Mandy's Story

“The more Mandy Doering looked into it, the more she found that St. Cloud Hospital was highly qualified to perform her nephrectomy.”

Mandy Doering, 34, awoke from the surgery that removed her appendix to see a picture with a portion of her kidney circled. Being a nurse, she found this odd and troubling. Soon her surgeon, Manuel Moran, MD, Central Minnesota Surgeons, entered her room with bad news. A CT scan taken during surgery found a suspicious mass on her left kidney. Mandy was referred to Shawn McGee, MD, and Keegan Maxwell, MD, Adult & Pediatric Urology, who told her the treatment for her type of cancer was surgery.

In the days that followed, Mandy began researching the surgery online. Time and time again the da Vinci robot turned up in her search process. “The robot was state-of-the-art and its benefits included a shorter recovery time, lower risk of infection and surgical precision,” said Mandy. “I knew right away that I wanted my nephrectomy with a da Vinci robot.”

She planned to make this request at her pre-surgery appointment but was pleased when Dr. McGee suggested the robot himself. “The more I looked into it, the more I found that St. Cloud Hospital was highly qualified to perform my surgery. It had the right technology with the da Vinci robot and the right people," said Mandy, referring to St. Cloud Hospital's recognition in US News & World Report as one of “America’s Best Hospitals” for urology. “There was no need for me to travel to Mayo Clinic or the University of Minnesota. Instantly, I felt a sense of peace.”

Within weeks Drs. McGee and Maxwell performed a partial nephrectomy on Mandy. Her hospital stay was four days with no complications. She recovered quickly and went home with just four tiny scars. As a home care nurse, Mandy believes a person’s recovery period is as important as the surgery. A poor recovery can lead to infection or even re-hospitalization. "Without the da Vinci surgery, I feel I would have been down for the count," said Mandy. "The surgery was a godsend for me.”

Today Mandy feels good. She sees her experience as a message from God, telling her to love herself, take care of her health, know her body and appreciate her children and the area’s wealth of great health care. “In the end, it really was a miracle that the mass was found. I feel fortunate,” said Mandy, at peace with her life and the events of last spring.