A Special Note for a Seamless Surgery

Milford resident Lucille Mehl was so pleased with her positive surgical experience at Bayhealth Hospital, Sussex Campus that she went home after the procedure and a one-night hospital stay to handwrite a letter to Bayhealth President & CEO Terry M. Murphy, FACHE.

Those who know Mehl aren’t surprised that she took the time to express her gratitude for the quality of care she received; she’s developed a reputation in the community for positivity. “Everything went well, and I think it’s important to write letters when things are good,” she said.

A retired speech pathologist and principal, Mehl relocated to Delaware from upstate New York in 2003 with her husband Tom. They chose Milford as their retirement home and are active volunteers in the area. In 2013, Mehl received a Governor’s Outstanding Volunteer Award for donating time and talent to the Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge’s Nature Center, the Milford Lions Club, Delaware Hospice, the Milford Senior Center, Seaside Jewish Community, First Presbyterian Church in Milford, and Meals on Wheels.

Looking back on her Feb. 21, 2019 hysterectomy, Mehl admits to having a case of jitters before undergoing the procedure. “I was very nervous. It was my first experience with something like this. I had never had any big surgery,” she said. Additionally, she was a bit concerned about the possibility of bad weather and about the facility itself.

After all, the new Bayhealth Hospital, Sussex Campus had just welcomed its first patient on Feb. 5.

In the end, her concerns were unwarranted. Her experience, according to her letter to Murphy, exceeded her expectations from start to finish. “From the moment I had my pre-admission testing, the surgery and post-operative procedures were excellent,” she wrote. “Everyone that I had dealings with was knowledgeable, caring and dedicated to the service they gave to me personally.”

In addition to individually recognizing the staff with positive comments on the Bayhealth Honors Card, Mehl said she enjoyed having her own room, a room with a view. “My breakfast on Feb. 22 was delicious, especially the coffee. The added touch of the Delaware State News on my breakfast tray was over the top,” she wrote.

Mehl also praised her surgeon, OB-GYN Noel M. Anupol, MD, as “walking on water. He listened to my complaints.” Meanwhile, he credits her for being a wellinformed patient. “She is a good person and a great patient, and she asked appropriate questions,” he said.

He described the procedure for this patient, a minimally invasive, gynecologic laparoscopic surgery. “Every case is different, and her procedure was appropriate for her medical problem at the time,” he said.

Dr. Anupol explained that robotically assisted gynecological surgeries, including hysterectomies, are now available at Bayhealth Hospital, Sussex Campus. “The robotic arms do not replace the surgeon, and the system cannot perform the surgery by itself. It is a technologically advanced tool to help the surgeons perform minimally invasive surgery with enhanced visualization, dexterity and precision. The patient will have shorter hospitalization, reduced pain and discomfort, a faster recovery time, a quicker return to normal activities, a cosmetically smaller incision resulting in reduced risk of infection, as well as reduced blood loss and transfusions,” he said. “Our philosophy is to serve all patients well and give them appropriate care,” he added.

Since her surgery and recovery went well, Mehl says she has happily resumed an active lifestyle. “I am a nine-hole golfer, I dance, and I do yoga and tai chi,” she said.

And to Murphy she wrote, “Thank you all again for my great care and stay. I’m just so thrilled that the new hospital is here in our community.”

In 2020 Bayhealth will celebrate 10 years of robotic assisted surgery. Visit Bayhealth.org/Ten-Years-Robotics to learn more about the program and to meet the surgeons.

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