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Patient Stories


Robotic surgery has had a significant impact on many patients’ lives, including Michelle Hetzel, a 43-year-old Long Beach resident.

For almost a year, Michelle was experiencing a consistent, sharp pain in her abdomen, as well as the feeling of being very bloated, making her everyday activities challenging and uncomfortable. She underwent multiple tests, yet the cause of her symptoms was not found.

During this time, Michelle discovered she was pregnant. Unfortunately, she experienced a miscarriage just weeks later. It was at this point that the source of her pain and discomfort was finally uncovered – she had uterine fibroids.


Michelle decided to receive a second opinion, and through a friend, was referred to Reproductive Endocrinologist Edward Dourron, M.D. Dr. Dourron was very confident that the source of the pain and bloating were the fibroids and advised that she remove them before trying to get pregnant again.

“I recommended that Michelle undergo a robotic-assisted myomectomy, which is an innovative surgical procedure used to remove uterine fibroids,” explains Dr. Dourron. “Although fibroids are common, in some women, they contribute to recurrent miscarriage, infertility, and pre-term delivery.”

During a robotic-assisted myomectomy, the surgeon’s goal is to remove symptom-causing fibroids and reconstruct the uterus, leaving it intact, thereby enabling a woman to become pregnant, if she so desires. By utilizing the robot, surgeons utilize smaller incisions to perform surgery, leading to less post-operative pain and faster recovery.

Just months following her surgery, Michelle was thrilled to discover that she is pregnant again. She is currently eight months along.

“My husband Thomas and I are so grateful for Dr. Dourron’s expertise and guidance,” shares Michelle. “It’s a dream come true – my pain is gone, and we will be welcoming a new baby girl in May! Dr. Dourron gave me and my husband a second chance at a happy ending, and we are so appreciative!”

Click here to learn more about robotic-assisted myomectomy.​