Not many doctors give their cellphone numbers to their patients. Then again, there aren't many doctors who have the relationship Mason Lord and Pablo Gomez, MD, do. When Dr. Gomez, a pediatric urologist at AdventHealth for Children, first meet Mason in the pediatric emergency department, Mason was a 5-year-old boy who couldn't urinate without screaming in pain.
He was in excruciating pain, with blood-curdling screams, says Mason's mother, Kelly. To listen to your child in so much pain breaks your heart. We were at our wits end, and Dr. Gomez was a godsend.
Dr. Gomez immediately took to the family and made them aware that he was available anytime, day or night, something Kelly says no family doctor had ever done. After an ultrasound, and later a CT scan with contrasts, a tumor was found on Mason's bladder. Luckily, Mason's tumor was benign, but because of its location, it was causing unimaginable pain. Dr. Gomez recommended robotic surgery to remove it.
Robotically assisted laparoscopic surgery, in a state-of-the-art center like AdventHealth for Children, can be extremely beneficial to the patient and family, explains Dr. Gomez. We can see things bigger 10 times bigger in fact and in 3-D vision. Robotic instruments are controlled by the surgeon at all times and can reproduce all the movements that the human hand has, while maintaining the advantages of minimally invasive surgery, which include less pain, smaller incisions, less bleeding, quicker recovery time and a shorter hospital stay.
Preparing a 5-year-old for surgery can be a difficult task, but the child life services team helped ease Mason's anxiety by giving him stuffed animals for every visit to the hospital. He named them all Louis. In order to explain the surgery to Mason, nurses used Louis as a test, pointing to the stuffed animal's bladder so Mason could see that if Louis was going to be OK, he would be too. After a successful surgery, Mason was pain-free and home in two days, back to being a normal 5-year-old boy.
We wouldn't have traded Dr. Gomez and his team for a million dollars, Kelly says. His value to us is priceless. He treated us like family and he took our sons pain away.
Dr. Gomez continues to observe Mason to ensure the tumor does not come back, but for now he says the boy is like new.