Susan’s back in the saddle, cancer-free

Woman riding a horse at a ranch

Susan Edwards knew something wasn’t quite right. She was losing weight, and noticed swelling in her lower abdomen. With a history of cancer in her family, she got it checked out right away.

The news was not what she wanted to hear. Susan had a three-and-a-half pound tumor on her left ovary that needed to be removed immediately. After the surgery, tests confirmed it was Stage 1 ovarian cancer, and she was referred to Stephen L. Buckley, MD, with Southeast Gynecological Oncology Associates for follow-up treatment.

“Dr. Buckley made me feel very comfortable,” said Susan. “He took the time to explain everything in simple terms.” He recommended a total hysterectomy, which could be done through tiny incisions with the da Vinci® Surgical System.

“Dr. Buckley assured me that this minimally invasive approach would be best for me, and I would be back to my normal life quickly,” she said. Good news for someone like Susan who works outdoors and loves to ride horses.

“The da Vinci system allows us to take a procedure that traditionally requires a large incision and a five-day hospital stay and convert it to one requiring very small incisions, allowing the patient to go home the same day or the day after surgery,” said Dr. Buckley. “Not only is the recovery quicker, the risks of complications are lower,” he said.

Susan’s recovery was quicker than she imagined. “I was able to go home the morning after surgery,” she remarked. “I had some tenderness, but not much pain afterward.”

The da Vinci system, with its Endowrist Instruments, has revolutionized gynecological surgery, according to Dr. Buckley.

“These instruments have more mobility and precision than the human wrist,” he said. This provides surgeons with the dexterity to access small areas through tiny incisions.

Dr. Buckley has performed more than 1,000 procedures with the da Vinci system, making him one of the most experienced gynecological surgeons in the country.

Susan’s been cancer free for two years and is grateful to be back to riding her horses.