For months New Lenox resident Pauline Guadagno suffered with severe pain in her abdomen area and lower left side near her stomach. After discovering a cyst on her right ovary, it was determined that the best way to relieve her pain was to have surgery using the minimally invasive da Vinci Robot System. “I am amazed how quick and pain-free my recovery was after having my total hysterectomy and oophorectomy with the da Vinci robot,” said 57-year-old Pauline.
Within five days Pauline was shocked how well she felt, and under the advisement of her doctor she returned to work in 2 weeks with restrictions. Previously with traditional open surgery the recovery period for this procedure would have been 6 to 8 weeks. “I highly recommend anyone needing to have this type of procedure to choose the robotic surgery option because you will have little scars, a quicker recovery and much less disruption to your life.”
Pictured: New Lenox resident Pauline Guadagno’s pelvic pain has been eliminated after having surgery with the da Vinci Robot System.
How does it Work?
Controlled by a surgeon from a console, the innovative da Vinci robot is used to make 8mm (`1/3 inch) to 12 mm (~ 1/2 inch) incisions and then long, delicate instruments are inserted into the patient that enable specially trained physicians to perform the surgery.
Interestingly, misconceptions still exist that the robot is actually performing the surgery all by itself. “The important aspect to understand is that the da Vinci robotic system cannot be programmed nor can it make decisions by itself,” said Francisco Garcini, M.D., Ph.D., who is Co-Director of the Center of Excellence for Minimally Invasive Gynecology at Silver Cross Hospital. “The da Vinci System can only operate with direct input from the surgeon.”
The enhanced vision, precision, dexterity and control of the da Vinci robot allows physicians to perform an excellent surgery even for women with complex and severe pelvic pain cases. “da Vinci surgery offers women many potential benefits over traditional open surgery, including: less blood loss, shorter hospital stay, and low rate of complications,” said Dr. Garcini.
Prior to surgery, Pauline met with her physician Dr. Garcini who is an obstetrician and gynecologist on staff at Silver Cross Hospital. “Dr. Garcini and his staff thoroughly prepared me for my robotic surgery with consultations and an educational DVD that explained what I could expect,” said Pauline. “And my experience with the surgery staff and recovery nurses at Silver Cross Hospital was great. They were all so attentive to my needs.”
What Is Pelvic Pain?
Pelvic pain is pain in the lowest portion of your abdomen and pelvis below the belly button. Usually, pelvic pain refers to symptoms in women, arising from the reproductive or urinary systems.
Depending on its source, pelvic pain may be dull or sharp; it may be constant or off and on (intermittent); and it may be mild, moderate or severe. Chronic female pelvic pain refers to any constant or intermittent pelvic pain that has been present for at least 6 months. Sometimes, you may notice pelvic pain only at certain times, such as during urination, menstruation or sexual activity. In others, the pain is so steady and severe that it’s hard to sleep, work, or enjoy life.