My name is Karina Roth-Albin. I am a general surgeon at Cambridge Memorial Hospital (CMH). I’m also a mom, a wife, a daughter, a sister and a friend. I am someone who is familiar with the daily challenges of balancing priorities and responsibilities.
Whether I’m helping someone feel better, fight cancer or returning home to be with their loved ones, I enjoy every minute of my day. I also value every moment I get to spend with my family and friends.
For these reasons, I am reaching out to you to ask for your support of our Minimally Invasive Surgery (MIS) program at CMH. As a surgeon, I am passionate about the MIS program because I see how extremely beneficial it is for our patients. These surgeries allow patients to return home earlier to the people they love most. MIS reduces recovery time to days rather than weeks.
As we continue to make steady progress with our WeCareCMH campaign, new equipment is needed to meet the expanding demand for the MIS program. As you may know, community donations fund 100% of the equipment at CMH.
Will you make your gift to the WeCareCMH Campaign today and help us purchase state-of- the- art equipment needed to perform more Minimally Invasive Surgeries in our hospital?
Allow me to share my passion for this program with you.
Many factors set MIS apart from traditional open surgeries. MIS or “laparoscopic surgery” is performed with small incisions. Robotics and cameras allow us to see the body internally without causing significant trauma to the patient, as would a traditional large incision. This reduces the amount of postoperative pain and significantly improves the patient experience. Recovery is easier and faster and there are fewer surgical complications.
Various surgeries can now be done using minimally invasive methods. These include: hernia repair, removal of the gallbladder and removal of different portions of the colon.
Looking back I recall one particular moment a few years ago on Christmas Day when I operated on a patient who required a subtotal colectomy (removal of almost the entire colon). Jackie had come to the hospital emergency department with a bowel obstruction (a blockage of her colon). She had cancer in her colon causing the blockage. I knew time was not in our favour. Jackie was 87 years old and to reduce the chance of complications, laparoscopic surgery was the best option.
Thanks to the equipment available through the generosity of hospital supporters like you, I was able to complete her surgery that day. Jackie’s family was incredibly relieved and emotional. They wrote me a few months later to express their gratitude. I want to share their message with you, so you can understand the importance of your support:
You gave our mom all the respect, care and skill that you have been blessed with. We are aware that you could have performed the surgery in an ‘open’ procedure which would have been much easier for you, but instead you chose to do the best thing for her.
For all that you did, we thank you… you will never be forgotten. We take for granted so many things. You have made us realize that life is very fragile and that we should daily recognize and appreciate all that is dear to us.
Jackie returned home four days after her procedure. This short recovery period would have been unimaginable using traditional open surgery.
Each year our MIS team serves over 1,100 patients. That’s almost double the number of patients seen just a few years ago. Presently seven general surgeons are sharing the limited amount of MIS equipment along with specialist surgeons in Gynecology, ENT, Urology, Plastics and Dental.
Our hospital has an urgent need to invest in a variety of new MIS equipment including irrigation pumps, telescopes and viewing monitors. Most importantly, we are hoping to purchase a Tower System with Cart and Viewing Monitor that will allow for powerful 4D imaging in the operating room. The more precise and high resolution the images we see in MIS are, the more accurate we can be in our work. This means better outcomes for surgical patients. Patients can return home sooner and experience less pain when resuming their normal lives.
As we continue our ambitious WeCareCMH campaign, we are depending on your support for the equipment we need.. Government funding does not cover the cost of these vital tools. It’s donors like you who help my colleagues and I, save and improve lives.
Together with your support, we will ensure that the best healthcare is close to home.
Dr. Karina Roth-Albin
General Surgeon, Cambridge Memorial Hospital