Pam Chenail's Story
"The next day, I took one pain killer and that was it."
Pam Chenail of North Adams quietly made history at Berkshire Medical Center on June 21 as the first patient to undergo surgery using the da Vinci® Surgical System. "I wasn't hesitant at all," she said when her surgeon, Andrew Beckwith, MD, described the robotic-assisted platform, its unmatched precision, and the promise of a much quicker recovery. "Dr. Beckwith was very enthusiastic, and I said 'let's do it!'" The outcome of her hysterectomy still amazes Pam.
"I had conventional surgery years ago, and I still remember the pain when I came out of the operation," she said. "This time, it was nothing like that. I've also had friends who have had hysterectomies, and they had to stay in the hospital for a few days and their recovery was long and painful. My experience was very different."
The first thing that surprised Pam was the fact that her surgery would be performed on an outpatient basis. "Actually, I was shocked about that. I went home the same day! The next day, I took one pain killer and that was it. I was fine."
Pam likened the discomfort that followed her procedure to "doing a few too many sit-ups," she said. "I had three small incisions that I would say were less than a half-inch," she said. "Now, you can barely see them. The entire experience has just amazed me."