OB/GYN Surgery Patient Stories
Surgery Provided Relief From Her Pain
Mary Gearhart suffered from pain on the lower left side of her stomach and sought care from her primary care physician. He thought that the problem might be an issue with her ovary and referred her to Richland Hospital OB/GYN Dr. Janice Alexander.
After an ultrasound, Dr. Alexander believed that Mary had a fibroid tumor outside of her uterus. She talked to Mary about her options and the two decided on a hysterectomy.
In surgery Dr. Alexander found that Mary actually had 2 tumors the size of bunny ears. Mary had immediate relief after surgery and says that she had more pain before the surgery then after. “The nurses were very attentive and talked with me frequently to see if I had pain or if I was nauseous. I had no nausea, ate supper, and had a restful night.”
“I had very good care from everyone, especially the dietary department.” Mary follows a gluten free diet and the hospital staff was very easy to work with. “They met with me and we talked about options,” she said. “They were really great.”
As an office manager in a local dentist office, Mary knows a lot of people in town. She enjoyed receiving care from some of the people she knows. “It was nice knowing the people who cared for me,” she said. “The nursing care that I received was perfect.”
“Dr. Alexander was great. She made sure that I was ready, emotionally, to have a hysterectomy,” Mary said. “I went into the day with a very positive attitude and since I exercise every day, I was in good shape physically too.”
Mary is healing and returned to her office job a couple weeks after surgery.
I Don’t Have to Worry Anymore
Georgia Grassman had battled incontinence issues for years. “A previous gynecologist had put in a bladder sling, but it was not working,” she said. “I talked to Dr. Alexander and she asked if I was interested in trying Interstim.”
InterStim is a small, pacemaker like, device for your pelvis area. The device stimulates a person’s sacral nerves with mild electrical pulses. Sacral nerves are the spinal nerves located in your pelvis that control your bladder, bowel, rectum and the muscles related to your urinary and anal functions.
Initially, Georgia was implanted with a temporary device. After the successful trial run, the permanent device was implanted just under Georgia’s skin. After a week, she had her follow-up appointment with Dr. Alexander to make sure the device was working correctly and to make any adjustments needed. Now Georgia can adjust the device herself. “I have a little machine at home,” she said. “I can turn it up or down until it feels like it should.”
Georgia wants women to know about this option. “If Dr. Alexander suggests this, they shouldn’t be afraid. It has made a wonderful difference for me,” she said. “It is just fantastic. I don’t have any issues.” Both the temporary and permanent devices were implanted at the Richland Hospital and were a same day surgery procedure.
“Now, I don’t have to worry about not being able to go places that I want to go,” Georgia said. “I don’t have to worry about coughing or sneezing. I would recommend this for anyone with incontinence issues.”
A Return to Quality of Life and Coaching
After her final baby in 2011, Monica Kershner says that she “just never felt normal.” Lower back pain, abnormal periods, and incontinence issues made maintaining her active lifestyle tough. “I loved coaching youth basketball and filling in when we needed another player. I demonstrated drills for the kids,” Monica said. “When I couldn’t do it anymore, I knew I needed to see a doctor.”
Monica remembers a poster in OB/GYN Dr. Janice Alexander’s office. “It said, ‘Is your bladder always on your mind?’ For me it was and it affected my quality of life.”
Dr. Alexander performed a vaginal ultrasound on Monica which revealed that she had early stage endometriosis, adenomyosis, and multiple organ prolapses. Monica would need a hysterectomy and total pelvic floor reconstruction. After 5 babies some things had not healed correctly and there was a lot of scar tissue, Monica said.
Monica had immediate relief following her surgery. “I knew right after surgery that things were better. I told my husband, Oakley, that I had no lower back pain,” Monica said. “After that, every day got better. The surgery was definitely successful.”
Monica stayed at the hospital overnight. “I know a lot of the people at the hospital,” she said. “We are either friends, or my kids go to school with their kids. We are fortunate to have such a quality hospital in town, and blessed to have Dr Alexander.” Monica said. “Not just her abilities and hands, but also her heart.”
At her five-week follow-up appointment, Monica said she had no pain, heaviness or bloating. “I’m not exercising yet, but I’m ready to go,” she said. “I can tell my body is ready and now I can get back to life.”
One Family’s Richland Hospital Triple Play
Sheila McCauley is gritty on the outside and caring and compassionate on the inside. She enjoys riding motorcycles. She was an EMT for 22 years and has been a Special Education Aid in the Richland School District for 29 years. Sheila doesn’t pull any punches when she talks about her experience with the Richland Hospital.
When Sheila began having symptoms, she thought to herself, “this isn’t good.” She made an appointment with her primary care physician, Dr. Jamie Dickman. He referred her to OB/GYN, Dr. Janice Alexander.
After running tests and conducting a biopsy, Dr. Alexander discovered that Sheila had stage 1 cancer, a gall bladder that wasn’t working and a hernia in need of repair. “Dr. Alexander was so kind and calming,” Sheila said. “When I came in for the 1st biopsy and ultrasound, she made me feel better. I was worried and almost teary. She made me feel like it was okay to have the feelings I was having.”
Dr. Alexander consulted with Richland Hospital General Surgeon, Dr. Stephan Delventhal about taking care of everything during one surgery. “Dr. Delventhal was great. He explained things to me and told me how great Dr. Alexander is. That made me feel good and knowing that they would be assisting one another was comforting too,” Sheila said.
While trying to coordinate schedules another concern came into play. “My daughter, Tara was due to have a baby about the same time that the surgery could be scheduled initially,” Sheila said. “I didn’t want to have surgery and be laid up when I wanted to be available to help my daughter.”
All parties agreed that they would try to hold off on the surgery as long as possible, but Tara’s due date came and went. The decision was made to move forward with Sheila’s surgery.
“Both Dr. Delventhal and Dr. Alexander prayed with me before surgery. It really meant a lot to me. When it came right down to it in the operating room, I wasn’t so scared anymore,” Sheila said.
Dr. Delventhal assisted Dr. Alexander during her portions of the surgery and Dr. Alexander assisted
Dr. Delventhal during his portions. Everything went very well and Sheila was soon headed up to the Med/Surg unit to recover. Once there, she had an unexpected visit from her son-in-law. Sheila’s daughter had started labor and she was in the hospital too. Sheila’s grandson, Easton was born the next day at the Richland Hospital.
Surgery Brought Relief
Georgine Worthington was experiencing side, back and pelvic pain and incontinence issues. Dr. Janice Alexander, OB/GYN at the Richland Hospital recommended Pelvic Floor Reconstruction Surgery. Afterward, Georgine spent a night at the hospital’s state of the art Med/Surg unit.
“I am out of pain now and doing well. We are lucky to have such a broad range of Women’s Health Services available right here at the Richland Hospital,” said Georgine.