After robotic-assisted surgery, Leslie Hammond bounces back
Everything was falling into place perfectly when Leslie Hammond moved to Corvallis three years ago. After spending her professional career teaching theater on the East Coast, Hammond was seeking an experience for her daughter like she had growing up in Idaho.
“My partner and I had just had our daughter, Georgia, and we decided to raise her out west,” Hammond said.
She got a job as a theater instructor at Linn-Benton Community College and her partner Sonia opened her business, Stash yarn shop in downtown Corvallis. They were settling in, meeting new people and getting involved in the community. Hammond enjoys being outdoors, hiking and surfing. She also loves to skate and joined the Sick Town Derby Dames roller derby team.
“It was grueling and great,” Hammond said.
Then Hammond started having extremely painful periods that were getting progressively worse.
“It would debilitate me for several days every month,” Hammond recalled. “I was nauseous and it hurt so bad. Finally, I decided to go see somebody about it.”
Hammond made an appointment with OB/GYN Emily Rangel, M.D., of The Corvallis Clinic. She was diagnosed with uterine fibroids and she tried a few different therapies without success. The condition was not likely to resolve itself and would continue to cause Hammond extreme pain without surgery. Dr. Rangel suggested a robotic-assisted laparoscopic hysterectomy, a minimally invasive procedure to remove the uterus.
For many years, traditional gynecologic surgery using a large incision was the standard approach to this and many other gynecologic procedures. Now surgeons have new advanced approaches, including a robotic-assisted laparoscopic procedure that allows them to operate with more precision and control for complicated cases, while still maintaining a minimally invasive approach. Robotic-assisted surgery minimizes pain and the risks associated with traditional surgery. It also speeds recovery and improves patient outcomes.
Hammond said she had a lot of questions when Dr. Rangel first told her about robotic surgery.
“I had this picture in my head of Rosie from the Jetsons standing there in scrubs,” she said.
Dr. Rangel took the time to answer her questions and gave her a video that explained the procedure. The morning of surgery, Hammond brought a toy tin robot, which she had dressed up in homemade mini scrubs, and gave it to her doctor.
“Dr. Rangel is really great. We joke around a lot,” Hammond said. “I had a really good experience.”
Dr. Rangel was there when she woke up in recovery and came to check on her several times at the hospital. Hammond said she bounced back quicker than expected.
“I was back at work after 2 ½ weeks,” she said. “I went skating four weeks after my surgery and it was awesome.”
With nothing slowing her down, Hammond is back skating and hiking and has a goal to climb South Sister in Central Oregon this summer. She also has more energy to focus on her recent promotion as Associate Dean of Student Engagement at Linn-Benton and with Willamette Theater Festival, a new theater non-profit she is helping to establish.