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Sherry Almand – da Vinci Surgery for Endometriosis Success Story

A+ for da Vinci!

Sherry Almand with studentRobotic surgery earns high marks from local teacher

Every year, family and consumer science teacher Sherry Almand leads her students to competitions throughout the country, enduring long bus rides, hauling equipment, and patiently coaching everything from interior design to fashion design.

When her back started hurting in February 2013, the Midlothian High School teacher chalked it up to one of those competitions. Before she knew it, though, her summer break was coming to an end, while her back pain had no end in sight.

“There were times I thought I needed to go to the hospital, but then I’d just brush it off as back pain,” says the 39-year-old mother of two.

Sherry’s chiropractor suspected the pain was gynecologic and suggested she see her OB-GYN, David Morehead, DO, FACOG, on the medical staff at Methodist Mansfield Medical Center. He discovered a tennis ball–sized ovarian endometrioma, a blood-filled cyst that can result from endometriosis.

When a robot is the right choice

Endometriosis is implants of tissue similar to the uterine lining but in abnormal locations,” Dr. Morehead says. “In Sherry’s case, the endometriosis was inside her ovary, which had become five times its normal size.”

Dr. Morehead drained the cyst, but weeks later it returned and so did Sherry’s pain. To treat her symptoms, she decided to have a total hysterectomy with the da Vinci® Surgical System.

“I knew Sherry’s procedure would be more challenging because of the endometriosis,” Dr. Morehead says. “By using the da Vinci robot, I had more options to remove the scar tissue it had caused.”

A new ‘normal’

Sherry Almand helping her students A robotic hysterectomy at Methodist Mansfleld
helped Sherry Almand get back to her students.

Sherry went home the day after her surgery with four small incisions and minimal pain. Less than three weeks later, she was leading her students to another competition.

But it was that first drive to school after her surgery that stands out: “My younger son said, ‘I’m so glad you’re taking us to school today and that things are back to normal.’?”

Sherry smiled because she actually has a new pain-free “normal” — one that allows her to be there for the family and students she loves.

From the fall 2014 edition of Shine magazine