da Vinci Patient Story: Karen Dixon

“I had very little pain – I felt great almost immediately!” says Karen Dixon, 58, recalling her experience with da Vinci surgery at LMH in early June 2013. “In fact, a lot of physicians and nurses who saw me the next day were amazed that I was doing so well right after major surgery.”

Due to a recurring pancreatic pseudocyst, Karen needed a Roux-en-Y cystojejunostomy – a procedure for placing a permanent drain between the cyst and her intestine. Traditional laparoscopy and open surgery were among her treatment options, but Karen’s surgeon,
Chad Tate, MD, strongly recommended da Vinci robotic surgery. To make sure she felt comfortable with her options, Karen says Dr. Tate took time to explain why he felt da Vinci offered more advantages, and he directed her to additional resources so she could conduct her own research as well.

“In the end it was an easy decision for me,” Karen explains. “It was clear Dr. Tate had great confidence in da Vinci, and I had great confidence in him.”

Karen’s procedure required five very small incisions (less than one inch each), and all healed within 10 days of surgery. While open surgery would have resulted in a week-long hospital stay, Karen spent only two nights at LMH after da Vinci surgery and was able to get back to her normal activities at home very quickly. Because she’s a teacher and had surgery during summer break, missing work wasn’t an issue – but based on her experience, she says, “If I did have surgery during the school year, I probably would’ve been back full-time the following week. That’s how fast my recovery was!”

For these reasons and many others, Karen says she would recommend da Vinci surgery to friends and family.

More about robotically assisted surgery and meet the da Vinci surgeons of LMH.

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