LiveWell Patient Story: Robotic-assisted laparoscopic hysterectomy offers a better solution
Monday, October 25, 2021
Lisa Hillis had been a long-time patient at Genesis OB/GYN Group, and after years of heavy and abnormal bleeding, sought help from Kristina Loomis, M.D., a Board-certified OB/GYN with the Genesis OB/GYN Group, for a solution.
“I was worried every day and wondered, how am I going to deal with this if my period lasts much longer? I talked to Dr. Loomis frequently about the stress and anxiety I was feeling, and she listened, helped me feel comfortable and came up with a plan,” Lisa said.
Lisa’s consistent bleeding issue left her anemic, tired and with a low blood count. To bolster her body, she received a blood transfusion, along with several choices for treatment.
Finding the best, least invasive answer
“Modern medicine often provides several options,” said Dr. Loomis. “We aim to find the best, least invasive answer. Lisa was methodical, thoughtful and motivated to keep going through that process. She tried oral birth control medications and an IUD, and underwent biopsies and a dilation and curettage (D&C) procedure to remove tissue from inside the uterus. Even then, she still experienced pelvic pain and heavy bleeding, so ultimately, we proceeded with a hysterectomy.”
During a hysterectomy, surgeons remove the uterus and may also remove the cervix, ovaries and/or fallopian tubes. Though considered a major surgery, advanced robotic-assisted technology at Genesis allows surgeons to perform the procedure with minimally invasive techniques.
Advanced, minimally invasive benefits
By using robotic technology called the da Vinci Surgical System, OB/GYNs at Genesis can perform hysterectomies with pinpoint precision and small incisions. The system involves interactive robotic arms and instruments and a 3D vision system – but the surgeon still makes all the decisions.
“It’s not an automated surgery; that’s a misconception,” Dr. Loomis said. “The robotic equipment acts as my hands, but I control every tiny movement. Plus, the 3D viewfinder gives me more detail, and the minimally invasive technique reduces pain and improves healing.”
For Lisa, having robotic technology in the operating room felt intriguing and exciting.
“It was such an interesting experience as they wheeled me into the operating room. I was able to view all the robotic equipment and found myself asking a variety of questions. The surgical team reacted with professionalism and kindness as they gave me all the answers,” Lisa said.
Problem solved and happy days ahead
The robotic-assisted laparoscopic hysterectomy offered Lisa the solution she desperately needed, and she’s embracing life again. “I can finally do whatever I want, whenever I want, and I feel great. Everyone at Genesis is top-notch and gave me great care and peace of mind. I’m so thankful I had this experience with our local hospital and that I didn’t have to drive to Columbus. I only wish I would have done it sooner,” Lisa said.
Robotic-assisted technology at Genesis offers patients multiple advantages, including:
• Smaller incisions – For example, Lisa’s robotic-assisted laparoscopic hysterectomy resulted in just four half-inch incisions. Traditional abdominal hysterectomy incisionsrange from six to eight inches long.
• Pinpoint precision – With 3D views and flexible, small robotic instruments, surgeons can navigate around sensitive organs, tissues and nerves. Plus, robotic instruments can move in ways human hands can’t.
• Faster recoveries – With smaller incisions come lower infection rates, less blood loss and scarring.
• Shorter hospital stays – Robotic-assisted hysterectomy patients usually return home from the hospital either the next day or the same day as surgery. Patients often return to work within two weeks for light work and six weeks for heavy-labor professions.
“Our robotic program at Genesis continues to grow. Patients might be surprised about what can be done with this advanced technology. Right now, general surgeons, urologists, cardiothoracic surgeons and OB/GYNs use it,” said Dr. Kristina Loomis. “It’s wonderful that at Genesis, we can maintain a community feel while offering all the benefits of advanced care and technology.”