It was a surgery that couldn’t wait.
Trudy Mazer, 73, started experiencing symptoms of spotting back in December and visited her doctor. She had an office biopsy, followed by an abnormal CT pelvic/abdominal scan. The tests gave no definitive answers, but she knew something was wrong.
In March, she had a dilation and curettage (D&C) at Mercy San Juan Medical Center to biopsy the abnormal tissues. By April, she was diagnosed with adenosarcoma, a rare form of uterine cancer.
It was devastating news, Mazer said. Time was of the essence.
Mazer reached out to neighbor and friend Mark Mannis, chair of ophthalmology at UC Davis Health. He recommended that she meet with Gary Leiserowitz, chair of obstetrics and gynecology at UC Davis Health. Leiserowitz is an expert in gynecologic oncology and Mazer would be in good hands, he said.
Within days, she met with Leiserowitz for a physical and preoperative meeting.
“It was my first time at UC Davis. Dr. Leiserowitz had everything ready for me. We completed all the paperwork. My surgery was scheduled for the next week. I didn’t have to wait,” Mazer said.
With the COVID-19 pandemic, Mazer said that she was worried about going to the hospital, but once she was there, she didn’t worry for a minute. UC Davis Health tested Mazer for the coronavirus before her surgery and gave her the negative result the same day.
“I had the best possible care. I am a registered nurse and I am infection control conscious. I felt very comfortable and felt like they did everything right,” Mazer said.
Mazer arrived at 5:30 a.m. to check in for surgery. In the waiting room, check-in times for patients were staggered so patients weren’t packed into the waiting room at the same time.
“I was in the waiting area for a very short time and there was plenty of space around me,” Mazer said.
Once checked in, hospital staff directed patients to two different locations, again optimizing patient flow and ensuring social distancing.
“They were organized and systematic. They put any fears that I had to rest. They had thought of everything. Everybody that I encountered was so nice and helpful,” she said.
The surgery, performed by Leiserowitz, was laparoscopic, a minimally invasive procedure that uses small incisions, with robot-assisted technology. Mazer spent the night in the hospital and went home the next day.
“The nursing care was excellent. They took really good care of me and managed any pain I had. The recovery was so easy. I have not needed one Tylenol since I got home,” Mazer said.
Even better was the call she received from Leiserowitz, letting her know that she was cancer-free. The tumor board reviewed her case and said no further treatment was needed. No radiation or chemotherapy. The cancer was entirely removed during surgery.
“I cannot thank Dr. Mannis and Dr. Leiserowitz enough. Between the two of them, they saved my life,” Mazer said. “I feel so blessed and happy.”