"I am so grateful for the care I received from Dr. Rami Makhoul, and the quality time he gave me to make my treatment easier."
Linda Gets the Best Present, a Clean Bill of Health.
Linda Lopez Enriquez tried everything to make her stomach pain stop. “Everything I ate made me feel unwell,” she said. She changed her diet and started going to the gym.
When Linda saw blood in her stool, she went to her primary care provider for an exam and had a series of stool sample tests, which came back negative. Still, her rectal bleeding became more frequent, and the pain got progressively worse. A diagnosis eluded her, until she did her first colonoscopy which proved to be a turning point, revealing a 5-cm mass that appeared to be cancer.
An endoscopic ultrasound was performed for confirmation and to determine how advanced the tumor was. “Linda’s tumor was locally advanced, meaning it went beyond the bowel wall and some lymph nodes were involved.
Dr. Rami Makhoul develop an individualized care plan for Linda that would offer the best outcomes. The first step was to aggressively treat the tumor with a one-two punch: chemotherapy and radiation at the same time. “Chemo-radiation is done to improve the outcome of surgery, decrease the risk of recurrence and increase overall survival,” Dr. Makhoul said. The chemo given during radiation is a low dose, which is meant to make the cells more sensitive to radiation. The goal is to shrink the tumor, making it easier to remove completely during surgery.
Dr. Makhoul performed Linda’s surgery robotically at Holy Cross Germantown Hospital using the da Vinci® Xi Surgical System. He removed the small residual tumor and reconstructed the bowels to create a temporary ileostomy, which was reversed eight weeks later to restore normal bowel function.
Both surgeries went very well and Linda was back home quickly. After surgery, Linda had additional chemotherapy to reduce the risk of recurrence and is in remission.
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