DaVinci Hysterectomy: November 30, 2011

This wasn’t the first go round for Monika Martinez. She had a recurring problem with fibroid tumors in her uterus. They grew to the point that she underwent surgery to have them removed.

“It’s an eight inch cut and it was four days in the hospital. I was feeling miserable; it was painful. For weeks I had to take painkillers. I didn’t want to go through that again,” says Monika.

When the fibroids recently came back, Monika was too busy for a long healing process.

“I have two kids, so with kids you never stop. My little girl does ballet; my son does golf, he plays soccer, so I’m on the move all the time.”

With her family complete, Dr. Kevin Fleishman suggested she consider a hysterectomy. He felt Monika was a good candidate for surgery using the daVinci robot.

“In an open surgery, you basically make an incision and you slice through the layers of the abdomen you place a retractor to retract the tissues and then you do the operation using large instruments. The daVinci robot is a way to allow us to do surgery in a minimally invasive way, allows us to let us use smaller incisions,” says Dr. Kevin Fleishman, an obstetrician/gynecologist on Lee Memorial Health System’s medical staff.

Another benefit of robotic surgery is the quick recovery time. After just one night in the hospital, Monika was back home and back to her busy life.

“Today’s been three weeks since the surgery and I have to remind myself that I have to hold back, because I want to go back to everything I do.”

The daVinci camera gives surgeons 3D, high definitions views inside the body. The surgery is performed through a few small holes. Monika had scar tissue from her previous procedure, but it didn’t present a problem.

“In the past certain women who are overweight or have a lot of scar tissue were not candidates for minimally invasive surgery. But now using the daVinci we have the confidence to do these surgeries on these high risk patients,” says Dr. Fleishman.

The two experiences were like night and day for Monika. This time there were no stitches, no pain killers and no downtown.

“Having had the surgery before the other way it’s unreal. Unbelievable.”