There’s little worse than feeling ill and getting no answers or having scant options for improvement.
“I was being treated, but the symptoms were getting worse,” recalled Jane Feldman, a 62-year-old retiree from Avon about early care for her bladder cancer. “There was increasing amounts of blood in my urine and I just wasn’t feeling well in general.”
After a trip to a local urgent care center, and a consultation with a urologist at another institution, she made an appointment with Dr. Ryan Dorin, a urologist with the Hartford HealthCare Tallwood Urology & Kidney Institute, where she finally found the treatment options she needed.
Feldman said Dr. Dorin and Tallwood offered minimally-invasive robotic surgery to remove the cancerous bladder and to create a neobladder from a section of her own healthy intestine to allow her to urinate again. Her previous options had only been open surgery to remove the bladder and creation of a urinary stoma which would drain into an external collection bag.
The neobladder was key for an active woman looking forward to wearing a new, gorgeous dress for her son’s June wedding. One advantage of the robotic neobladder is that the cosmetic result is superior to other options, and allows patients to feel as normal as possible after bladder removal.
“Before I met Dr. Dorin, I didn’t think I would make it to the wedding” she said. “My dress just wasn’t conducive to an ostomy bag.”
The robotic surgery in November 2017 proved a “great experience” that spared her reproductive organs and, after less than a week in the hospital, left her feeling greatly improved overall.
“I am fortunate for the technology because I know the open surgery would have been much harder,” Feldman said. These days, she’s outside gardening — she’s a retired greenhouse employee — or taking three-mile walks with her Siberian husky.
“I just came in from working outside,” she said. “I’ve been up and around a lot since the surgery. You know, when you feel continually bad and nothing is being done, you start to think it’s you. It wasn’t and I feel like my old self again.”
For more information about treatment of bladder cancer at Hartford HealthCare’s Tallwood Urology & Kidney Institute, click here.