Less pain, more gain — Women report easier recovery with robotic surgery

August 21, 2012

When doctors discovered pre-cancerous cells in her uterus late last year, there were plenty of reasons for Janece Martin to be concerned.

As a 60-year-old woman, how quickly could she recover from the required hysterectomy?

How much pain would she feel?

Dr. Jennifer Roelands and Janece Martin.

But most of all, she worried that doctors might discover a hidden cancer while removing her uterus.

“I was very concerned. Even though we had done a biopsy, my doctor wasn’t totally convinced that when they did surgery they wouldn’t find cancer,” said Martin, of Columbia.

Martin’s hysterectomy was scheduled for April 4 at Boone Hospital Center. As the date approached, Martin’s primary gynecologist decided her case was a good fit for minimally invasive surgery using Boone Hospital’s da Vinci robot and referred her to Jennifer Roelands, MD.

“When possible, I advocate for robotic surgery as recovery is faster, patients require less pain medication and can return to work quicker,” said Dr. Roelands, a board certified gynecologist. “The da Vinci allows me to do a complicated hysterectomy, like Ms. Martin’s, in a less invasive way so she can heal better.”

Martin found this to be true. After waking up following her surgery, she learned doctors had discovered no cancer, which was a great relief.

She was also amazed that she felt no pain.

“It didn’t hurt, and I thought, well, that’s odd,” she said. “That was nowhere near what I expected.”

Just hours after the surgery, she was up and walking pain-free. She was released from the hospital the next morning without any pain medication.

“Not one pain pill did I take,” she said. “It was just totally amazing.”

The recovery was so easy Martin later teased her primary gynecologist, saying, “I don’t think you all did surgery.” He replied, “Oh yes we did; I watched the whole thing.”

Before the surgery, Martin’s husband had taken off 10 days from work to help care for her throughout her recovery. But the tables turned during her quick recovery when he strained his back a few days after her surgery.

“I actually drove him to the ER and had to watch over him,” she said, with a laugh.

Martin praised Dr. Roelands for the surgical skill and technological expertise she brings to mid-Missouri.

“She is a tremendous asset to Boone Hospital and the community,” she said.

Minimally Invasive Option

Boone Hospital has offered da Vinci surgical procedures since 2008.

It’s a robotic system where a surgeon uses hand and foot controls to maneuver tiny surgical instruments with minute precision.

A special camera provides the surgeon with clear 3D footage direct from the surgery site.

The system allows trained physicians to perform surgeries with slender robotic arms rather than their own hands, making it possible to have much smaller surgical openings.

Research shows that compared to traditional surgery, robotic procedures are less painful, take less time to complete, leave much smaller scars and allow patients to leave the hospital sooner and recover faster.

Read the rest of this entry »


Happy 90th Birthday, Boone Hospital

November 7, 2011

To be a great hospital for 90 years takes outstanding physicians, amazing caregivers and a first-class support staff.

But it also takes an amazing community of patients and supporters.

This year, as Boone Hospital Center celebrates 90 years of service in mid-Missouri, our patients are wishing Boone a happy birthday.

Click here to share your birthday wishes and read below to learn about the patients featured in our advertisements.

Renewed focus

“Thanks to you, I can focus on doing what I love. And I wanted to say, Happy Birthday.”

-Glenn Chambers

Glenn Chambers is a well-known nature photographer. He’s also had three open-heart surgeries.  In 1998, Glenn began experiencing claudication, which caused pain in his legs and made it hard for him to hike to the remote locations required for his photography.

With help from Boone Hospital’s Cardiac Rehab service, Glenn followed an exercise program and is now able to spend more time walking outdoors and focusing on his photography. Hear from Glenn about his surgeries and recovery at Boone.

Finding hope

“In my darkest days, you helped me find hope. Happy 90th Birthday.”

-Debi Hake

Debi Hake was diagnosed with breast cancer at the unusually young age of 31.  As a mother of two kids, Debi was surprised and scared. To keep mentally and physically strong, Debi worked with a personal trainer during her rounds of chemotherapy.

Her trainer suggested she compete in the 2011 TriZou Triathlon. After some convincing, she eventually agreed and successfully completed the race. Two days later, she learned she was cancer-free. Watch Debi tell her story here.

Saving a mother

“Thanks to you, I’m here with the people I love. Happy Birthday, Boone Hospital.”

-Monica Lee

In 2010, Monica Lee gave birth to her daughter, Evalyn, at Boone Hospital Center. But after her C-section, Monica mysteriously began losing blood. A team of physicians and nurses worked for seven hours to stop the bleeding and stabilize Monica.

Today, Monica and her husband, Noppadol Paothong, are proud parents and credit Boone Hospital for saving Monica’s life. Monica and Nop tell the miraculous story of Eva’s birth and Monica’s survival.

A healthier heart

“When my heart was broken, you put me back together. Happy Birthday, Boone Hospital.”

-Pam Lessley

Pam Lessley went to the dentist because she was experiencing jaw pain. After a few trips to the doctor and some testing, Pam was surprised to learn she had three arteries 98 percent blocked.

After a triple bypass surgery, Pam worked with Boone Hospital’s Cardiac Rehab and WELLAWARE services to learn to eat properly, exercise and manage her stress. Today, she’s much healthier and helps educate mid-Missourians about the dangers of heart disease. Pam tells her own story in this video.

Following his passion

“Now I’m following my passion, wherever it takes me. Happy Birthday, Boone Hospital.”

-Mike Mountjoy

Mike Mountjoy is an avid bicyclist but in 2009, Mike’s annual PSA prostate test showed unusual results. His doctor sent him to a local urologist for a biopsy, and Mike was diagnosed with prostate cancer. He later had his prostate surgically removed with Boone Hospital’s da Vinci robot.

Just six-and-a-half weeks after the surgery, Mike was cancer-free and back on his bike, participating in a bike ride through the mountainous terrain of Colorado. Watch Mike tell his story here.

Back on her feet

“With you beside me, I’m back on my feet again. Happy Birthday, Boone Hospital.”

-Birdie Rhodes

Birdie Rhodes traveled from Clarksville, Tenn., to have both of her knees replaced at Boone Hospital Center.  Birdie’s daughter is a nurse at Boone, and wanted her mom to have the best care possible.

Birdie said she was very impressed with the doctors and staff at Boone Hospital. With their care, she’s back on her feet and back to an active lifestyle. Listen to Birdie as she tells about her care at Boone Hospital.

For even more behind the scenes footage check out our YouTube video. You can also watch both of the commercials on YouTube.


Early detection and the da Vinci machine answer Prostate Cancer

October 17, 2011

Dr. Steven Dresner is one of seven Urologists at Urology Associates of Central Missouri where numerous new cases of prostate cancer are seen each year.

While research regarding the prevention of this deadly cancer is ongoing, Dr. Dresner will be the first to say early detection is the best way to combat prostate cancer.

Most cases are discovered younger now, the average age of detection in now somewhere between 54 and 62 years of age. Many of these patients do in fact have 20-year life expectancies, and the quality of life after surgical therapy tends to be better in the long run compared to radiation therapy.

Prostate exams should include a blood test, called Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) tests include blood work and a short rectal exam. Men over the age of 45 should have the test done annually. Men with certain risk factors, including race and family history, should begin even sooner.

Dr. Dresner uses the da Vinci machine to remove cancerous prostates laparoscopically. Using the robot’s hands and three-dimensional cameras, Dr. Dresner operates at Boone Hospital.

“The main advantage of the minimally invasive approach is a shorter and easier recovery compared to open surgery. Hospital, catheter times and getting back on your feet are sooner, blood loss is less, patients are back to work and back to full activity faster,” Dr. Dresner said.

Two of Dr. Dresner’s patients were lucky enough to catch prostate cancer early and have the da Vinici procedure.

Following in his father’s footsteps

Jay Moore’s father had prostate cancer at the age of 59, so he knew the importance of having a regular PSA test. Knowing his family history, Moore began getting his own PSAs six years before the results came back higher than usual. In 2008, at the age of 45, Moore’s test was a little off.

His family doctor suggested a follow up; Moore’s wife encouraged him to talk to Dr. Steven Dresner at the Urology Associates of Central Missouri. After more tests, the results came back confirming that Moore had prostate cancer.

“The only symptom I showed was getting up in the middle of the night to urinate. The only way I really knew was by having PSAs annually,” said Moore.

During their consultations, Dr. Dresner explained to Moore that because they caught the cancer early, there was usually an 18-month window that would determine his quality of life after cancer. Removing it as soon as possible would mean a longer life. Moore, a father of two and financial analyst for the Missouri Department of Transportation, planned to live longer than 18 months. They scheduled the surgery for March 9, 2009.

Dr. Dresner recommended having the prostate removed using the da Vinci robot. The healing process would be much faster, and there would be less risk to other organs. Although it was mentally trying during the time leading up to the surgery in March, Moore was comforted by Dr. Dresner’s experience with the machine and the surgery.

“During the time before the surgery, I was concerned it might spread,” said Moore. “Dr. Dresner really felt confident, so I was confident with him doing it.”

Moore was surprised by how easily he recovered. The biggest inconvenience was having a catheter for ten days. The following week he eased back into work and his usual active lifestyle.

“I asked Dr. Dresner, ‘I’m not going to push to play golf, but tell me when I can go back,’” said Moore. “After a few weeks, I was swinging again!”

Now, almost two years later, Moore is healthy and happy. He now only visits Dr. Dresner every six months to monitor his prostate health.

He continues to encourage his friends and family members to take action.

“If you’ve got family history, I would encourage you to talk to your doctor about getting the PSA set up,” says Moore.

He says he is thankful for his dad’s support and will talk to his son about the serious risk of prostate cancer.

Back in the race

Mike Mountjoy, 58, is a cyclist, a husband and a father. He works at Bob McCosh GM and, if you met him, he seems like the picture of health.

Mountjoy visited his family doctor regularly and had a PSA each year. In March of 2009 the test results came back irregular, and Mountjoy visited Dr. Dresner. A few days later, he got the dreaded call: You have cancer.

“When I had the biopsies done, I thought it would come back as ‘Not cancer, you’re fine, go on living life.’ I was naïve and just didn’t think that it would happen to me.,” said Mountjoy. “When it did, it caught me off guard, and it shocked me.”

Wasting no time, Mountjoy and his brother researched prostate cancer to learn about the disease and treatment options. He talked to Dr. Dresner about his options, and, like Moore, Mountjoy decided to have his prostate removed with the da Vinci Robot.

The surgery took place in the beginning of May, the same year. Afterwards Mountjoy bugged Dr. Dresner to let him get back to his active routine. He had a bike ride planned in Colorado six-and-a-half weeks after the scheduled surgery, and he wanted to ride the 475 miles through the mountains of Colorado.

Dr. Dresner told Mountjoy to stay off his bike for the first five weeks. He did, but managed to do the ride anyway.

“He thought I was crazy, which I probably was. I ended up doing the bike ride,” said Mountjoy, who rode over 300 miles during the ride.

Over two years later, Mountjoy is quick to explain his diagnosis of prostate cancer was not a death sentence.

“I decided I wasn’t going to let cancer get me. I had this attitude, excuse me, ‘To hell with cancer.’ I’m going to move on, I’m going to live. That’s what I did.”


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