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Jacki was suffering from strange pains when she visited her OBGYN and learned that da Vinci® robotic-assisted surgery might be the cure for what ailed her.
In March 2009, I was experiencing a very unusual backache, as well as pinched nerves down my legs and strange abdominal pain. Since I was due for my annual visit (ladies, keep current on those!), I went to see my OBGYN, Dr. Frank Goicoechea, and had it checked out. He immediately ordered an ultrasound and soon found the culprit of my recent pains: a four-inch fibroid that had become attached to the outside of my uterus. This explained why I didn’t experience any typical symptoms or problems.
The doctor and I discussed several treatment options, and because of the fibroid size and location, I decided to have a hysterectomy. I didn’t have any concerns at that time with hormone therapy or being forced into immediate menopause. And being at a stage of my life where I wasn’t planning to have any more children, I was very comfortable with having my uterus removed. Since both my sister and best friend had laparoscopic hysterectomies, I was hoping to have one as well.
One option that Dr. Goicoechea told me about was minimally invasive robot-assisted surgery. He explained all of the advantages that this new kind of procedure has over traditional surgeries, like smaller incisions, less bleeding, a faster recovery time. I didn’t think that I was a candidate for this type of procedure, but much to my surprise, my doctor said that I was. In the end, I opted to go with the robotic surgery for my hysterectomy.
At the time, I also considered having my cervix removed, but it was something that I was still very unsure about. I asked Dr. Goicoechea millions of questions about how it would impact my life, and he provided a lot of facts to help me make an informed decision. Two days later, I told him to remove it as well. It was great to not have to worry about cervical cancer anymore!
I was extremely impressed with the care that I received from everyone at Sharp Grossmont; they treated me tenderly, almost as if I was the only concern they had that day. Dr. Goicoechea told me ahead of time what was going to happen as soon as I set foot into the hospital on the day of my surgery. My anesthesiologist personally called me the day before and asked if I had any questions or concerns about the procedure, assuring me that I would never be left alone and that there would be many people monitoring every little thing during the surgery. I found this to be very comforting.
After the surgery, I was on pain medication for only two days, and recovery was very comfortable. There are five very small incisions on my body from the surgery that you can hardly see today, and because I spent less time healing, I was able to go back to my normal routine pretty quickly.
For More Information
To learn more about Sharp's robotic surgery services in San Diego, register for a free robotic surgery seminar. To find a Sharp-affiliated physician performing robotic surgery, call 1-800-82-SHARP (1-800-827-4277), Monday through Friday, 8 am to 6 pm.