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"Lobectomy patient recovers quickly from robotic surgery"

Linda L. recalls the day she found the lump that would soon be diagnosed as adenocarcinoma.

“I was resting in the recliner with my dog, and my neck started hurting,” she said. “I felt a lump and called my family doctor. I had a history of thyroid cancer, which had been removed in 2006, so he suggested I have a scan. It showed a spot in my lung. I had a CT scan and then a PET scan at Mercy Tiffin that came back negative, but the Pulmonary specialist didn’t like the look of it, so he ordered a needle biopsy, which I had at Mercy St. Anne Hospital in November 2012. It came back positive for adenocarcinoma, and then I was referred to Dr. Burdine for surgery.”
Linda said she was scared when she first met Jim Burdine, MD.
“When I first met him, all I knew was that I needed his help,” she said. “He calmed me down. He had a very warm smile and a caring manner. We immediately developed a good rapport, and he even made me laugh. He suggested that I would be a really good candidate for a robotic lobectomy with the da Vinci and explained that it would not require opening my chest and would be less painful and give me a quicker recovery.”
Linda and her husband went online and researched St. V’s and the da Vinci Surgical Robot and decided to follow Dr. Burdine’s recommendation.
“The morning I went in for my surgery was scary, even though I felt confident in my decision,” Linda said. “It is scary enough knowing you have cancer, and then on top of that to think that they are going to remove the right upper lobe of your lung. But I remember that everyone was so nice. The nurses and doctors explained exactly what would happen, and then all went smoothly. They said the surgery would probably take five to six hours, but it only took three. I then stayed in the hospital for five days in the Heart and Vascular Center at St. V’s, and if I had to be in the hospital, I was glad I was there.”
Linda said recovery was painful at first, but she had been prepared for that, and she recognized that she was in a great deal less pain than she would have been had she undergone a more invasive procedure. She appreciated being able to become active again quickly after her surgery.
“The day after I got home, my husband and I went for a walk,” she said. “And we have walked every day since, even in the winter when we have to bundle up in mittens, ear muffs and scarves. At my three-month checkup, they found more nodules, and I was scheduled for a needle biopsy, but then I had a CT scan, and one of the nodules had shrunk, so now I am just having frequent checkups, and we are in a wait and see mode. If I need further care I will be confident in seeking it at Mercy. I was very happy with my experience there and appreciated how informative, friendly and welcoming everyone was.”

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