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Our Patients Say It Best

Your friends and neighbors from throughout southwest Michigan and beyond share their experiences at Lakeland Health. Do you have a story to share? Click on the "What's Your Story" button and complete the form. 

Thank You Very Much, Mr. Roboto Share
Gary Burkett

Aug, 2017

Physicians: Roy Winslow, MD 

It was a Thursday night and Gary Burkett was traveling up to Grand Rapids with his daughter for a softball tournament. Not long after checking into their hotel, the dad and daughter duo headed to bed to rest up for the big game the next day. A few hours after falling asleep Gary was awakened by severe stomach pains. Having experienced a similar episode a few months prior he decided to try and walk it off.

However, when the pain didn’t subside he decided to call an ambulance to take him to the emergency room. After running a series of tests, his care team determined that his symptoms were caused by his gallbladder and gave him medication to help with the pain.

Upon returning home to St. Joseph, Gary made an appointment with Lakeland general surgeon Roy Winslow, MD. Dr. Winslow informed Gary that his gall bladder was “dying” and could burst at any moment. He would need to have surgery to have it taken out as soon as possible.

“Dr. Winslow did a phenomenal job explaining my options to me and let me know that my procedure could be done using the da Vinci® robot, which would only require five small incisions,” said Gary. “He took the time to answer all the questions I had and I was easily convinced that robotic surgery was the best option for me.”

Two days later Gary was scheduled for surgery with “Mr. Roboto” as he jokingly liked to call the da Vinci® Xi™ system.

“My care team did a great job setting the stage for exactly what was going to happen that day,” said Gary. “Dr. Winslow shared that he had personally undergone gall bladder surgery, which added a personal element to the experience – he was very empathetic to my situation.”

After a successful surgery Gary returned home to begin the healing process.

“For the most part my recovery was pretty painless,” he said. “I work from home so I was able to move my computer upstairs to avoid having to climb up and down the stairs and was back to work within just a few days.”

Gary is also thankful to have no limitations to the types of food he can eat which is a common outcome for people who undergo gall bladder surgery.

“Overall my surgery was a very positive experience and I have Dr. Winslow and his staff to thank for that,” said Gary.  

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