Laparoscopy Surgery: “When the Nurse Becomes the Patient”

August 18, 2006
Wendy K. Winer, RN, BSN, CNOR
Wendy K. Winer, RN, BSN, CNOR

From the 35th Annual Meeting - Las Vegas, Nevada- November 2006

Ms. Nesbitt: Hi, I’m Barbara Nesbitt and I am at the AAGL in Las Vegas, Nevada and I am with my good friend Wendy Winer from Atlanta, Georgia, who works with our friend Dr. Tom Lyons. She’s going to tell me about what she’s been up to personally this year. What have you been up to Wendy?

Nurse Winer: Well Barbara I’ve been busy teaching and one thing that was new this year is I actually had a laparoscopic supracervical hysterectomy.

Ms. Nesbitt: And, who may I ask did your surgery?.

Nurse Winer: Dr. Tom Lyons, my boss.

Ms. Nesbitt: So tell me, how did it go? The women would be interested in hearing it right from your lips.

Nurse Winer: It was fantastic. I can honestly say it was one of the best things I have ever done in my life. I was in surgery all day on a Friday. I had been bleeding for several weeks and I was on hormones to try to get my bleeding to stop, and I just decided I don’t need this uterus anymore. Thank God I’ve had three wonderful children and I do not want to have any more. I’m ready for grandchildren now, and I said to Dr. Lyons about 1:00 pm when we got out of surgery, “What are we going to do about this?” He said, “Well, we can give you a little bit more progesterone, and we can get your bleeding to stop, or we can do an endometrial ablation.” I said, “You know, I don’t even want to mess with any of those things. I just want to have a permanent fix.” He said, “If you want a permanent fix we can do a laparoscopic supracervical hysterectomy.” I said, “How about today?” He looked at me, we were in his office, and he said, “Well, we just need to do an endometrial sampling first to make sure everything is okay.” I said, “Sure! Let’s do it right now.” So he did an endometrial biopsy and he did a vaginal ultrasound and my lining was thin, but I was still having this annoying bleeding, and I was tired of taking such high doses of hormones. I felt like a balloon, which I definitely do not like. I said, “How about this afternoon? Can we do it this afternoon?” He said, “Sure!” I said, “You know I haven’t had anything to eat or drink since 6:00 in the morning on my way to surgery.” I had my traditional breakfast as I was driving in. He said, “Let’s call downstairs at the surgery center and see if we can get space.” And that’s what we did. At 4:30 in the afternoon I was having my laparoscopic supracervical hysterectomy.

Ms. Nesbitt: Now, did you call your husband in the meantime and tell him what you were up to?

Nurse Winer: Yes I did!

Ms. Nesbitt: That’s a good move.

Nurse Winer: My husband is a psychiatrist.

Ms. Nesbitt: Whom I met last year.

Nurse Winer: He’s very normal.

Ms. Nesbitt: Yes he is.

Nurse Winer: Actually I was already downstairs in pre-op and I called my husband, who had just gotten back in town because he does a lot of speaking and traveling himself. I called him and told him what I wanted to do and he said, “Well, are you sure you’re not being impulsive?” And I said, “No, I’m not being impulsive at all! I just want to get this over with.” He said, “If you are sure that is what you want to do.” Dr. Lyons got on the phone and talked to him, and they discussed all of the possibilities and then my husband said, “If this is really what you want, fine.” My husband told me, “Well, I’ll cancel the rest of my patients and I’ll be right over.” I said, “There is no need to do that. Finish seeing your patients, and when you are done come on over. I should be out of surgery.” We were going to start surgery at about 4:30 pm. I said, “Hey, when you are done seeing your patients come on over.” I was out of surgery by 6:00 pm.

Ms. Nesbitt: You knew all about it because you assist Dr. Lyons in these surgeries all the time. You knew the best one to pick when the time came.

Nurse Winer: Right! I did pick the best one. I guess I’m a little partial, but what can I say?

Ms. Nesbitt: And we would say, up there with one of the very best doctors.

Nurse Winer: That’s right. I definitely picked the right doctor.

Ms. Nesbitt: Just before we end this you were sharing with me about a trip you took shortly after. I think it is good for women to know that this is a procedure that corrects everything, and you are not debilitated for months afterwards.

Nurse Winer: Absolutely! In fact I had the surgery done late in the day on Friday. I was back in surgery assisting, I first-assist Dr. Lyons in surgery routinely, and I was back in surgery with Dr. Lyons on Tuesday. Actually I would have been back in surgery even on Monday, but I promised my mother I would give it an extra day, and we all have to respect our mothers! So, I was back in surgery on Tuesday, and then ten days later Dr. Lyons and myself were on our way to Spain because I was chairing a post-graduate course for operating room personnel and physicians. Lo and behold, on our flight was Matthew McConaughey. So, I said, “Hey, I had a laparoscopic supracervical hysterectomy and ten days later I got to meet Matthew McConaughey”. So, what could be better than that?

Ms. Nesbitt: Well, I think it’s a fabulous testimonial for women, and we are going to put it on the website, and promote it because I think they have to hear it. I think sometimes nurses are a little slower to jump at some things. You like to know everything that’s about everything.

Nurse Winer: I have to say honestly, I feel fantastic. I can exercise regularly. I don’t feel bloated. I don’t have any of the stuff I was going through before. I feel fantastic. I should have done it a long time ago.

Ms. Nesbitt: Thanks Wendy.

Nurse Winer: Thank you.