The Conway nurse and mother of five was doing so well after a hysterectomy at UAMS that she was able to go home the same day.
Even more amazing to Katrina Davis and her friends and family is that she was back to most of her normal routine just two days later.
“I was fixing dinner and breakfast, doing laundry,” said Katrina, who was originally scheduled to stay overnight at the hospital. “Honestly, I felt like I hadn’t even had surgery; it felt like I had done about 100 sit-ups.”
The reason for her remarkable recovery is a scarless procedure offered by Alexander “Sandy” Burnett, M.D., a fellowship-trained gynecologic oncologist at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS). Over the summer, Burnett became the first surgeon in central Arkansas and possibly the entire state to begin performing hysterectomies through the belly button, which hides the tiny incision scar.
To perform the surgery, Dr. Burnett uses specially designed laparoscopic instruments that all fit through the 1 1/2 inch incision.
Hysterectomies typically require a long open incision in the lower abdomen. Recovery usually means about five days in the hospital and six to eight weeks convalescing at home.
When Dr. Burnett offered the scarless procedure to Katrina, she didn’t hesitate.
“I trusted my doctor here in Conway who told me that Dr. Burnett is the best of the best,” said Katrina. “I was totally fine with it – the less scarring the better.”
Although she returned to her routine around her house, she followed Dr. Burnett’s instructions to wait three weeks before resuming exercise that included lifting weights.
She also returned to work three weeks after the surgery.
“This is an incredible surgery, and I tell everybody,” Katrina said. “When I went back to school the teachers were amazed that I could even drive at that point.”
By entering through the belly button (umbilicus) – the thinnest part of the abdomen – no fat or muscle is cut, which speeds healing.
“Scarless surgery is sort of the Holy Grail,” Dr. Burnett said. “It significantly reduces pain and the recovery period, and cosmetically it can’t be beat; the surgical scar is concealed within the umbilicus.”