Dori's Story - Fairview Health Services
 
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Dori's experience
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My name is Dori. I live in Minnetonka with my husband, Brian, and our two dogs. I have been a nurse for 18 years. I have always been an active person and enjoy ice hockey, volleyball, crocheting, and playing scrabble.

I have had issues with painful periods and heavy bleeding since I was 12 years old. When I was 23, I had surgery to remove a cyst about the size of a baseball, several golf ball size cysts and endometriosis. I was put on birth control to keep the endometriosis and cysts from growing back and keep the symptoms at bay. My periods continued to be uncomfortable but now I could at least tolerate the pain.

Within the last few years, my periods became more painful again. I started having to schedule my life and even my work around them. I just couldn’t keep up due to the pain. I couldn’t play sports or do anything during the first few days of my cycle. Conventional, over-the-counter medications no longer worked to control the pain.

In December 2012, I was told I could longer take birth control due to other medical issues. A month later, the pain was unbearable and lasted much longer than in the past. I had heavy bleeding and started experiencing unexpected bleeding between periods. My period would stop and three days later it would start again. It was continuous and awful! I even started having pain while sitting during ovulation.

I became frustrated and decided to make an appointment with my doctor,Eric English, MD. Dr. English found a large polyp on my ovary as well as endometriosis. The polyp was too large to remove in the office and would require an additional surgery. After looking at all of the options, we decided that a hysterectomy would be the best option for me due to the medical issues I had at the time. Dr. English said I was a good candidate for a single site robotic-assisted hysterectomy, which means there is one incision in the belly button.

As a nurse, I have had firsthand experience taking care of patients after their hysterectomies. I have seen the advantages of robotic-assisted versus traditional surgical methods. Typically the patients that have had a robotic-assisted surgery have less pain, recover faster and do not require as much pain medication. Also since this particular surgery has one incision in the belly button, there is usually no scar. I decided that a single site robotic-assisted surgery was the right option for me.

My surgery took place at Fairview Southdale Hospital and went very well. I was able to go home the next day. Within a week, I was pretty much feeling back to normal. I was taking over-the-counter pain medication to help with the pain after surgery. Even though I was not able to get back to sports or working out right away, I had no trouble getting back to my daily activities.

My surgery changed my life. I no longer have to schedule my work and daily activities around my periods. I no longer have pain when sitting. It’s wonderful not having to live my life around my cycle.
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