Martha Smith
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For two days every month, Martha Smith, 45, of Troy, was experiencing severe abdominal pain, dizziness and weakness. She even began to miss a few days of work as a group leader at the General Motors assembly plant in Lake Orion.

Fall at Work Triggers Action

"I went to my primary doctor, who couldn't find anything wrong. So I figured that I was just getting older and my body was going through some transitions," Smith says. But she knew it was time to take action when she passed out at work, fell to the concrete floor, injured her chin and chipped two teeth.

"I went to see Dr. (Andrea) Coleman, my Ob/Gyn," Smith says.

"She did a pelvic ultrasound and found the culprit: uterine fibroids were causing the pain and heavy bleeding." A uterine fibroid is a non-cancerous growth in the lining, surface or musculature of the uterus.

New Surgical System Shortens Recovery

Dr. Coleman suggested first trying medications and another alternative, but with no relief Smith soon agreed to have a partial hysterectomy with the new da Vinci surgical system at Sinai-Grace Hospital.

The da Vinci system is an improvement over traditional laparoscopic surgery, because the surgeon's hand and wrist movements are translated into' very precise movements with the use of miniaturized instruments and a type of "robot."

The surgeon can also see the surgical field better because of 3-D and high-definition technology. With da Vinci surgery, a hysterectomy requires only a few small incisions, so you can get back to an active life faster.

Dr. Coleman notes da Vinci is not just for hysterectomies, but also for removing scar tissue and ovaries, bladder suspensions, correcting pelvic prolapse, and many other procedures.

For more information or a referral to a DMC Sinai-Grace gynecologist, call 313-966-4800.

Meet Dr. Andrea Coleman

L. Andrea Coleman, MD, is the first woman to be named Chief of Obstetrics and Gynecology at DMC Sinai-Grace Hospital. "We have a long history of quality, and I'm dedicated to seeing we continue to improve," she says. Dr. Coleman has plans to add Ob/Gyn services that provide alternatives to medication during labor, such as massage therapy, midwifery and meditation with music.