Patient Spotlight: Mary’s Life Without Pelvic Pain

Mary's Story
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Mary was a 51-year-old mother of two experiencing persistent, abnormal uterine bleeding and chronic pelvic pain that had started in her late 30s. She had seen gynecologists through the years and been diagnosed with cysts, but was told they would go away after menopause.

Despite a decade of health difficulties, Mary decided to take up ballroom dancing, which had always been a dream of hers. When she began taking private lessons, her instructor noticed her gripping her stomach in pain. As she tells it, “Everything in life felt like I was ‘just pushing through the pain.’”

Finally, her increasing discomfort drove her to see another doctor, who in turn referred her for a surgical consultation with AdventHealth’s Dr. McCarus. “I was shocked that I needed to see a surgeon,” she said, but when a woman in her Bible study also recommended Dr. McCarus, “I took this as a sign that I needed to go see him.”

After completing a thorough health history, physical exam and review of Mary’s past medical records, Dr. McCarus recommended removing her uterus and ovaries in order to resolve her pain and abnormal bleeding. He also told Mary she was a candidate for a “scar-less hysterectomy” — otherwise referred to as a cosmetic hysterectomy. AdventHealth is the only hospital in Florida to offer this unique procedure, which was developed and trademarked by Dr. McCarus in 2010. This minimally invasive surgery requires no sutures or staples, resulting in an absence of scaring along with less pain, a reduced risk of infection and is an outpatient procedure compared to traditional “open” surgeries. And it’s a viable option for nearly 75% of hysterectomy patients.

Mary had been planning a two-month European adventure and was scheduled to head off on her trip in early May. So when Dr. McCarus was available for surgery in early March — giving her plenty of time to recuperate before vacation — “I knew it was God’s intervention not to wait,” she said.

She felt supported every step of the way. “Dr. McCarus provided me with plenty of educational and shared decision-making materials, but ultimately it was his confidence that led me to believe I was in the right hands and making the best decision.”

The procedure went smoothly. “After the surgery I was in bed for a day. I never had to use a pain killer, but had to take it easy,” said Mary. “I went on my European trip for 10 days, came back for three weeks, and then went to Italy for another two weeks.

And as for her ballroom dancing?

“My partner/teacher says I am the best I have ever been in dancing!” Mary beamed.

The lesson she learned from her experience: “We all have to keep going, but you don’t have to be in pain doing it.” When asked if there was just one thing that she wishes others could take away from her story, she advised, “Go see Dr. McCarus and his team. I have never experienced such a professional, caring group of people. Every aspect, from the first phone call to the scheduler, to where I am now…I’ve never had better service; the most amazing care. I felt comfortable with my doctor.”

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