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Obstetrics/gynecology robotic surgery patient story
A program of:
Pelvic pain relief: Bobbi's story
To learn more about GYN robotic surgery at United Hospital, call the da Vinci coordinator at
STORK: We finally made it to the number one medical trend. Well, almost. Before we reveal number one, you have to see Bobbi's story.
(Excerpts from videotape)
BOBBI: I'm only 34 and I feel like I'm 90. I'm just exhausted. The pain is constant. It just aches. I'm tired of not feeling good. And so, that prompted me to go to the doctor. When she was doing the abdominal check, she felt a knot. She thought it was a cyst. During the surgery she found that my right tube had been blocked for quite some time. To hear someone tell you that you're never going to be able to be a mom, as a woman, you wonder, why me? I know I would be an awesome mom. It's awful. I just really want one of my own.
BOBBI: I've always expressed to every doctor I've ever gone to how important having children is to me. Finding this doctor was sheer coincidence, said that the surgery is state of the art. When I first heard him say a robot doing the surgery, my initial reaction is, 'Whoa, you know what? No, thanks. I'll take humans, please.' It's scary. But I'm very hopeful that he can fix it.
(End of excerpts)
STORK: So your doctors basically told you you couldn't have kids?
STORK: And why?
BOBBI: Several years ago I had a laproscopic surgery, and they found that my fallopian tubes were blocked with a lot of scar tissue and everything, so nothing gets through.
STORK: So the egg couldn't get to where it needed to go.
STORK: And that's pretty devastating.
STORK: Well, our cameras were there while she underwent a ground breaking surgery to repair her reproductive system.
(Excerpts from videotape)
Dr. ERIC ENGLISH (MD, United Hospital, St. Paul, Minnesota): And if anything can do it, it's really, it should be this machine. The robot gives you excellent dexterity and microsurgical ability, really, with much better visualization. My hope is that we can really greatly improve her pain symptoms and give her a shot at an intrauterine pregnancy, which is really her dream.
BOBBI: I am optimistic, but I'm nervous. It's scary.
Dr. ENGLISH: I'm hoping to peel back leaves of the fallopian tube and sew them back. It's much easier with this machine. There's the diseased tube on the right. Oh, geez, it is fused. Look at that. I have three dimensional vision in here, which is a new thing for laparoscopies. Unfortunately the only thing this machine doesn't give me is a sense of touch. So you have to kind of do it based on what things look like. A lot of times surgeons pull too hard, and that's what we're going to try not to do today, is tear anything.
(End of excerpts)
STORK: This state-of-the-art surgery, something you probably only expect to see in the movies, but robot surgery is no longer a thing of the future. It's our number one trend, it's called the da Vinci Robot surgery.
STORK: Dr. Eric English is Bobbi's doctor. He's the one who performed this amazing surgery on her reproductive system. Welcome, Dr. English.
Dr. ENGLISH: Thanks. Thank you.
STORK: The question I have for you, someone who uses this, do you think robots are the future of medicine? Dr. ENGLISH: I do. They'll have a variety of applications not just in gynecology, but in pediatrics, general surgery and urology.
STORK: So we've really just touched the surface with where this will probably go?
Dr. ENGLISH: It's an excellent surgical tool. It's constantly looking for new uses. Even oral surgery, they've been putting the trochars through the mouth to operate in the back of the tongue.
STORK: Well, thank you for sharing your OR with us.
Dr. ENGLISH: Oh, yeah.
STORK: And we'll find out relatively soon if it was successful, right?
Dr. ENGLISH: That's right. That's our hope. Once her husband comes back into town, we're going to test those tubes.
STORK: That's an important piece of this puzzle, is it not?
Dr. ENGLISH: That is true.
MASTERSON: You can't fix that with the robot.
BOBBI: That's right.
STORK: Best of luck to you and your husband.
BOBBI: Thank you.
Bobbi Bade suffered from pelvic pain and couldn't conceive a child. Normal therapies offered little hope for Bobbi and her husband to have children.
Then Bobbi met Eric English, MD, an obstetrics/gynecology surgeon at United Hospital. Dr. English offered Bobbi a chance to relieve her pain and restore her fertility using a surgical technique with the da Vinci robot.
Watch Bobbi's and Dr. English's story as told on the national TV program, The Doctors.
Source: Video and transcript courtesy of The Doctors.
Stage 29 Productions, LLC © 2008
Reviewed by: The Doctors
First Published: 10/14/2008
Last Reviewed: 10/14/2008