Unbearable, debilitating, and disabling are just some of the ways that Krisda Abene, 43, used to describe her menstrual periods.
The mother of three from Jamesburg began suffering from painful periods in her 20s, but it was after she had her third child at age 27 that her symptoms intensified.
“When I had my period, it felt like I had a stomach virus,” Krisda says. “In addition to heavy bleeding, I felt sick when I ate certain foods. It was so severe that I had to plan events and vacations around my menstrual cycle.”
Because the hormones in birth control medications can decrease cramping and bleeding, Krisda tried a few different types, but none provided lasting relief of her symptoms. Birth control injections made her tired and she gained 25 pounds during treatment. She still suffered from bloating and painful, heavy bleeding. She even underwent exploratory laparoscopic surgery so her doctor could look for scarring on her uterus, ovaries, fallopian tubes, and bladder. Still, no reason or relief could be determined.
Krisda was referred by a friend to Steven A. Goldstein, MD, a CentraState gynecologic surgeon who is board certified in obstetrics/gynecology and experienced in robotic surgery. Dr. Goldstein spoke with Krisda about her symptoms, reviewed her medical history, and performed an exam. He then discussed the benefits and risks of her treatment options.
“Krisda suffered years of disabling pain, painful periods, and trips to the ER,” Dr. Goldstein explains. “She had exhausted every other option, so it was time that she consider a hysterectomy.”
Robotic Surgery Proves Life-Changing
Krisda decided to have a hysterectomy in June 2018. During the procedure, Dr. Goldstein used the latest-generation da Vinci Xi® robotic surgery system to remove Krisda’s uterus, fallopian tubes, and cervix using only three tiny incisions, each about one-third of an inch long. She opted to keep her ovaries to experience menopause naturally.
“The da Vinci technology allows surgeons to precisely control tiny instruments with great precision using magnified 3D vision,” Dr. Goldstein says. “Surgeries that once required large incisions can now be performed with reduced blood loss, less postoperative pain, practically no scarring, and typically an easier recovery.”
Most patients return home the same day or the morning after surgery. While full recovery can take up to six weeks, Dr. Goldstein says most patients feel good within a week or two.
Krisda, who manages a retail store, said she was back at the gym in three weeks after the stitches healed. Because her job requires lifting heavy boxes and standing on her feet for long hours, she wanted to make sure she was fully healed before returning to work, which was about eight weeks later.
“I wish I had surgery years ago,” Krisda says. “My health and quality of life suffered for years. I feel amazing now.”