|hope (hp)v.t. & i, expect or look forward to, with desire and confidence. –n. 1, confidence in a future event; expectation of something desired. 2, what is hoped for. 3, something that arouses or justifies hope.|
At Chapel Hill Tubal Reversal Center, Dr. Gary Berger understands that hope is not just a word to the hundreds of women who come to his center each year. Hope is what they find in him.
When Amanda Nelson first decided to have a tubal ligation in 1997, she never imagined she would find herself in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, 4,000 miles away from her home in Cumbria, England about to undergo a tubal ligation reversal.
“I had been married for a number of years when my marriage broke down,” said Amanda. “I had two boys to look after, so I waited a year and then went ahead with my tubal ligation. At the time, the thought of having children with a different father didn’t appeal to me.”
Like Amanda, many women who come to Chapel Hill Tubal Reversal Center have faced life changes such as divorce, loss of a child or remarriage.
“Years went by, and then I met David. He had no children and happened to mention he would like one of his own some day,” said Amanda. “It took me awhile to think about it, but decided to look up having the operation.”
The couple sought the advice of Amanda’s local gynecologist. She suggested that they try in-vitro fertilization. But due to the high cost and limited chance of conceiving, the couple decided to begin researching tubal reversal surgery.
“David and I came to the conclusion that you only get one chance with IVF, and if it didn’t work, you have to start all over again,” said Amanda. “The emotional side of it and the high cost put us off.”
The Search Begins
The couple began searching online for tubal reversal specialists. Their search brought them to the Chapel Hill Tubal Reversal Center Web site and Dr. Gary Berger.
“My doctor said we would have more of a chance of getting pregnant if the surgeon had done the operation many times,” said Amanda. “ I couldn’t believe my luck when I found Dr. Berger.”
Over the past 28 years, Dr. Gary Berger has performed over 7,000 tubal reversals as a one-hour, outpatient operation. Recognized as a leader in the field, Dr. Berger has been featured on The Learning Channel and Discovery Health.
Patients come to Chapel Hill from across the United States and abroad to have him perform the procedure. Using microsurgical techniques he developed and refined, Dr. Berger can successfully repair the fallopian tubes in 98 percent of the women who want their tubes untied.
“At first it seemed silly to travel that far to have surgery,” said Amanda. “But when David and I read the Web site and learned about Dr. Berger, we knew he was the man for the job.”
On April 1, Amanda contacted the center to schedule her tubal reversal surgery. After completing the required forms and health history with a tubal reversal nurse, Amanda was ready to begin her long journey to North Carolina.
When the couple arrived at the Raleigh-Durham International Airport in late May, they were greeted by Janice Barrett of Red Carpet Coach, a transportation service that offers discounted rates to Dr. Berger’s patients.
“Janice picked us up and gave us a little tour of the town,” said Amanda. “She drove us by Dr. Berger’s office, then to the hotel. It was nice knowing we were close by.”
Dr. Berger’s patients stay at the Sheraton Chapel Hill Hotel, where they receive a discounted rate. This convenient location allows for quick and comfortable access to the hotel following surgery.
The First Meeting
On the morning of her surgery, Amanda and David arrived at the center for a patient consultation and first meeting with Dr. Berger. As Amanda describes, her first meeting with Dr. Berger was a special experience.
“I remember years ago watching a television show on the Discovery channel about a lady having the tubal reversal surgery and Dr. Berger was on it,” said Amanda. “Being on his Web site most days, I used to look at his photo and think, it won’t be long now before I’m in Chapel Hill. So when I finally met him, it just felt special…he was a star, and a humble one at that.”
Immediately following her operation, Amanda was alert and comfortable. David arrived shortly in the post-anesthesia care unit to be by her side.
“I woke up from surgery to my David, and I was in no pain,” Amanda said. “I was shocked because when I had my tubal ligation, I woke up in extreme pain, so I was really pleased. I was given time to wake up and told the good news by Dr. Berger that everything went well and my tubes were repaired.”
Most women are typically discharged from the facility within two hours after surgery. And most resume normal activities within five to 10 days. This outcome is far better for patients than the standard approach to tubal ligation reversal that requires hospitalization for several days, longer recovery times and unnecessary hospital costs.
“I didn’t experience any pain the day of my surgery,” said Amanda. “And I was able do a little sightseeing of Chapel Hill the day after my surgery.”
Home Sweet Home
After returning to England, Amanda joined the Chapel Hill Tubal Reversal Center message board. The message board is a place for patients and those interested in tubal reversal and women’s health issues to share their stories.
“The Web site is wonderful,” says Amanda. “I’ve found the message board to be very helpful, and I’ve managed to help some future patients of Dr. Berger’s that live here in the UK.”
When asked to describe her experience in Chapel Hill, Amanda gave two words…first class.
“My experience was better than I expected,” said Amanda. “David was very happy with the care I received, and I think he enjoyed the care he received, too. You don’t leave the men out, I think that’s important.”
Giving hope to patients is something Dr. Berger and his team of tubal reversal professionals doesn’t take lightly. Hope isn’t just a word; it’s their mission.
To learn more about Dr. Gary Berger and his team at Chapel Hill Tubal Reversal Center, visit www.tubal-reversal.net or call 919.968.4656.
Submitted by Lisa Hourmouzis, RN
Tubal Reversal Nurse