time on the unit at night until she was a patient there. “I was just amazed at how fast someone would come if I needed something,” she says. “There was no waiting. The care I received was wonderful.”
Once home, Anna was back to her normal activities within a few days. “I’m not a person who stays down for long, so it would have been really hard for me to be immobile,” Anna says. The daVinci system turned her “major surgery” into a minor inconvenience. She says, “That robot is a wonderful invention.”