Angela Castellani's Story - Bronson Healthcare
Less pain and faster recovery – new da Vinci surgical system has patient feeling better than ever in four days


Angela Castellani, 41, of Portage, suffered from uterine prolapse since having her first son in 1988. Uterine prolapse is when the uterus, or womb, falls into the vagina because pelvic floor muscles have weakened. It can cause pelvic pain and abnormal bleeding. Her problem became worse with the births of her second and third sons.

Castellani saw 10 doctors who downplayed her symptoms and suggested sit-ups and Kegel exercises to fix the problem. Eventually, she received a referral to Paul Berkowitz, MD, a gynecologist with Bronson Women's Service. Dr. Berkowitz recommended a total hysterectomy using the da Vinci® S HD Surgical System, which she had in March 2008.

"I knew that I was going to be the first person at Bronson to have a procedure using the da Vinci system," says Castellani. "I had already done a lot of research on the da Vinci and was really interested, so it was perfect. I wasn't nervous at all."

What Is da Vinci?
The da Vinci surgical system is the most advanced method for patients having minimally invasive surgery. It gives doctors greater range of motion during surgery. With the system, doctors also operate with increased accuracy and versatility.

For the surgery, doctors make several small incisions, which serve as entry points for surgical tools, microscopes, or video. The video projects a three-dimensional magnified view of the surgical area onto a screen. This clear, vivid image helps doctors operate.

Highly Recommended
Bronson is the only hospital in Kalamazoo to offer this technology. Dr. Berkowitz is one of several surgeons and Bronson staff members who are trained to use this system. More are currently completing training.

"The da Vinci was incredible," says Castellani. "It cauterizes the blood vessels so there isn't a lot of bleeding, and there were no bruises on my stomach at all. Plus there were only four small incisions, and they all healed in about four days. I had absolutely no pain in my stomach."

Two days after surgery, Castellani was home. "I was back to normal. My kids couldn't believe how much more energy I had. I feel so much better. Dr. Berkowitz cured me. I would definitely recommend the da Vinci."

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