No More Pain After Hysterectomy

Video Transcript

My name is Sarah Keizer, and I am from Brookings, South Dakota, and I work for the City of Brookings.

Why did you seek care from Dr. Bennis?

I was having some issues, and my primary doctor asked that I go to see a gynecologist just to do some further testing that she maybe wasn't gonna be able to help me with. So, knowing that I had a friend who just recently had seen Dr. Bennis, I sought out to see her and see if she could help me with the issues that I was experiencing.

What were your symptoms?

My symptoms included pain throughout most of the month, including severe cramping, bleeding, not knowing when it was gonna happen or how bad it was going to be for the month. And every time that I would eat I would experience some bloating after eating. And after a year of going through that, I just decided it was time to figure out what was going wrong. It got to the point where the cramping and stuff was bothersome and would keep me awake at night and would affect me during the day at my job. So, it was time to seek medical care.

One of the things that Dr. Bennis did have me do was keep track of my symptoms for a 30-day period between appointments. And out of those 30 days, there were 5 days out of the month that I actually had what I consider good days, where it wasn't affecting me or the pain wasn't as tolerable. And with me having previous medical conditions, I'm not able to take Advil, Ibuprofen, things like that, I'm allergic to that stuff. So, it is Tylenol, and sometimes when you're taking six, seven, eight Tylenol a day, that's not good for the body either.

What was your diagnosis?

I was diagnosed with fibroids, an enlarged uterus and endometriosis. And then when they got in for the surgery, realized that I also had ovarian cysts that they had to check out. They did take the Fallopian tubes but left the ovaries as Dr. Bennis thought that would be good for me as I do age, that it will help keep my hormone levels in check.

What were your initial treatment options?

We tried over-the-counter prescriptions, we tried birth control pills, and none of that was curing or helping to control any of the pain.

Why did you decide on a hysterectomy?

Dr. Bennis ordered a ultrasound that showed the cervix and the uterus being enlarged, and the endometriosis issues. So, she sat down with me and we went through all options of what we could do, including birth control. And also what else, other procedures that we could do going in and surgically removing the polyps that were there, and doing that would cause bigger issues. So, ultimately, our best decision was to do the hysterectomy and just get rid of all of that.

Did Dr. Bennis provide options in case you had wanted children in the future?

Having children was one of the things that we did talk about, and my husband and I did talk about that prior to our appointment with Dr. Bennis and kind of what we wanted to do. And with the age that we were at, we had just decided that we no longer wanted children. But she made sure that we knew that there were other options if we so choose to still proceed with having children. And we were just at that point in our life that we were ready to just be done with that portion and not have to worry about that.

Why did you opt to have da Vinci robotic surgery?

Dr. Bennis explained that with the da Vinci robot, that it would be less invasive, and that was what she would prefer with me at my age. And with everything that I had been through that that would be the best option for me.

Why did you choose surgery in Brookings?

Being able to stay local and being able to have it done here meant that I didn't have to travel, my family could be present during the procedure, not have to take off a lot of time, extra time. So, it was nice to be able to know that Brookings had that option.

What was the day of surgery like?

It was very interesting. I'm not very well with needles. So, getting an IV started was kind of interesting. But when she came in, she brought calmness to me. And then knowing that in the operating room when she met me there, she just had a smile on her face and was ready to go and very professional about everything, which put me at ease. When you're already tense, it's nice to have a doctor who is going to just kind of help you calm yourself. 

How did staff treat you?

They were very professional about making sure that I was taken care of before I left that operating room. And then even afterwards, making sure that everything was taken care of and that I was comfortable pain-wise. So that was nice to have treatment. The staff in the operating room did make sure that with me having an allergy to Ibuprofen, that they had that band on my wrist to make sure that it was not given to me. So they do take care of you and knowing that what's good for you and what's not.

How was your recovery?

My recovery has been wonderful. The pain that I was experiencing, the bloating, the cramping, everything has gone away. And being able to sleep at night and being able to not have to worry about what am I gonna feel like for that day has made my life so much better.

How has your day-to-day life improved?

Not having to make sure I have Tylenol on hand, making sure that I didn't have to have products on hand because you never knew when it was gonna happen, and just not feeling blah every day, that I can be happy and feel good about myself.

What did you appreciate most about Brookings Health System?

The openness and wanting to make sure that I was a well-informed patient and having all of my options there. They didn't wanna just go right into something because they wanted to do the surgery. But being well-informed helps me as a patient to know my options, that I've got other options out there besides just surgery.

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