Sutter Women's Services
Peggy - Choosing Wisely
Peggy does not leave things to chance.
Maybe it's because she has worked with lawyers for the past 28 years. Or because she grew up one of six children. Regardless, Peggy asks questions, she gets answers and she makes decisions accordingly.
When Peggy learned she had uterine fibroid tumors, she was not surprised. Both of her younger sisters already had hysterectomies to treat their fibroids. True to form, Peggy -- along with her physician Dr. Christiana Kopf kept a close eye on her condition for more than a year before turning to surgery. Also true to form, Peggy did her research.
Like Peggy, her doctor has a strong thirst for knowledge. "That's one of the reasons I trusted her," said Peggy. "I could tell she's passionate about her work since she is interested in the latest medical news." Dr. Kopf is one of a few doctors in the area who uses a new robotic technology, called the da Vinci (R) Surgical System, to perform hysterectomies and other gynecologic procedures. This device allows the surgeon to control tiny robotic "arms" that are inserted into the patient through small incisions. Robotic surgery does not require the large incisions necessary for traditional or "open" procedures.
After discussing at length with Dr. Kopf and researching on the Internet, Peggy opted for the robotic hysterectomy instead of a standard one. "It was less invasive to my body and there were fewer risks. And Dr. Kopf told me I was an ideal candidate because of my health and the size of my fibroids," she said. "But, especially, the recovery time is faster. I did not want to be cooped up in bed for weeks." An active cyclist and frequent gym exerciser, Peggy placed a high priority on getting back to normal as quickly as possible.
Her decision paid off. After her morning surgery, Peggy was walking the hospital halls that evening. She was released the next day and was back at work in two weeks. By the third week, she was lifting weights in the gym. "It wasn't easy," Peggy said. "The first few days were tough. But I know it would have been harder if I chose the open procedure."
Today, months after her surgery, Peggy says she never felt better. "I know I picked the best treatment for me. And I'm grateful my doctor gave me the choice."
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