Heidi Carlson of Southeast Portland, Oregon experienced intense pain after undergoing a hysterectomy in September 2012
conducted using the high-tech robotic da Vinci Surgical System by Intuitive Surgical.
Carlson spoke to KATU News to warn others about her experience at Legacy Emanuel Medical Center.
The patient said that after her surgery, “Suddenly this pain just set in and it was just this crazy pain like in my hip.”
She complied with all of her doctor’s remedy suggestions like physical therapy, injections, and acupuncture, but none of them worked.
Heidi knew that the pain she experienced was not right, and had to work relentlessly to convince doctors the same.
"I was trying to, over and over, get it clear to them that this is a totally different pain. This is nothing like what I was experiencing before."
Months passed and doctors finally conducted a CT scan, which revealed a piece of metal the size of the tip of a ball point pen was left behind after her surgery.
Heidi explained, “It was some type of needle holder and that part of the clip that pinches it had broken off and just fallen into my body and nobody knew.”
The metal was a piece of the da Vinci robotic arm. Heidi reflects, “If they would have just taken an x-ray like right after the surgery or really examined all the instruments it could have been prevented.”
KATU has filed paperwork with the hospital to investigate more story details.
Heidi told the station that she would have explored other surgical options aside from the robotic surgery, but doctors at Legacy did not present her with any.
Overall, Heidi Carlson’s advice to other patients is to trust your gut and, “Don’t just automatically assume, that oh, it’s in your head.”