Pat Therault, a nurse and unit manager at Franciscan St. Margaret Health Dyer, works on the floor where patients rest after they've had bariatric surgery. For years she saw patients leave changed. It took two years to decide, but she decided to have surgery done herself.
"From there it just changed my life," said Therault, 47, of Munster, who has lost 70 pounds since her highest weight.
Therault's August surgery was the first time her surgeon, Dr. Gerald Cahill, the medical director of the Midwest Bariatric Institute at Franciscan St. Margaret Health performed minimally invasive bariatric surgery using the da Vinci system robot, although he had performed more than 2,500 bariatric procedures.
Cahill said he started working in bariatric surgery because he saw it as a growing patient population that was underserved, and through the years had been an advocate of embracing technology. Cahill is part of a group of only 25 bariatric surgeons in the nation to receive da Vinci Si Robotic Surgical System quality and volume recognition from the manufacturer, California-based Intuitive Surgical Inc. He is the first physician in Northwest Indiana to perform minimally invasive bariatric surgery using the da Vinci Si system, he said.
"It's a way to improve patient outcomes and patient safety," Cahill said. "We're fortunate to have this technology here."
Therault said she no longer has back and knee pain and feels more confident. She now eats smaller portions, doesn't allow herself to snack and exercises more.
"Food is no longer my crutch," she said. "I feel fabulous now, I put on clothes now and gasp because they're too big."