”My doctor had me watch a couple of YouTube videos about the da Vinci system, which was a great way to educate me,” Dianne Turiano says. “One of them showed it peeling the skin from a grape!”
Dianne Turiano had a great experience at San Ramon Regional Medical Center in 2004; she brought home a baby daughter and a good opinion of the hospital.
“People are very personal there,” Dianne says. “You know they’re working with a gazillion other people, but their attentiveness means you have as much of an individualized experience as you can have.”
When she began to have problems with uterine fibroids nine years later, she again thought of San Ramon Regional. Her doctor is affiliated with the hospital, and they were weighing her options for solving the condition.
One option was fibroid embolization, a process performed by a radiologist that blocks blood flow to the growths. Based on her specific situation, her doctor warned that a hysterectomy likely would be needed later.
He then explained how a hysterectomy could be performed using the da Vinci® Surgical System, an interactive robot controlled by a surgeon at a console in a patient’s room. The system has increasingly been used to improve on traditional laparoscopy, during which a surgeon uses long-handled, hand-held tools and a tiny camera to get to hard-to-reach organs and tissues.
Using the da Vinci system, a surgeon guides robotic arms while seeing a magnified, 3D view of the surgery site. The robot’s jointed wrist design exceeds the natural range of motion of a human hand, meaning its reach is more flexible and only one or two tiny incisions are needed. Because of its stability, a surgeon can operate with greater control and precision.
“My doctor had me watch a couple of YouTube videos about the da Vinci system, which was a great way to educate me,” Dianne says. “One of them showed it peeling the skin from a grape!”
After getting a second opinion, Dianne was sold. She and her doctor opted for a procedure that would preserve her ovaries and fallopian tubes and delay menopause. And she was quickly reminded why she had chosen San Ramon Regional for the surgery.
“For my pre-op appointments, I checked in at one spot,” says Dianne. After completing financial arrangements, she was assigned a nurse who took a blood sample and performed an electrocardiogram (EKG). There was no running around town, or even around the hospital, to handle pre-op details.
Her positive experience continued the next day. While preparing her for surgery, her team of nurses helped to lighten the mood.
“Instead of making the situation very heavy and serious, they made it enjoyable,” says Dianne. “We were laughing and telling jokes. I found them so fun!”
Today, Dianne is still amazed at her rapid recovery from the minimally invasive surgery. Two days after the procedure, she went shopping for Thanksgiving dinner ingredients. And nine days afterward, she was able to take a business trip.
It was in a later business meeting that she found she had another connection to the da Vinci system. Dianne, who is in sales, discovered that the technology was introduced by one of her clients.
An employee with the company mentioned da Vinci, saying, “You might not have heard of it.” Dianne laughed.
“And I said, ‘Oh, I probably know it better than you think!”