Robotic Assisted Hysterectomy - Brookings Health System

My name is Leeann Hokenson, I am a Brookings resident. I've been here about twenty years. My husband's name is Eric and I have two children, Tristan and Taylor.


Who Was Your Doctor?

The doctor that I saw was Dr. Ellen Hopper. I really enjoyed her. She was a very down to Earth person. She took a lot of time with my visits with her. She explained everything very thoroughly and she was, she just really cares about her patients.


Why Did You Need Surgery?

We decided to do the da Vinci hysterectomy after I had had another procedure that didn't work quite as well. We didn't get the outcome that we had hoped for at that point. And so after consulting with Dr. Hopper, we decided to go ahead and move forward on the hysterectomy.


How Did You and Dr. Hopper Decide on da Vinci Surgery?

We had chose to go with the da Vinci hysterectomy because of the way that the procedure worked. There was less scarring, less blood loss, the recovery time was going to be much less than the traditional form of a hysterectomy.


What Did You Appreciate Most About Your Care Team?

The staff at Brookings Health Systems, they were great all the way through. From everything at the clinic, them scheduling and answering all of my questions. While I was in the hospital, the staff was wonderful. They were, you know, seeing what they could do for me several times a day. It was actually kind of relaxing.


How Was Your Pain Managed?

The pain was pretty minimal. While I was in the hospital at the Brookings Health Systems, the nursing staff was really great about coming in and making sure that I kept on top of my pain and so it didn't sneak up on me. And then when I went home I was on some pain medication, probably for about two to three days, and after that an Advil or a Tylenol took care of it.


How Was Your Recovery?

The recovery for me was actually very quick. I was very, very surprised at how quickly I felt so much better. While I was in the hospital, I was obviously on some pain medication. I went home and I was on pain medication for maybe three days afterwards. By about day four, I was able to control everything with just some Tylenol or Advil. And I was walking around my house and I went back to work the following week.


What Did You Appreciate About Brookings Health System?

What I appreciate the most about my experience with the Brookings Health System and the da Vinci robot was everything went so smoothly from the time I checked in to the time I checked out. And my recovery time. They were available to me. They made me feel very secure in the fact that what we were doing was the right thing to do. And I just really appreciate the whole Brookings Health Systems' staff and everyone that helped.


What Would You Say to Other Women?

You know if I could talk to other women that were considering having a hysterectomy. You know, first of all, they have to make sure it’s what they really want to do and that their doctor recommends it. But, I tell you what, I waited a long time to do it and if I knew how easy it was and that the recovery time was so quick, I would've done it years ago. The way things are now, it's very, you know, the invasion is very minimal. And I had a great experience with it and I'm so happy that I did it. I'm really happy that I'm finally able to feel good and get back to life the way it's supposed to be.


Would You Recommend Brookings Health System?

I would recommend Brookings Health Systems because the staff cares about their patients and they gave me a great experience. I didn't have to worry about anything. I felt very well taken care of while I was there. And, I would do it again. Have another procedure there in a heartbeat.