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Patient Stories

The Right Choice at the Right Time
By Healthy Life 2006 Fall

For half her life, 28-year-old Stacey Floyd, a first-grade teacher from Lynn, tried various methods for treating her excessively long, painful menstrual periods. Over the years, birth control pills and hormone shots had provided some relief, but constant doctors' visits and debilitating discomfort left Floyd feeling "older than [her] time." Having decided with her husband to build their family through adoption, and feeling that she had exhausted her non-surgical options, Floyd decided on a laparoscopic supracervical hysterectomy (LSH) to remove her uterus. The procedure was performed in June at NSMC Salem Hospital by OB/GYN Christopher Coffey, M.D.

The minimally invasive procedure is a powerful new option for women who not long ago would have required a traditional abdominal or "open" hysterectomy. Unlike a traditional hysterectomy, LSH requires just three to four small incisions. Using a laparoscope and tiny surgical instruments, surgeon removes only the problematic uterus, leaving the cervix and ovaries intact. The result is less pain, quicker recovery (about six days versus approximately six weeks) and minimal scarring.

For Floyd, the minimally invasive nature of the procedure was reassuring. "It wasn't the kind of major surgery you think of when you think ‘hysterectomy,' and that helped me with my decision," she says. "The fact that it was available close to home was an added bonus." In addition to LSH, Dr. Coffey and his NSMC colleagues are employing another minimally invasive technique called hysteroscopy to diagnose and treat a variety of conditions, including uterine scar tissue and non-cancerous growths. "Today, women treated at NSMC have more options than ever before," says Dr. Coffey.