Alleviating Pain at Life’s Most Trying Times – Dr. Dennis Henzig

Dr. Dennis HenzigOriginally from Milwaukee, anesthesiologist Dr. Dennis Henzig came to Randolph 20 years ago for a position at Gifford. He has worked at the hospital since. His work, he says, is to help people get through some of the most anxious moments of their lives, including surgery.

Married with three children and one grandchild, Dr. Henzig lives in Randolph.

Below is his story as told in his own words, as featured in our 2012 Annual Report.

“Practicing anesthesia for 20 years in a small town provides unique opportunities to help people at what can be among the most stressful, painful, and joyous times of their lives, including during surgery and labor. It also affords the opportunity to form bonds and improve patient care over the years. In a community the size of ours, there’s no doubt you are going to care for the same patient more than once.

Dr. Dennis Henzig

A portrait of Dr. Henzig in surgery in 1992

As I write this, fresh in my mind is a patient who required a caesarean section (C-section). I was her anesthetist. I also had the privilege of caring for her a few years prior when she also had a child by C-section. That first delivery was a complicated and long labor with a lot of back swelling. Giving her spinal anesthetic was consequently a challenge, but together we were successful and she had a healthy baby. As this mother reached the recovery room, however, she became violently ill.

As we readied for her C-section this second time, I knew her challenges from the past and was able to tweak her spinal ingredients a bit, skipping the morphine that I suspected made her sick. This time the spinal slipped right in without a hitch (no labor swelling helped a lot) and she was able to experience excellent pain relief without getting sick to her stomach. This also allowed her to bond with her baby right in the operating room. In her own words, she was “ecstatically happy” in the recovery room.

We both enjoyed the experience. She was happy because she had a healthy new baby. I was happy because she made my day.

Helping to give her the gift of healthy labor and birth that she envisioned is why I do what I do.”

~ Dennis Henzig, M.D.
Anesthesiologist

Dr. Dennis Henzig

Dr. Henzig with members of Gifford’s surgical team

 

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