After almost 30 years of suffering the effects of her monthly menstrual cycle, including large blood clots, debilitating pain, cramps, diarrhea and severe mood swings, 41-year-old Carla Abshire says she feels like a "brand new woman" after her recent hysterectomy. Hers was one of the first hysterectomies performed using the new da Vinci Surgical System at Northeast Georgia Medical Center (NGMC).
Carla says she was interested in utilizing the new robotic technology for her procedure after reading about it on a woman-to-woman hysterectomy support group website.
"I had heard about it initially from someone we met at a wedding who worked in the medical technology industry," she says. "I read more about it on the Internet and was intrigued by the benefits it offers over traditional surgery."
"The da Vinci Surgical System gives certain women a less invasive option for hysterectomy surgery who otherwise would need an open procedure," says Frank Lake, Jr., MD, an OB/GYN with Heritage OB/GYN in Gainesville, who performed Carla’s hysterectomy using the robotic surgical system at NGMC.
Carla says several conditions placed her in this category, including an enlarged uterus, fibroids in her uterus and endometriosis (endometrial tissue growing outside the uterus).
But now, after her surgery, Carla is free of these problems and says her recovery was relatively quick without too much pain.
"I would say to women that if you have been told you need an open abdominal gynecologic surgery, investigate your options with the da Vinci system, which may allow you to undergo a less invasive procedure," says Dr. Lake.
Like all new technology, robotic surgery is not appropriate for all patients. For more information about surgical and robotic surgery options, call 770-219-3840.