Gynecological Testimonial

Forty-three-year-old Stephanie Venable walked out of her gynecologist’s office feeling desperate. She touched her abdomen, which was tender and swollen to the size of an eight month-old pregnancy. But it wasn’t a baby Stephanie was carrying – it was a large mass of fibroids, and she had just learned that, because she was overweight, her only option to have them removed was to undergo a complicated surgery that would force her to miss nine weeks of work. For Stephanie, who had a demanding job and cared for her aging mother, being in recovery for that long was not an option.

Stephanie was first diagnosed with fibroids during a routine gynecological exam in 2009, three years earlier. Having never experienced side effects from having extra tissue growing inside of her, she was shocked at the news. “I really had no idea what was going on, I thought it was cancer, “Stephanie said. “They talked about the possibility of having surgery, but I thought I could just lose weight and they would melt away.“ Stephanie started an exercise routine and added flaxseed and iodine supplements to her diet, after reading advice from online testimonials.

But her fibroids continued to grow, and she finally had to admit that surgery was imminent. Unfortunately, by the time she made that decision, her fibroids and uterus had grown too large for less invasive procedures. According to her gynecologist, Stephanie was a “lost cause“ and only eligible for traditional surgery.

Searching for a second opinion, Stephanie was eventually referred to Saji Jacob, MD, an OBGYN and Robotic Surgeon on staff with SSM Maternity Care and the SSM Robotic Surgery Institute at DePaul Health Center. Within the week of her first appointment, she had her consultation and was on the schedule to have her fibroids removed with the daVinci Robotic Surgical System.

“I walked into Dr. Jacob’s office and he said ‘What took you so long to come here’,“ Stephanie said. “I couldn’t believe it. He said that with this procedure, I could return to work in just a few days.“ Once he started the procedure, Dr. Jacob was shocked at what he found. “The extra tissue weighed more than 3.5 pounds and I couldn’t even count them all. Fortunately, we were able to remove each one with the robot,“ he said.

Six days later, Stephanie returned to work with no pain and no fibroids. She is so happy with the outcome that she now speaks out about her experience. “I just hope that other women in my situation – overweight and in denial – have a chance at this procedure. It really is a life changer,“ she said.

Patient Testimonial

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