Monique Brown – Benign Tumor Success Story

ROBOTIC SURGERY PUTS A MOTHER OF FOUR BACK ON TRACK

When most people are diagnosed with high blood pressure, the likely culprit — like excess weight, poor diet, family history, or stress — is usually easy to identify. But in the case of 38-year-old Monique Brown, her high blood pressure didn’t appear to be caused by any of the usual suspects.

“The entire Methodist team was so good to me during this entire situation. I highly recommend choosing Methodist to anyone who is having renal problems or who needs surgery.”

— Monique Brown, robotic surgery patient

“I had gestational hypertension [high blood pressure] with my third pregnancy, but was always able to control it with medication and diet,” says Monique, a Grand Prairie pharmacy technician. “But during my fourth pregnancy last winter, my blood pressure seemed to skyrocket out of control, even with medication and bed rest. Finally, I had to be induced six weeks early.”

Monique’s baby girl quickly began to thrive despite the early arrival, but Monique’s blood pressure remained dangerously high. Plus, she was experiencing fatigue, weakness, and low potassium levels, prompting a referral to a nephrologist, in this case Samir Nangia, MD, on the medical staff at Methodist Mansfield Medical Center.

“I was very worried until Dr. Nangia said, ‘I’m not going to stop until we figure out how to fix you,’” Monique recalls. “He treated me like I was a member of his family — and it made me feel better right away.”

Da Vinci: Unparalleled precision

Ultimately, Dr. Nangia diagnosed the cause of Monique’s mysterious high blood pressure as a benign tumor on her left adrenal gland. Located on top of each kidney, adrenal glands are responsible for producing important hormones, including some that regulate blood pressure. The tumor on Monique’s adrenal gland, however, caused an overproduction of one of these hormones, resulting in a condition called hyperaldosteronism.

After the diagnosis, Dr. Nangia referred Monique to Jeremy Parcells, MD, general surgeon on the medical staff at Methodist Mansfield, who recommended that Monique have the troublesome adrenal gland removed with the robotic da Vinci® Surgical System.

Dr. Parcells describes the minimally invasive surgical option as one that offers a range of patient benefits, including smaller incisions that result in less pain, reduced blood loss, shorter hospital stays, and faster recoveries.

“The da Vinci system’s ability to provide the surgeon with high-definition, 3-D vision and flexible movement is unparalleled,” says Dr. Parcells, who has performed hundreds of da Vinci procedures. “It’s especially beneficial for a procedure like an adrenalectomy, which involves some very tricky navigation around other organs. The robot’s super-precise wristed instruments give me a flexibility I just wouldn’t have otherwise.”

An easy choice and a strong recovery

Monique says that the decision to have robot-assisted surgery paid off almost immediately.

“When Dr. Parcells explained the surgery’s benefits, it was an easy choice to say ‘yes,’ and I’m glad that I did,” Monique says. “I was back at work and in my normal routine within a few weeks, and most important, I felt better right away. I’ve been able to stop taking several medications, and I have a lot more energy.

“The entire Methodist team was so good to me during this entire situation,” she adds. “I highly recommend choosing Methodist to anyone who is having renal problems or who needs
surgery.”