Tina Iten's Story
da Vinci Surgery—Smaller Incisions, Faster Recovery
Living in Pain
For years, Tina Iten suffered through the pain of endometriosis and uterine fibroids. While the condition did not prevent her from starting a family, the 44-year-old mother of three lived with daily pain.
"I had scar tissue on my right ovary," Tina says. "I sought treatment several years ago but nothing seemed to have a lasting effect. I was tired of not feeling well."
Tina looked to Kevin Fleishman, M.D., for help. Given Tina's age and the fact that she did not plan to have more children, he suggested a hysterectomy using the da Vinci robotic surgical system.
Hysterectomy by da Vinci
"I looked up the da Vinci online," Tina says. "I thought, 'How does this work? The incisions are so tiny.'"
The da Vinci uses mechanical arms, which are manipulated by the physician, who sits at a console several feet away from the patient. Dr. Fleishman uses the da Vinci for patients who need hysterectomies—removal of the female reproductive organs; myomectomies—the removal of fibroid tumors; and treatment of endometriosis.
"Because of the 3-D, high definition vision that the robot provides, we can see as many as 30 percent more lesions," Dr. Fleishman says. "Also, we can remove lesions near major organs, which were much more difficult to do before."
Dr. Fleishman thought Tina was a good fit for the surgery because she was having almost constant pain and heavy menstrual bleeding.
"It affected her ability to function," Dr. Fleishman says. "She is a busy, go-getter type of person and we wanted a procedure that would have the least impact on her life with minimal side effects."
Tina decided to have robotic surgery because the recovery time is shorter than traditional surgery. Another bonus was the lack of scarring. Her scars from the procedure are so small that she doesn't notice them.
"I went into surgery in pain," Tina says. "I was so used to living with that pain. Then, I woke up with no pain at all."
Tina felt so well, in fact, that she returned to work five days after she had the procedure.
"My life has changed," she says. "The great thing is that I don't feel like I had surgery."
Other da Vinci® Robotic Surgery Patient Stories
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