Linda’s Gynecology Story - Pella Regional Health Center

Sorry I Waited So Long

Linda Ver HeulLinda Ver Heul, resident of Pella, considers herself “old-school.” She explains that she’s of an age where it’s uncomfortable to discuss things of a personal medical nature, making it difficult to seek help. She realized something was really wrong in 2009 but waited until September of 2013 to have a hysterectomy along with significant repairs.

Linda’s internal medicine physician, Dr. Doug Kanis, originally referred her to Dr. Dale Lensing, gynecologist, in 2010. “From the first visit, I really like Dr. Lensing. He was very professional and caring. His approach allowed me to keep my dignity and he was great about explaining the options I had, all the way from surgery to less invasive routes.”

At that point Linda decided to forego surgery and try other options. After a year and a half, Linda was still not at all satisfied. Visiting with Dr. Kanis again, Linda decided it was time for another visit to Dr. Lensing to discuss surgical options. “I had to,” said Linda. “I had dealt with things for a long time and thought to myself that this was just how it was going to be, but it all continued to get progressively worse.”

Dr. Lensing believed that Linda would be a good candidate for robotic surgery. He explained to her that with the da Vinci Surgical Robot, there was a 90% chance of a successful surgery and that while the other options they discussed were less invasive, they had only a 50% chance of working. “I really appreciated that about Dr. Lensing, he always explained things well. Even when I decided to move forward with the surgery, everything was planned out for me. There was no wondering about what to do next. I got a packet of information laying out everything from pre-operative appointments through surgery and even my 6-week follow up appointment,” said Linda.

Linda’s surgery went well and she recovered in the hospital for 2 nights. “My recovery went very, very well,” said Linda. “The staff was great and made me feel comfortable even considering my surgery was so personal. Again, they took care of me with compassion and dignity.” Linda shared that the most difficult part of the recovery was feeling so well and wanting to do things right away and knowing she wasn’t supposed to.

“My quality of life is back. I’ve had no complications or issues,” said Linda. “While I had always been active and continued to be active, all this had really put a kink in things.”

“I’m glad Linda is doing so well,” said Dr. Lensing. “We have very little control over bacteria, blood clots and other biologic factors that could lead to a less than desirable outcome. Whenever we can help someone like Linda get her quality of life back, we consider it to be a successful surgery.”

“I’m just sorry I was so foolish and waited so long. But since I did wait I was able to have the procedure with Dr. Lensing and his partner, Dr. Coleman, using the da Vinci surgical robot, and that is a blessing. I know others who have had similar procedures and the recovery was weeks and weeks and much more difficult than anything I’ve had,” said Linda.

Looking back on the day of her surgery, Linda remembers telling her husband that she was trusting in God that she would be ok. Now, she believes that with the surgeon’s and God’s healing her quality of life is back.