Cheryl Crane, a married mom of three, has been homeschooling her children for 13 years. Teaching the kids and managing her home and family keep her busy 24/7. Over the years, she has built a successful home life for her family — and even fit in the occasional game of tennis.
But in 2019, she began experiencing bladder incontinence, making tennis out of the question. Thinking this was unusual for someone just in her late 40s, Cheryl visited her gynecologist. When her doctor shared that she had a large fibroid in her uterus and needed a total hysterectomy because of the possibility of cancer, she burst into tears.
A total hysterectomy involves removal of the uterus and ovaries, resulting in surgical menopause. It can also increase a woman’s risk of heart disease, and loss of bone density, as well as other issues.
“I was just undone,” says Cheryl. “But a friend told me I should get a second opinion.”
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Following her friend’s recommendation, Cheryl turned to UPMC Magee-Womens Specialty Services. Using UPMC’s online Find a Doctor tool, she found Suketu Mansuria, MD, assistant director, Center for Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery, who specializes in large fibroids. Dr. Mansuria practices at both UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital and at UPMC Passavant–Cranberry, just north of Pittsburgh, which was convenient for Cheryl, who lives in Indiana, Pennsylvania.
“He was such a good listener, and he helped me through the entire situation,” says Cheryl. He explained that the fibroid was large and low in her uterus, but the odds that it would be cancer were minimal. Since her fibroid was contained within her uterus and her ovaries were normal, he felt that a total hysterectomy was not necessary and that her ovaries could be preserved at the time of her surgery.
“He explained the risks involved with each scenario in a way that wasn’t scary. Most importantly, he made me feel like I had a choice,” says Cheryl. “He was so thoughtful.”
Cheryl chose to retain her ovaries when Dr. Mansuria removed her uterus at UPMC Passavant–Cranberry, which allowed her to avoid surgical menopause. And after the surgery, her bladder symptoms calmed down significantly.
She recalls that her follow-up care was extremely attentive, from her post-surgical recovery to the months-later video calls with Dr. Mansuria.
“The nurses were so sweet, and Dr. Mansuria was like a friend who sincerely cared. He even called me on vacation to go over some extra test results,” she says. “All in all, beginning to end, it was the best care I ever had.”
Women have even more access to the advanced specialty care and services of UPMC Magee in the northern communities. Highly specialized medical and surgical services, including minimally invasive gynecologic surgery, are available at the hospital’s second location, UPMC Passavant–McCandless. Plus, UPMC Magee-Womens Specialty Services is now at the UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex in Cranberry.
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About UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital
For more than a century, UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital has provided high-quality medical care to women at all stages of life. UPMC Magee is long-renowned for its services to women and babies but also offers a wide range of care to men as well. Our patient-first approach ensures you and your loved ones get the care you need. Nearly 10,000 babies are born each year at Magee, and our NICU is one of the largest in the country. Our network of care – from imaging centers to hospital services – provides care throughout Pennsylvania and Maryland, giving you a chance to get the expert care you need close to home. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recognizes UPMC Magee as a National Center of Excellence in Women’s Health, and the Magee-Womens Research Institute is the largest research institute in the U.S. devoted exclusively to women’s health and reproductive biology.