Howard Patient, Physician Excited by Surgical Results
WASHINGTON (April 10, 2013) – Howard University gynecologist Dr. Kevin Scott Smith was still trying to come down from the high of what he said was one of his most challenging and most satisfying surgery. He was so excited that he planned to call his mentor at Stanford University to thank him for his years of instruction.
His patient, Patricia Richardson, 47, lay in her bed on the 6th floor of Howard University Hospital, beaming after four hours of surgery to remove a uterus filled with so many fibroids that it was as large as a six-month-sized pregnancy. She couldn’t believe that she was not in pain from the surgery.
“Dr. Smith is a great doctor,” said Richardson, a Washington certified public accountant. “I still can’t believe I’m not in pain.”
Richardson was not in pain because Smith defied conventional logic and removed the uterus and fibroids laparoscopically, a surgery that removes the uterus through tiny incisions no larger than the diameter of a dime, versus major surgery that requires a deep cut from above the navel to the pubic area.
Even as he was performing the surgery, the hospital’s gynecological residents assisting and learning from the process noted that he was defying conventional procedure. Some didn’t believe it could be done.
“There is always an option to open the patient’s abdomen, a much more intrusive procedure,” Smith said, “but why not use every option and effort we can for the patient to have the best outcome.
“We just kept working and working, and we had an exceptional outcome. It was an amazing experience.”
It was certainly amazing for Richardson. She said the residents who attended the surgery were still in awe when they met with her the morning after surgery.
“They said when they removed the fibroids, my stomach went down three inches,” she said with laughter.
Richardson, a Howard University graduate, was diagnosed with fibroids in 1991, but they didn’t become a serious problem until seven years ago.
“I would have heavy bleeding every three weeks,” she said. “I was hemorrhaging blood. I told my former gynecologist about it, and she said for me to just wait until I began menopause and the bleeding and pain would go away.
“I decided to seek another answer, and then I got the Howard University Hospital’s Check Up magazine in the mail, and the cover article was about fibroids. I read the story and saw Dr. Smith. I said to myself, ‘I may have to go see this man.’
She’s overjoyed that she did.
“I really appreciate Dr. Smith,” she said. “I highly recommend him and Howard University Hospital. I’m proud of my alma mater.”