After experiencing years of health issues and undergoing multiple surgeries, one woman agrees to try another option: the da Vinci Robotic Surgery. Not only was the surgery successful, she says it completely improved her quality of life and offered the opportunity to interact with her children in ways she has always wanted to.
Sheree Madura spent the last 15 years of her life battling serious health problems. She underwent 10 surgeries during that time and her health prognosis appeared bleak.
“I felt absolutely crazy at times, thinking my pain and health issues were in my head,” Sheree explains. “There were nights where I wasn’t able to sleep due to pain, days where I couldn’t care for or even play with my kids because I was so sick.”
Sheree’s health issues brought a whole new level of difficulty to motherhood with extremely challenging pregnancies and childbirth experiences. “When I had my daughter almost 11 years ago it was rough — almost everything that could go wrong, went wrong,” she recalls.
Experiencing hard labor for 23 hours, her first baby was ushered immediately to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) due to low blood count and barely avoided emergency surgery herself.
Complications from Sheree’s pregnancy coupled with endometriosis and adhesions, caused her ovaries and uterus to stick together. When it came time for her second pregnancy, these conditions were also responsible for her son’s health problems, being diagnosed with torticollis and plagiocephaly — requiring him to wear a helmet to correct his skull deformities. He also suffered some eyesight loss.
Six of Sheree’s 10 surgeries sought to assess and remove adhesions and endometrial tissue. “My Fallopian tube was pinned into my colon due to adhesions; my gallbladder was completely covered in adhesions; and my ovaries, bladder, uterus and other organs were covered in endometriosis,” Sheree explains. “My uterus was further compromised by andenomyosis.”
Sheree has undergone seven surgeries since the birth of her daughter and three since the birth of her son. The recoveries were difficult — extreme pain, discomfort and excessive vomiting, which was especially debilitating after stomach surgeries. “It made things very difficult when I was not able to pick up the kids or help with them at all,” she says.
In addition, her husband is an active duty marine and the family moves often — twice immediately following surgery.
For Sheree, it seemed that a life of chronic illness and painful surgeries was unavoidable. She underwent a complete hysterectomy, hoping the procedure would rectify her myriad health concerns — it did not.
The da Vinci Surgical System is a tool that utilizes advanced robotic technologies to assist surgeons with operations. Da Vinci’s special instruments, computer software and 3D high definition (3D-HD) vision system provides surgeons with enhanced vision, precision and control — all with just a couple of dime-sized incisions.
The system is used to perform a wide range of procedures and the benefits are many. Compared to open surgery, patients experience:
- Fewer complications
- Faster recovery times
- Less blood loss
- Shorter hospital stays
- Reduced need for narcotic pain medication
- Smaller incisions for minimal scarring
Sheree was on board from the get-go.
“I was nervous to have another surgery,” says Sheree. “But given the benefits, especially the faster recovery, I felt confident da Vinci was the right option for me.”
And she was right.
Immediately after surgery, Sheree did not experience the incessant vomiting as with previous procedures; she was even able to get out of bed and walk around that first day. And her recovery time was only a few weeks compared to the months required in the past to get back on her feet.
“I didn’t think things would be that good,” says Sheree. “I was confused at how well I was feeling compared to past surgeries — especially given how much more in depth this surgery was.”
Even better? The surgery was a success.
Sheree no longer experiences the debilitating pain of the past, and her day-to-day has improved exponentially as a result. “I no longer curl up in ball because of pain,” she says. “I got to enjoy a wonderful summer with my children.”
Like many people suffering from chronic health issues, pain had become the norm for Sheree. Eliminating it from her life has opened her eyes and her world. Sheree says she is left dumbfounded by the experience and keeps “waiting for the shoe to drop,” but her health and everyday existence just keep getting better.
“Undergoing da Vinci surgery was the best decision I’ve ever made. It has truly improved my life.”