Merlin’s Robotic Gallbladder Surgery Story - Pella Regional Health Center

Surgery Was Needed

Merlin Van VarkMerlin Van Vark is a retired carpenter from Pella who recently had robotic gallbladder surgery at Pella Regional. Merlin recently turned 80-years-young and still keeps busy with smaller carpentry jobs.

Merlin had been dealing with some pain under his ribs for about half a year and when he decided to discuss it with his primary care physician. Dr. Blom, family practice physician, decided to run a few tests to determine the cause of the pain.

After the testing in Medical Imaging, it was determined that Merlin’s gallbladder was operating at 8 percent. “The surgeon explained that wasn’t really an issue, but considering that along with the pain shows that surgery is needed,” said Merlin.

Merlin met with Dr. Morgan to discuss the surgery and decided to go with the robotic option. Merlin’s wife Harriet had a laparoscopic gallbladder removal a few years earlier. While she thought her surgery went well compared to stories she had heard about open procedures, both she and Merlin were very pleased with his recovery from robotic surgery.

“He only needed one incision, right near his belly button,” explained Harriet. “With mine, before the hospital got the robot, I needed to have three or four incisions.”

Merlin’s recovery after surgery went well. “It was quick,” said Merlin. “I think I was home by 3:30 or so. There wasn’t much pain, just a bit sore. Not bad at all. My recovery was real good. Fast compared to other surgeries I’ve had. After a couple of days it was like I’d never even had surgery.

The Van Vark’s continue to hear good things about Pella Regional physicians and are happy to stay in Pella for their medical care. And as Merlin said with a smile, “Of course the care is good; otherwise I wouldn’t keep coming back.”

Want to discuss your health care options with a primary care provider?

Request an Appointment