Lorrie Fowler and her husband Jimmy were ready to start a family. But after a year of trying, they still weren’t pregnant. Lorrie decided to meet with David Logan, MD, medical director of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Jefferson Hospital.
She worried she might have endometriosis. It had been a concern for her since she was a teenager. She even talked with her OB-GYN about it, but her doctor advised her not to worry about it until she was older.
With endometriosis, the tissue lining the uterus grows outside the uterus, usually on the ovaries or fallopian tubes. It causes pain, menstrual irregularities, and sometimes fertility issues.
One day for diagnosis and treatment
The only way to diagnose endometriosis is with an inside look, usually with a laparoscopy. Using a robotic-assisted surgical system, Dr. Logan made a small incision and inserted a fiber-optic instrument through Lorrie’s abdomen. When he saw and confirmed endometriosis, he removed the tissue outside her uterus.
Dr. Logan is highly skilled in robotic-assisted, minimally invasive surgery for conditions like endometriosis.
“Robotic surgical systems let us extend our hand movements into smaller, more precise movements,” Dr. Logan said. Along with 3D-HD visualization, intuitive motion, and ergonomic design, more surgeons are using robotic-assistance for cancer, gynecology, and other surgeries.
Robotics for other gynecologic issues
Robotic-assistance systems also allow surgeons to perform even more delicate surgeries, like opening blocked fallopian tubes. “Normally, it’s very difficult to open such tiny and delicate areas. With the robot, we have greater accuracy and more precision, so we can try these more complex procedures,” Dr. Logan said.
Women who have these robotic-assisted surgical techniques have less trauma, smaller incisions, shorter hospital stays, and quicker recoveries.
“With Lorrie, I was able to remove the endometriosis, and that improved her chances of getting pregnant,” he added.
A happy ending — and new beginnings
A few months later, Lorrie was pregnant. Their daughter is now a toddler, and Lorrie and Jimmy are expecting their second child in early 2020.
“We’re so grateful to Dr. Logan and everyone at Jefferson. They were so compassionate and empathetic about our situation,” Lorrie said. “It made us more confident about continuing our journey to try and have a family.”
“With all the resources we have at Jefferson,” Dr. Logan said, “there’s no reason any woman has to travel outside the community to get the gynecologic and obstetrical care she needs.”