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Patient Success Stories

Advanced Surgery Saves Richard’s Life

Bladder cancer was the last thing on Richard Ward’s mind when he went to see urologist Andrew Joel, MD, FACS. A CT scan done in preparation for a vascular procedure picked up an incidental finding — a slight thickening of the bladder wall. Dr. Joel’s examination found Richard had a small bladder tumor, which was removed surgically. Although Richard, 67, had not had any symptoms, the pathology report from his surgery showed his tumor was highly aggressive; it had already invaded the muscle of the bladder wall... Read more

Urology | Physical Therapy for Pelvic Floor Rehabilitation


Saving Adrienne

Adrienne Griffen was a busy mother of three and thought her digestive system was just out of whack when she went in for a physical in 2012. Her mother and sister both had had diverticulitis; she had seen blood in her stool and thought she might have the same problem.

A colonoscopy found that the 47-year-old Arlington resident had rectal cancer. Her doctor referred her to a surgeon, who diagnosed her cancer as early — stage 1 — and recommended immediate surgery to remove the tumor. Adrienne, however, wanted a second opinion and went to see Jennifer McQuade, MD, FACS, FASCRS, a colorectal surgeon in the Virginia Hospital Center Physician Group. Dr. McQuade reviewed all of Adrienne’s test results and gave her a very different diagnosis — stage 3 cancer that had invaded nearby lymph nodes... Read more

Colorectal Surgery


“I got some of my youth back..."

For 10 years, the pressure and pain of pelvic organ prolapse kept Judith Konicki, 54, from running, doing aerobics, or jumping. She couldn’t squat, which made it hard to work in her garden.

“I knew there was surgery available, but I thought it was a big operation with a lot of recovery,” Judith says. “So I thought I’d just live with it and work around it.”

Then, in 2011, she stepped on a shovel in her garden and experienced severe pain. “I thought, ‘It’s time to do something about this,’” she says.

Judith went to see Maria Canter, MD, MSc, FACOG, who explained that her uterus was protruding into the vagina. Dr. Canter outlined the treatment options, including physical therapy and surgery.

“She put me at ease right way,” Judith says of Dr. Canter. “She drew a diagram and I saw exactly what the surgery would involve. She was very patient and answered all my questions. I decided surgery would be the sure bet.”

Dr. Canter performed a partial hysterectomy and reconstructive surgery with the da Vinci Robot on Valentine’s Day. “I can’t believe how quick the recovery was,” Judith says. “There were only five small incisions.”

Today, she says she feels wonderful. She’s up to walking six miles a week and has no discomfort. “I feel like I got some of my youth back,” Judith says. “The constant feeling of pressure is gone. It was probably the smartest thing I did. I wish I had done it sooner!”

Urogynecology & Pelvic Surgery

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