Robotic Surgery Gives Hysterectomy Patients Another Option

  • Tuesday, April 3, 2012

With three busy young children, Bridgette Manning couldn’t consider taking a month and a half off from life for a traditional hysterectomy,  and after seeing the recovery of other women from the surgery in the past, she was inclined to put it off anyway.  Bridgette suffered from endometriosis, when cells from the lining of the uterus start to grow in other parts of the body. The condition caused her  irregular bleeding and pain, to the point that she was doubled over at the start of menstruation, as well as fertility problems.  After trying to conceive for nine years, she and  her husband had adopted twin baby boys in 2004,  and weeks after they arrived, they found out Bridgette was pregnant with their daughter. They  embraced their suddenly full household and as the  kids grew, they stayed on the go, taking walks, visiting the park, even roller-blading. Plus, Bridgette did what she could to pitch in at the family business. “There was no way in this world that I could be down for six weeks.”  As a result, Bridgette delayed having a hysterectomy, opting for an imperfect short-term  solution to manage her endometriosis until her children started to attend school. By that point in 2010, she was glad to learn from her gynecologist  about a new alternative available through Trident  Health: minimally invasive da Vinci hysterectomy.  “It was easier for me than having my wisdom  teeth removed for my braces,” says Bridgette. “The  people who saw me after the surgery said, ‘My  gosh, I can’t believe how fast you’ve bounced  back.’  Trident Health established the South Carolina Institute for Robotic Surgery as a result of its resounding success with the da Vinci system for gynecologic surgeries as well as other procedures,  such as prostate surgery. Da Vinci surgeries offer  several benefits: 

 • less scarring 
 • shorter hospital stay 
 • reduced blood loss and need for transfusions 
 • faster recovery and return to normal  daily activities
 • reduced trauma to the bodyless  post-operative pain and discomfort 
 • smaller risk of infection. 

Bridgette trusted Dr. Molly E. Senokozlieff’s recommendation to use da Vinci, and she trusted in Trident Medical Center (TMC), where the procedure was performed. After all, that was where Bridgette and all of her children had been born.  Yet, she wouldn’t have to stay at the hospital for long after her hysterectomy.  She had her surgery on a Friday and after checking out the next morning, she stopped for a  donut and coffee on the way home with her husband. That afternoon she was walking to put fliers  for the homeowner’s association in her neighbors’ mailboxes.  Because of the precision allowed by robotic surgery, doctors now can do more complex procedures laparoscopically, maneuvering instruments  through small cuts in the abdomen, rather than  resorting to more invasive open surgery.  While Bridgette’s recovery was remarkable,  she is not alone, says Dr. Senokozlieff. “Many of  the women that I have operated on with da Vinci  have had that experience.”  And because of the shortened recovery times,  many women who need to have a hysterectomy  for critical reasons and those who choose the surgery to resolve chronic problems or even as a preventive measure to eliminate a high cancer risk no  longer have to put family or career on hold as a  result. For more information on robotic surgery,  please call 843-797-3463.  For more information visit us online!  www.berkeleyind.com/health  

“I giggled about it and called it my weekend hysterectomy.”  -Bridgette Manning,  hysterectomy patient  

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