Emergency robotic-assisted surgery prevents Jeffersonville, Indiana, woman from having major abdominal surgery

Visit to new emergency department at Norton Medical Center led to robotic-assisted surgery at Norton Clark Hospital and quick recovery for Jeffersonville woman.

Jeffersonville, Indiana, resident Connie Moser had been diagnosed with a hernia in her abdominal area. A hernia occurs when an organ pushes through tissue or muscle that holds it in place. She did not have plans to get it fixed since it wasn’t bothering her.

Then things went terribly wrong. She began experiencing stomach pain and vomiting for three days in a row.

“I rarely get sick, and when I do, I wait [to see if it will] get better before going to the doctor,” Connie said.

The pain caused her to become incapacitated, and she decided she needed to seek help.

She and her husband had read about the new Norton Medical Center emergency room that had just opened in the Jeffersonville Commons shopping center in Southern Indiana, just 15 minutes away from home, so they headed that way.

For more information on the new, 24/7 emergency room at Norton Medical Center, visit NortonHealthcare.com/JeffersonvilleCommons.

Connie was seen almost immediately by emergency medicine physician Robert McKnight IV, M.D.

“Dr. McKnight couldn’t have been nicer. He was gentle and caring. I trusted him right away,” she said.

Connie’s care team at Norton Medical Center performed a CT scan, and it showed that the hernia had incarcerated, meaning the blood supply to a section of her bowel was compromised and she needed emergency surgery. 

Connie was transported by ambulance to Norton Clark Hospital in Jeffersonville. General surgeon Victoria A. Locke, D.O., was on call that night and met with Connie before her surgery.

“Connie was notably in excruciating pain, and it was obvious that she needed emergency surgery. It was clear that her hernia was now strangulated, and the blood supply to her small bowel was compromised,” Dr. Locke said. “I’m so fortunate to have robotic-assisted technology available to me for emergencies.”

The morning after her surgery, Connie looked much better and had essentially no pain. She was able to go home less than 48 hours after her procedure, instead of what could have been up to 10 days in the hospital.

“I was surprised how good I felt, and I only had a few small stitches,” Connie said. “It’s so good to see Dr. Locke and her passion for her patients and her work. I don’t think I have seen a surgeon so excited to be doing what she is doing.”

DaVinci surgical robot technology made Connie’s quick recovery possible

“Helping patients like Connie is truly my passion and the reason I became a surgeon — and one who uses robotic-assisted technology. Seeing her at her worst and being able to help her feel better was incredible,” Dr. Locke said. “Connie had read about the robotic technology and had seen advertisements from Norton Clark about it. Seeing how thrilled she was that her procedure was going to be performed robotically was exciting. It’s great to see that our community is hearing the news about what kinds of things we can offer here at Norton Clark Hospital. We are so fortunate here at Norton Clark to have the DaVinci robot.”

According to Dr. Locke, the technology allows her to do procedures that would otherwise require a large, open incision; while using the DaVinci system, she only has to make three to four small incisions of less than 1 inch.

“I find that my patients recover from their procedure quicker, with less pain, and can return to their life much faster,” Dr. Locke said.

A thank-you from Connie

“I couldn’t have asked for better treatment anywhere,” Connie said. “The staff was phenomenal at both the new emergency room and the hospital. Everyone wanted to help.

“I was scared, but everyone I encountered made sure I was OK and did whatever was necessary to make me comfortable. I feel very fortunate to have gone to Norton facilities and met all these excellent providers and experienced the robotic equipment. I am proud this is available in our community. Thank you, Norton Clark Hospital.”

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