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da Vinci Hysterectomy Patient, Carollee Beauchesne

"I was excited to be part of medical history."

Carollee Beauchesne #2In the summer of 2008, after living with the pain of endometriosis nearly half her life, Carollee Beauchesne, 36, of Pepperell, decided she had had enough. "I was sick and tired of being in pain all the time," she declared.

The mother of four boys, ages 6, 9, 12, and 13, Carollee works as a paraprofessional at the Beverly School for the Deaf during the school year and as a landscaper during the summer months.

When she was diagnosed with endometriosis at age 20, she had been experiencing severe pelvic pain for a number of years. She didn't pursue a surgical solution at that time because she didn't want to jeopardize her chances of becoming pregnant.

But after having four children, she was ready to consider her options. She went to Dr. Purnima Sangal at the Women's Place in Chelmsford, where a pelvic ultrasound confirmed endometriosis. Dr. Sangal told Carollee that hysterectomy, or surgical removal of the uterus, was one of her options. In fact, she was a good candidate for a robotic-assisted hysterectomy with the new da Vinci® Surgery System at Lowell General Hospital.

Carollee and Barry Beauchesne #2The da Vinci® system is an alternative to both traditional open surgery and conventional laparoscopy. It enables surgeons to guide a robot's arms to perform complex and delicate procedures through very small incisions with incredible precision.

"It was an easy decision to make," said Carollee. "When I first heard about robotic surgery, I wasn't too surprised because I knew that Lowell General keeps up with new technologies. I had my gall bladder removed there laparoscopically 13 years ago. Robotic surgery was the next step, and I was excited to be part of medical history."

Carollee had her surgery on June 9, 2008 - the third robotic-assisted hysterectomy performed at Lowell General Hospital - and everything went well. In just two weeks she was feeling like a new woman.

Comparing notes with her mother and several friends who had traditional hysterectomies, Carollee discovered that she had much less pain and scarring in addition to a much quicker recovery.  

Beauchesne Family #2 Thanks to her successful surgery, she enjoyed the summer with her husband and sons who like to camp, kayak, and swim. "I was able to get back to my children and back to normal after having been not normal for so long. Now I'm not as tired and I'm not in pain all the time. My family is very happy to have me back."

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