They paid so much attention to me.
Just nine hours after her complete hysterectomy, Sandy Morris felt well enough to walk the halls at Bronson. And she went home the next day, thanks to her surgeon and Bronson’s daVinci® Surgical System.
Sandy has three children (ages 16, 14 and 11) and a job that’s more active than most—she’s a kindergarten teacher’s aide in Schoolcraft. But she was back in the classroom just a week after surgery. “I hopped right back into work, running my kids to soccer and all their other activities,” she says.
Deciding to have the surgery wasn’t easy. Sandy, 46, had suffered from extremely heavy periods for years but delayed treatment after hearing about her friends’ traditional hysterectomies. “They told me about being cut from ‘stem to stern,’ staying in bed for days afterward and being out of work for 8 weeks,” Sandy says. With a full-time job and family to care for, Sandy couldn’t imagine being out of commission that long. “But now I tell them they should have had the daVinci!” she says.
Bronson is the Kalamazoo hospital with the most experience in robotic surgery with this technology—a robotic-and computer-assisted system for minimally invasive surgery. The daVinci system lets surgeons perform procedures though small incisions that replace the large incisions necessary for conventional, open surgeries. The result is a much shorter hospital stay, less pain and a faster recovery.
Stephen Trillet, MD , with Bronson OB/GYN Associates, performed Sandy’s surgery after monitoring her condition for more than a year. She had been referred to Dr. Trillet by her primary care physician when she complained of back pain, fatigue and periods that lasted 3 weeks. Dr. Trillet’s examination and a follow-up ultrasound found a large fibroid tumor. “But I was just so busy that I didn’t do anything about it for a while,” Sandy says.
At her second annual visit with Dr. Trillet, Sandy was still suffering and the tumor had grown too large to ignore. Sandy’s doctor gave her two choices—remove the tumor and risk it growing back, or have a complete hysterectomy, which removes the uterus, cervix, ovaries and fallopian tubes. “I talked with my husband Alex and friends, and I decided to get it done,” Sandy says.
Her surgery started at 8 a.m. By 10 a.m. Sandy was in recovery, and by 5 p.m., Sandy was up and walking. “The nurses and PCAs (Patient Care Assistants) were so nice,” she says. “They explained everything they did and were always asking if there was anything I needed. They paid so much attention to me.”
The staff checked Sandy’s pain level often, but her discomfort was minimal. She needed only two doses of post-surgery pain medication. “They said I could have it every six minutes and I could control it myself, but I only used it twice,” she says. Sandy has also been happy about her lack of scarring—another benefit of minimally invasive surgery with the daVinci. She says, “I have four half-inch scars. They’re tiny. That’s it!”
“If I would have known years ago what I know now—how easy the surgery would be—I wouldn’t have waiting so long to have it done,” Sandy says. Her hysterectomy has made a huge, positive difference in her life. “If I had to do it all over again, I would choose Bronson, daVinci, all the same staff—everything. I’d go exactly the same route—it was great,” she says.