INDIANAPOLIS — Reaching 1,000 robotic-assisted surgeries is a milestone not all doctors can say they've achieved, but Dr. Sarah Goodrich is celebrating that accomplishment at Ascension St. Vincent.
Surgeons like Dr. Goodrich have full 360 degree rotation with a camera using small incisions and the robot. The robots are most commonly used for hysterectomies.
“Any procedure involving the robot for me most commonly is a hysterectomy. Those are major surgeries, but they are done in a minimally invasive approach and so it’s better outcomes for patients and to me ... there’s at least a thousand women who I’ve been able to help in the last several years here," Goodrich said.
Goodrich's one thousandth patient, Laurie Miller of Carmel, underwent robotic surgery hours after her diagnosis of endometrial carcinoma earlier this year.
"The fact that I can sit here, feeling better than I did and taking much better care of my health and my life is amazing. I’m also very thankful that they got me in so fast. I think doing it so fast and getting me and getting me taken care of really helped me emotionally, as well. Because you do sit and you think what can happen? What is going to happen to me after this?" Miller said. "My goal now is to reach other people and other women.”
Goodrich says she's performing around six of the minimally invasive surgeries per week at Ascension's high-volume center.
“I got into oncology because I was very close with my grandparents and my grandmother had cancer, not gynecologic cancer, but I knew I wanted to work with that patient population," she said. "I have two young daughters, and so knowing that these are things that could impact them in the future, just trying to stay on the cutting edge of science and technology, being able to help women is really important to me.”
Miller also underwent radiation following the surgery and will continue to have routine doctor's appointments.
“I ended up being really lucky in my diagnosis, but the key is I caught it early and my gynecologist made sure I got that biopsy. I had very, very normal symptoms. And what I would tell anybody in my position is to get checked out. And find a good doctor, find a group that cares and will take you seriously. Because had I not had that initial gut feeling to call, and to get in and have get a biopsy and have my gynecologist give me a biopsy and end up here, I would not probably had caught it and it could've been fatal for me," Miller said.
Miller is encouraging all women to pay attention to their bodies and go to a doctor if they feel something is wrong.