Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine.
Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Minimally invasive surgical procedure speeds recovery time for patients

When Ingrid Baines of Raywood, Texas heard the word “hysterectomy,” she began to think about the things that most women typically associate with that surgical procedure: painful recovery and a long healing process.

Because of a minimally invasive procedure at San Jacinto Methodist Hospital, Baines had neither. Her hysterectomy was performed using the da Vinci® Surgical System, an alternative minimally invasive technique.

Although she’d never heard of robotic surgery before, hearing that she would have a shorter recovery was enough to make her consider it as an option.

“People always ask, ‘Were you scared?’” recalled Baines. “I wasn’t scared from the time I was admitted until the time I had the surgery. I wasn’t scared at all. I was OK.”

Her procedure was performed by Dr. Roderick Diggs III at San Jacinto Methodist. According to Dr. Diggs, there are several benefits to this type of surgery.

“The patient goes home sooner, bowel function is restored sooner, the amount of pain is much less and the risk of wound infection is lower,” said Dr. Diggs.

Traditional open surgeries require a large surgical incision, and typically recovery time is two to three days in the hospital and six weeks at home. Because da Vinci procedures only require four small incisions, the recovery time is much shorter.

“I came home the next day and I was moving around. It was easy. It was just like I didn’t even have a surgery,” said Baines.

Baines, who is a custodian for Hull-Daisetta ISD, was able to return to work in four weeks, without pain or complications.

Behind the controls of the da Vinci System, a surgeon has a 3-D view and more controlled precise movement. The surgeon also benefits from working with three hands, which allows him or her to hold an instrument in one hand, while continuing to operate with the other two.

“I don’t call it robotic surgery because that implies something else is performing the procedure,” said Dr. Diggs. “It is me doing the surgery; however, the instruments are different.”

Dr. Rosalyn Gayle also performs surgeries at San Jacinto Methodist using da Vinci. She noted that there are many uses for this method of surgery.

“Ovarian cysts, hysterectomies – anything that was traditionally done open can now be done laparoscopically,” said Dr. Gayle.

Dr. Gayle advised that not all patients are candidates for this type of surgery. Patients who have had previous abdominal surgeries or surgeries involving the intestines or colon should refrain from having laparoscopic surgery.

Baines was a prime candidate for laparoscopic surgery, and reflecting on her experience, she said, “If I had to do it all over again, I don’t think I would’ve gone the other way. I’m glad I went the way I did.”

For more information on minimally invasive surgical techniques at San Jacinto Methodist Hospital, call 855-999-7564 (SJMH).