Jina McClintic had been experiencing intermittent lower back pain for a few years and thought nothing of it until it developed into a nagging pain that would not quit. Jina scheduled an appointment with her primary care provider to figure out what was causing this pain. After further evaluation and some follow up testing they were able to identify the source of her pain. Jina had developed uterine fibroids, which are growths that develop on the uterus.
When people first think of uterine fibroid symptoms, one typically pictures the common issues like heavy bleeding, frequent urination, bloating, cramping or bleeding between periods. However, an often ignored symptom of uterine fibroids is lower back pain and pressure that often becomes more persistent as the fibroids grow.
Jina was referred to Dr. Jennifer Roberts, OBGYN with Hannibal Regional Medical Group to discuss the best way to treat this condition. After meeting with Dr. Roberts, it was determined that the best treatment for her was to have a hysterectomy.
“Having a hysterectomy can be a difficult decision. I always take the time to explain the entire procedure to my patients. You can never completely alleviate someone’s fears until they wake up and they are fine. A thorough description and explanation does remove the mystery and go a long way to help my patients feel more confident,” Dr. Roberts says. Once Jina had a clear understanding of all her treatment options, she was eager to move forward with the robotic procedure.
The da Vinci robotic system uses a small 3D camera which gives the surgeon a magnified 360 degree view of the operative field. Using the console’s hand and foot controls, the surgeon remotely moves robotic arms attached to surgical instruments to perform the operation. The robot’s “hands” have a high degree of dexterity, allowing the surgeon to operate in a very tight space in the body with a small incision. This provides the surgeon with greater accuracy, flexibility, and control.
“I was the first person to undergo robotic assisted surgery at Hannibal Regional Hospital and my experience with robotic surgery was great! I went to sleep, woke up and it was all over, like nothing much had even happened. I had minimal to no pain, went home the next day, and was back to my normal routine in no time,” recalls Jina. She felt so good the day after surgery, she went shopping.
“I can’t say enough about how the robot has made minimally invasive surgery accessible to patients who previously would have required an open procedure. Recovery for an open procedure is four to six weeks while with robotic-assisted surgery more than 90 percent of patients will recover in one to two weeks,” notes Dr. Roberts.
Dr. Roberts provides obstetrical and gynecological care for pregnancy, childbirth, and beyond. She has special interests in robotic gynecologic surgery, minimally invasive urogynecology, and osteopathic manipulative medicine during and after pregnancy. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Roberts or to learn more about Hannibal Regional Medical Group visit hannibalregional.org or call 573-629-3500.