When Rose Marie Boen needed a surgeon to remove gallstones, she turned
to social media.
After posting about her medical issue on Facebook, a consensus opinion
emerged: the person who could provide Rose with quality care close to
home was Dr. Abiy Meshesha, a Visalia general surgeon affiliated with
Kaweah Delta Medical Center.
“Everyone said he is a great doctor, he’s very nice and has
a great bedside manner,” said Rose, a 53-year-old mother of three
Rose was in the market for a surgeon after learning - the hard way - that
she had developed gallstones, which are small, stone-like objects that
form when the liquid in the gallbladder hardens. Gallstones affect more
than three million people in the United States every year, predominantly
those over 40.
One night in early May, Rose got sick and began experiencing abnormal bowel
movements. The next day, Rose was overcome with excruciating pain and
"I thought I was going to have a heart attack," Rose said. "My
chest plate was in pain. I couldn't stand it. I cried and cried."
Rose dealt with the pain for about five hours before she called an ambulance,
which took her to Kaweah Delta Medical Center.
Once in the Emergency Room, Rose was taken for an ultrasound which revealed
the gallstones. She was given medication for the pain and sent home to
begin the search for a surgeon. A close friend and a relative both recommended
Dr. Meshesha, as did several friends on Facebook as well as her general
practitioner, Dr. Alberto Ruvalcaba.
Rose quickly went to see Dr. Meshesha, who laid out options which included
open surgery, done through a large incision in the abdomen, or a laparoscopic
procedure, a minimally invasive surgery performed with specialized tools
through four small incisions through the belly button.
"I tell them the advantages and disadvantages of both, not only from
a text book but from personal experience," said Dr. Meshesha, who
estimates he performs between 400 and 500 gallbladder surgeries a year.
Rose was apprehensive about undergoing surgery, but was reassured by friends
that Dr. Meshesha's was the right doctor for her. She decided on the
laparoscopic approach, which is considered among the safest of all surgical
procedures and performed on roughly 750,000 people in the United States
each year according to webmd.com.
Dr. Meshesha guided a small, lighted camera through Rose's abdomen
that allowed him to conduct the procedure while watching through a monitor.
He removed 17 gallstones and her gallbladder.
After Rose returned home, she received a check-up call from Dr. Meshesha.
“I really appreciated that,” said Rose, who added she was back
to living a normal life within a couple days after surgery. “I had
a wonderful experience with him.”
Rose, who has had six surgeries at Kawaeh Delta since 2004, knows that
at Kaweah Delta, nurses and other hospital staff are committed to quality
and deliver a personal, professional and compassionate health care experience.
“I’ve had a lot of good experiences there,” said Rose,
who has had a hysterectomy, her thyroid removed, shoulder surgery and
feet and ankle surgeries performed at Kaweah Delta. “The nurses