Robotic Hysterectomy

I asked my patients what led to the decision to have a Robotic Hysterectomy, how the procedure went, if there was a good understanding of what was being done, and what the results were.  Here are candid responses from my patients:

Vicki, age 46 from Martinez:

“My symptoms included excessive menstrual bleeding for about a year.  Another doctor told me it was age related and to just live with it.  Dr. Wells prepared me very well.  The procedure was exactly what I anticipated.  Pain was minimal.  I was hospitalized for less than a day.  Recovery was fast and was as Dr. Wells prepared me for, about 2 weeks of reduced activity and 6 weeks of fatigue.  No more unexpected, prolonged bleeding cycles.  My fatigue has gone away –improving all aspects of daily living.  I am extremely happy the procedure was an option for me.  I highly recommend it.  Thanks Dr. Wells, you made me feel cared about during the whole process from 1st appt to the last.  I appreciate that.”

Mary, age 48 from Livermore:

“I had heavy menstrual bleeding with clots, cramping.  [During my work-up with Dr. Wells,] an ultrasound showed very large fibroids.  My symptoms were present for 8-10 months.  Going on birth control pills, Chinese herbs did not help.  After the surgery, I was up and around two days after procedure, much to my mother-in-law’s amazement (she’s had a standard hysterectomy many years prior).  There was some pain but not as much as I’d expected.  I didn’t realize there would be continued mild bleeding following the surgery, but it didn’t last long.  One of the incision sites got red, a little irritated and took longer to heal than the other two.  Dr. Wells explained this was common at a follow-up visit.  Not having painful, heavy periods that previously affected my energy and activity level has made my life much more enjoyable!  Unfortunately it went into full-blown menopause 1 month after the surgery, even though I kept my ovaries.  This was a very unpleasant shock, and something that I don’t recall being informed of prior to the surgery.  This is important to inform patients of as a possible after effect of the surgery.  Dr. Wells was awesome and I would highly recommend him to all my friends.  Not only is he an excellent surgeon, he has a wonderful bedside manner including checking on me the morning after surgery prior to my release from the hospital.  He was also great about calling me back with answers to my questions post surgery.  Thanks again for caring!”

Yvette, age 43 from Walnut Creek:

“My health and energy were declining (slowly) for about a year.  I felt a mass in my abdominal area and went to my primary care physician.  I also had increasingly heavy menstrual periods. [I went to Dr Wells who recommended a Robotic Hysterectomy.]  The procedure was not painful, and afterward I felt better than I thought I would.  Dr. Wells prepared me well with answering all of my questions.  Since my surgery, I have a lot more energy and I no longer plan my schedule around my menstrual cycle!!!  I wish I did not have to undergo my procedure, but since I had no choice, I am happy Dr. Wells and his staff took care of me. My experience with Dr. Wells throughout was positive.    Thanks to all involved. “

Carla, age 47 from Concord:

“I had been severely bleeding on my periods for about 4 years prior to surgery.  I had blood clots as big as gold balls, and it was not uncommon for me to sit on the toilet for hours because the bleeding was so heavy.  I was tired all the time and limited any activities during my period week (which often lasted 2 weeks). I looked into other options because I still wanted to have kids, but when I finally came to terms with my condition, the decision was easy.  My experience was easier and better than I ever thought it could be.  Dr. Wells was gentle and willing to listen to all of my concerns.   He took time to explain EVERYTHING and never once did I feel rushed or like a number.  I felt like I had a complete understanding of the procedure and was completely comfortable with Dr. Wells.  The result??  I don’t have periods anymore.  How awesome is that?  Now I wonder why I put up with my issue for so long.  I should have done it sooner.  My blood count is back up, I have more energy, and I am no longer hanging out in the bathroom with major cramps.  I only have 2visible scars and they are very small. Dr. Wells did a nice job and I would recommend him to anyone.  My biggest fear, when having something like this done, is finding the right doctor and having all of your questions answered truthfully.   Women talk, so when it’s 45 minutes past your appointment time and you are still sitting in the appointment room, you also know Dr. Wells is taking time with someone else just like he will with you.  But it would also be nice for the scheduling to be adjusted for that reason.  I had a great experience all the way around.  Thank you for changing/improving my life (giving it back to me)!!!”

Lisa, age 46 from Danville:

“I had a very large fibroid tumor.  It had grown to the size of a cantaloupe.  I had painful and heavy monthly periods.  The fibroid tumor was pushing on my bladder and I was having to urinate 30 times a day.  The fibroid was rapidly growing.  It was like I was 14 weeks pregnant.  I had the symptoms for about 18 months.  I tried Advil to remove the pain.  I can’t say enough good things about the procedure.  I felt prepared for what was going to happen.  It was not as painful as I thought it would be.  I was up and around in a week.  I felt very informed throughout the process of what to expect. Since my surgery, my life has changed 100%.  I no longer have the pain and pressure in my pelvis.  I can go about my day and not worry about bladder problems.  I no longer experience the monthly heavy bleeding.  That was taking a lot out of me.

I can’t thank Dr. Wells enough!  My quality of life improved quickly after the surgery.  Dr. Wells is a caring and skilled doctor.  I would recommend him to any patient considering this procedure.”

Maria, age 45 from Walnut Creek:

“I had a large uterine fibroid that was discovered during my second pregnancy (nine years ago).  Because of its location, I had to have a c-section.  About three years ago I began experiencing very heavy and prolonged periods.  I also felt pressure in my stomach and had to go to the bathroom all the time.  I just lived with the discomfort until my regular gynecologist recommended we consider a hysterectomy.  Because of the size of my uterus (it had grown up past my belly button!!!) I was referred to Dr. Wells for the DaVinci procedure.

Dr. Wells was fantastic before, during and after. He is so calm and reassuring.  Once he started the surgery, he realized it was going to be very difficult.  He told me afterwards that at one point he almost had to convert the procedure to the traditional type of abdominal hysterectomy.  My uterus weighed over 1700 grams [or almost 4 pounds. Normal size is about 80-100 grams.]The recovery period was 2-4 weeks, some of which was painful, but still less painful than a traditional hysterectomy.  I was very well prepared and had researched on the Internet the procedure.  Dr. Wells also has a very informative website.

Since the robotic hysterectomy, I’ve felt tremendously!  I am so glad that I had the procedure.  I don’t have to worry about bleeding all the time or having to run to the bathroom every 10 minutes!  I have no regrets about having the surgery!”

Joan, age 63 from Diablo:

“I had been spotting 3 weeks of each month for 2 years.  I tried different doses of hormones with no results.  When I went to Dr. Wells he found multiple uterine fibroids that were causing the spotting.  He suggested a hysterectomy.  At first, I was hesitant to have surgery.  When Dr. Wells explained the robotic procedure and how non-invasive it was, I agreed.  The procedure went well.  I spent one night in the hospital.  I recovered at home with not much pain.  The four small incisions were undetectable after 6 months.  I no longer have any spotting.  At age 63 the “feminine products” aisle at the store is no longer on my radar!”

Debra, age 59 from Walnut Creek:

“I had excessively heavy post-menopausal bleeding.  I had a D&C, hysteroscopy and [myomectomy with another doctor] before the robotic hysterectomy.  I had been having symptoms for about six months (and had no periods for 2 years previously).  The procedure itself was painless (I slept through it) and felt very well prepared and had a good understanding of what would be done.  My life is better in all ways–I don’t have to worry about bleeding and I feel more energized.  I was extremely pleased with the procedure, and especially with Dr. Wells and his lovely staff.  Warm regards to them all, especially Jenn.”

Ronda, age 59 from Lafayette:

“Following a CT scan because of continuing discomfort on my left side and lower abdomen, a mass was discovered in the area of my left ovary and possibly behind my uterus.  (I also had several fibroids in my uterus that I knew about since my late thirties).  Looking back in my files, I had been to other doctors, (prior to my CT scan) with abdominal aching since 2004.  After my CT scan I came to see Dr. Wells for a second opinion and I’m sograteful I did!  My husband and I were both very impressed with Dr. Wells thorough exam, including an ultrasound exam “in-office” with a mounted large screen monitor that made it easier to see and understand what my choices were and what I might expect following surgery, depending on whether or not cancer was found.  I was thrilled to be a candidate for robotic surgery and had complete confidence in Dr. Wells from our meetings with him and recommendations from others, including my sister-in-law, who is a retired nurse from John Muir Medical Center.  As far as pain, I only remember one night that was difficult and just needed a medication adjustment.  The pain in my abdomen is gone and my four small scars have faded so much, I have to look for them to see them now!  (I also have a flatter tummy!)  Best of all–no cancer– it was a benign ovarian serous cystadenoma.  I was a new patient to Dr. Wells and have to say his office is the most nurturing, caring doctor’s office I have ever experienced, including all of his staff and even down to the beautifully decorated waiting room and soft music.  Thank you Dr. Wells and to all your staff!”

Lisa, age 51 from Walnut Creek:

“I came to Dr Wells with a 7 cm uterine fibroid; I had heavy bleeding about 1 year; mild anemia; I had no treatments prior to procedure.  The office staff-outstanding; Nurse Practitioner (follow up visit)- very knowledgeable, great bedside manner; Dr. Wells- outstanding clinician, best bedside manner, great thorough explanation of procedure and post care.  I no longer have heavy and sometimes embarrassing accidents at work.  Robotic surgery was a breeze.  Easy recovery–hardly any pain (I have a very low pain threshold).  I have in the past and would continue to refer friends to Dr. Wells in the future!”

Saira, age 48 from Pleasanton:

“I was having heavy and prolonged menstrual bleeding and was also passing blood clots during my periods.  I had these symptoms for a couple of years.  After diagnosing that I had a uterine fibroid, my primary care doctor prescribed birth control pills to regulate my bleeding. Until my surgery I had switched to three kinds of pills but they didn’t help.  Overall, I made the right decision by choosing Robotic hysterectomy.  Dr. Wells had very clearly explained what I would go through and my experience was very positive with no negative surprises.  Actually, I did not take the full range of pain medicine prescribed to me, and therefore I didn’t really experience severe pain.  I no longer have the symptoms that caused me to go for surgery.  By opting for robotic assisted surgery, my recovery was much shorter. Although there are other treatments for fibroids, I also had adenomyosis that required hysterectomy to alleviate my symptoms.  If faced with hysterectomy, I would strongly recommend robotic hysterectomy.  However, it is important to have a surgeon who is experienced in this procedure, like Dr. Wells.”