The da Vinci Surgical Robot: Judy’s Story


July 22, 2021

Judy had already beaten cancer once before when she was diagnosed with endometrial cancer in the fall of 2020.

“I come from a family of six girls and five of us have had cancer,” says Judy. “I beat colon cancer in 2010 and my gynaecologist called last fall to let me know I have endometrial cancer. She referred me to Humber River Hospital right away.”

Grateful Patient Judy

“I’m so grateful for the wonderful care I received at Humber River Hospital. Dr. LaRoche, the nurses and staff were all so caring and professional,” said Judy.

Dr. André LaRoche, Humber’s Chief of Obstetrics and Gynaecology quickly connected with Judy. He explained to her she was a good candidate for a robotic hysterectomy using the da Vinci Surgical Robot. This procedure performed with the da Vinci Surgical Robot could be accomplished through a few small incisions making it a much less invasive surgery than a traditional hysterectomy. This way Judy would be in less pain and recover more quickly.

“I was very anxious to get the surgery done and was worried my weight would be a complicating factor,” recalls Judy. “But Dr. LaRoche and all the staff made me feel so welcome and my weight was not an issue at all.”

Judy’s surgery was booked quickly and things went smoothly. “During my pre-surgery prep the nurse made sure I could breathe properly even though I have sleep apnea. After the surgery, Dr. LaRoche checked in on me every day to make sure the stitches looked okay.”

After two weeks post-op Judy felt back to her normal self. Since Judy has a family history of cancer, her daughters are undergoing colonoscopies to check for any early signs of cancer. Judy will be seeing Dr. LaRoche again in September for a regular check up.

“I’m so grateful for the wonderful care I received at Humber River Hospital. Dr. LaRoche, the nurses and staff were all so caring and professional. I felt like I was getting the best care possible and I felt so safe.”

The da Vinci Surgical Robot is the centerpiece of the Murphy and Helen Hull Robotics Centre at Humber River Hospital.  The Centre was established thanks to a transformational donation from Helen Hull and her late husband, Murphy Hull.