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"Nurse Returns to Work Quickly After Surgery"


As Valorie M. a nurse, recovered from her hysterectomy, she said she frequently had to remind herself that she had just had major surgery and needed to be careful about how she moved and what she lifted.
“I was pain free, so it was easy to forget,” she said.
After researching all of her options, Valorie chose a robotic hysterectomy, performed by Susan Pohlod, MD, with the da Vinci surgical robot at Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center.
“I’d known for a few years that I had some gynecological issues,” she said. “I’d been experiencing pain off and on for about three years. I did my homework in regards to my options for a hysterectomy and went over all of the advantages and disadvantages of an abdominal hysterectomy, vaginal hysterectomy or robotic hysterectomy. I decided on the da Vinci and searched for a physician experienced in performing robotic surgery. My daughter was patient of Dr. Pohlod and connected me with her. She did a laparoscopy and diagnosed me with endometriosis and a large fibroid tumor. She said I needed a hysterectomy, the sooner the better, and she recommended using da Vinci.”
Valorie said she was very impressed with how quickly she was scheduled for surgery.
“Dr. Pohlod diagnosed me Dec. 23, 2011, and by Dec 27 she alerted me that she had an opening for the following Friday,” Valorie said. “From a nursing perspective, you don’t like to be the patient – you like to be the nurse. I am much more comfortable in the caregiver role than in needing care, so I was apprehensive. And, while I’ve worked in nursing for over 30 years, it’s kind of scary when you work in one hospital but go to another as a patient, and you don’t know anyone there. But, everyone was very kind and compassionate. They did a great job preparing me for surgery, explaining everything fully – what they would do and how. And everyone was excellent about making sure I was comfortable at all times.”
Valorie went into surgery at 12:30 p.m. on Jan 6.
“It lasted a couple of hours,” she said. “Then I went to recovery for about an hour and a half, and then they put me on the OB floor for a few hours, but I went home by 9 that night, and that just amazed me, I had just had a total hysterectomy. In all the years I had cared for post-operative patients, it was unheard of to allow a patient to go home the same night of a major surgery. But I had minimal pain, minimal bleeding. I only had minor discomfort at the incision sites, and my incisions were tiny – maybe 1/8 to ½ an inch. I quickly was off the prescription pain meds and just taking Motrin for inflammation. I was off of work for four weeks. I recuperated so quickly that I felt ready to go back at two weeks, but Dr. Pohlod said that while I felt great on the outside, I was still healing inside and needed to take it easy.”
Valorie said her only regret about her surgery is that she didn’t have it sooner.
“I wish I’d done this a long time ago,” she said. “I think every woman facing a hysterectomy should know that robotic surgery is an option. This procedure has excellent outcomes – less pain and suffering and a shorter recovery time. I encourage any woman who is going to undergo a hysterectomy to seek out a physician who is experienced with it, and I highly recommend Dr. Pohlod.”


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