Taking Care of the Problem
Sheila Best of Attica, Iowa, likes to walk. Most days she would walk five miles. But in recent years, that became a problem.
Best was experiencing what nearly 40 percent of all women have – some form of vaginal prolapse. A prolapse occurs when the network of muscles, ligaments and skin in and around a woman's vagina that form a complex support structure for the pelvic organs and tissues weaken or break. Many women who develop symptoms of a vaginal prolapse do not seek medical help because of embarrassment or other reasons.
Fortunately, Best’s daughter insisted that she see an OB/GYN.
“I saw Dr. [Dale] Lensing for the first time about four years ago,” said Best. “At that time, the situation wasn’t bad enough for surgery. But as time passed, it became clear that we were going to have to do something. And for me, it was best to do it all, so a hysterectomy was scheduled in July.”
Dr. Dale Lensing performed robotic surgery using the da Vinci surgical robot at Pella Regional Health Center. Traditional open gynecologic surgery used a large incision to access the uterus. Yet, open surgery can come with significant pain, a long recovery process and greater potential for infection. Robotic surgery offers a less invasive option for patients. Through tiny 1-2 cm incisions, Dr. Lensing is able to operate with greater precision and help minimize the pain and risk of traditional surgery.
Best’s surgery was at 11:30 am on a Monday. By 9:30 the next morning, she was headed home.
“I felt really good,” said Best. “I didn’t even take all the pain medications. After the first time, I told the nurses that ‘I don’t want it. I don’t need it!’”
For Best, the biggest challenge was the 10 pound weight lifting restriction. It meant that her friendly pooch couldn’t be picked up for several weeks.
“Today I feel great,” said Best. “I got along really good. I can go gardening or pick up my 5-year-old grandson or do just about anything I want. I put off taking care of myself for a while, but I’m glad that I finally got it taken care of.”
Learn more about da Vinci robotic surgery.