From a Ruptured Appendix to Diverticulitis – Our Surgical Team Is Ready

November 10, 2022

Dr Dexter
Dr. David Dexter (left), a general surgeon at Lakewood Ranch Medical Center

Laura McCabe was vacationing in Tennessee in May 2021 when she suddenly became very ill. She went to a local emergency department where she was diagnosed with a ruptured appendix. She was hospitalized for several days and treated with antibiotics, but no surgery.

After her discharge, she was instructed to follow up with a surgeon near home. She saw Dr. David Dexter, a general surgeon at Lakewood Ranch Medical Center, who scheduled her for surgery. She underwent a laparoscopic surgery to remove her appendix and her gallbladder, which was also bothering her.

After surgery, Dr. Dexter followed her closely. Within a few days, she began to experience pain. “Dr. Dexter called me back immediately and met me at the ER,” said Laura. “This time, it was something more serious and required another surgery.”

Dr. Dexter discovered that Laura had diverticulitis, an infection of little pockets or blebs that form in the colon (diverticula). She had a perforation - or hole - in the colon, became very ill, and over the course of the next few days, required two surgeries. Following the surgeries, she had a portion of her large intestine removed and had a colostomy.

“I was upset to know that I had to have a colostomy bag, but trusted that Dr. Dexter felt it needed to be done so that I could start to get better,” explained Laura. Following a two-week stay in rehab, Laura was able to return home.

In July 2022, Laura had surgery to reverse (remove) her colostomy. She is now recovered and is doing very well. “I received the best care from Dr. Dexter and his staff from the first phone call I made to his office. They are caring and truly make you feel like you are part of their family. He and his physician assistant, Alexa Kinder, visited me twice a day in the hospital to make sure everything was progressing.”

Laura attributes Dr. Dexter for saving her life, and that’s something that she never forgets. “All of my concerns were addressed. Dr. Dexter and his staff all looked out for me. That’s a wonderful feeling.”