Going Bionic: My Journey Through Double Hip Replacement
I wrote down my story out of deep gratitude to Dr. Nicholas Mast, his surgical team, and the medical staff of California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco, with the hope that my story will help others deal more effectively with degenerative hip arthritis and replacement surgery.
Click here to read the patient’s entire story
Dr. Mast and his team are the best. Professional, courteous, and attentive.
When I started researching hip replacement surgeons, I saw several that were ready to cut, but who I didn’t feel comfortable being in the same room as their egos. Then I was directed to Dr. Mast.
My first meeting with him was a breathy of fresh air. He explained the different approaches, the longevity ratings of each, and his experiences of the +s and -s of each. He treated me as an adult, instead of his next slab to cut.
The surgery and care after was fantastic. His professionalism carried through all of the people that were part of my surgery team. Each person checked in at different times. All showed the same patience and care that I’d had the first time with Dr. Mast.
As for recovery, mine matched that of many who have Yelped Dr. Mast. Walking the day after surgery, going up the stairs the second day. I actually only used a cane for 1 – 2 days after that, so by the 4th day, no cane and no crutches. Still slow and a bit sore, but the body was working again.
Now, 8 weeks after surgery, I can put my palms flat on the floor when I bend to touch the floor without bending my knees; I can walk 3 – 4 miles without pain, and I am riding my bike back and forth to work again (only 3 miles each way, but up and down hills each way).
And my pain meds are down usually to an Alleve and Tylenol once per day. I hope to be completely off them in 1 – 2 more weeks.
Oh, and with Dr. Mast’s anterior approach, there are no range of motion restictions at all, from the very beginning. This means that you can start exercising to get your body fully functional right away, which means less scar tissue to build up, which means better and faster recovery.
A couple of other good things to know:
* Kathleen, Dr. Mast’s P.A., is great. Humor, kindness, intelligence. And knows her stuff, as do the rest of the team.
* At Saint Francis Memorial Hospital, you get a private room for recovery. Doesn’t sound like a big deal, but it was very nice to have.
If I ever need to have a hip replacement again, or if anyone asks me my thoughts on my surgery, I would recommend Dr. Mast and his team fully!
Dr. Mast is the new Maestro of Anterior Hip Replacement!! I had my hip replaced by him three days ago and I am up walking on a cane with manageable pain, minimal swelling and practically no bruising. My house is full of stairs and I am even able navigate them. It is amazing!
Everything is relative! Last year I had my other hip replaced by Dr. Joel Matta in LA. Matta is the pioneer of the anterior approach and trained Mast. Matta did a great job with my hip itself but not a great job with everything else post op as it related to pain, bruising and swelling. I was in a ton of pain for a month and had a lot of bruising and swelling. Mast has taken Matta’s great anterior approach–nailed it and then vastly improved on the post op procedures and patient experience.
On top of that, Mast is kind, friendly, humble and very approachable. Unusual for a surgeon!!
I can’t say enough good things!!
After 8 yrs of waiting and, literally living with torturous pain 24/7, I finally got up the nerve to have a total replacement of my left hip. I was only 46 yrs old at the time and was just one of those lucky ones whose hip went bad for no apparent reason. My hip had deteriorated so much that it was literally bone-on-bone, much of which having already worn away.
After researching appropriate orthopedic surgeons in the Bay Area, I compiled a list of approx. 5-7 potential surgeons and began my interview process. I was scared of the possibility that some complication may arise during surgery leaving me unable to even walk again. At that time I at least could walk – albeit with great difficulty and pain and a gait resembling some hunchback named Igor – but I still walked. I found myself tearing up during each interview because of these fears.
The third surgeon I interviewed was Dr. Nicholas Mast. Dr. Bradley Graw (who I also interviewed) referred me to him because Dr. Graw felt I was a candidate for the anterior approach hip replacement method. Looking into Dr. Mast’s credentials, I learned he was pioneering the anterior approach procedure in the Bay Area. I was a bit skeptical due to his being rather young but when I met Dr. Mast, all uncertainty flew right out the door. He was open, honest and forthcoming with his answers to my questions (I put together a list I asked each doctor during the “interview” process). He was totally professional but also very compassionate and patient throughout our consultation. When I started weeping (again…), he was kind and understanding of my fears and reassured me that any complications could be repaired. Right then I knew I had found my surgeon.
AND, BOY DID I!! Dr. Mast is a doctor/surgeon of meticulous nature and immense caring and respect for his patients. I was up and walking the same day of my surgery. He checked on me daily for the 2 1/2 days (yes, only 2 1/2 which as amazing due to the severe degeneration of my hip) of hospitalization, making sure I was properly cared for during my stay.
My new hip’s 2nd b-day is this month on 9/27 and I couldn’t be more happy.
I now live with a smile on my face instead of a grimace from the pain. I have absolutely no problem wearing my [very] high heals on a regular basis and am back to riding on our Harleys again. Best of all, my hip doesn’t squeak (believe it or not, that’s happened to some replacement patients – just see the YouTube videos)!! I still tear up whenever I see him, talk about him and/or relate my surgery – only these are good tears!
DR. MAST LITERALLY GAVE ME MY LIFE BACK.
He is amazing as both a person and a physician. I cannot recommend him more highly. I will be forever in his debt and eternally grateful to him. I consider it a privilege to have him as my doctor, my surgeon and my friend.
Dr. Mast has only been on Yelp for a few weeks but he deserves scads of five-star reviews – his bedside manner alone is the best I’ve ever experienced with any physician and I’ve had more than my share of invasive surgeries. If you need new hips,
especially two at once, he’s the man to see. He practices the Direct Anterior Approach (DAA), a technique rare here in the States but common in Europe. He spent a year in Paris training with the best and it shows. You heal ultra-fast with this approach because no muscle is cut – only tweezed apart to access the joint capsule from the front. Risk of dislocation is drastically reduced, too, for the same reason. He’s quite busy, and deservedly so, but the minor inconvenience of having to leave phone messages for his assistant is not an issue when weighed against the top notch treatment you can expect. The team at CPMC was also excellent, and all held Dr. Mast in high regard. I was up walking the day after surgery and left the hospital on the third day – with two hips done at once! Amazing. So do yourself a favor and explore the advantages of DAA hip replacement, then call Dr. Mast’s office for a consultation. Another benefit to doing both at once, if needed, (I’m 55) is that you don’t have to repeat the whole mess again six months later, and getting leg lengths to match is much easier on the special table they operate with – an issue some folks complain about when doing each individually. If you’re overweight, lose it before surgery- the procedure will go far more smoothly! Actually, this guy deserves six stars!
My name is Ken Williams, age 63 and I was diagnosed with osteoarthritis of the left hip. I lived with the pain for approximately 2 years and finally decided to have my hip replaced and have a prosthesis installed. I looked at the current techniques and settled on the anterior hip replacement procedure that Dr. Mast performs. The procedure eliminates the need to cut muscle and reduces the recovery period and need for post operative physical therapy. I could not be happier with the results, I was up and walking two hours after the procedure, I walked the ward floor the day following surgery and was discharged that day. It has be a little less than three weeks post surgery and I walk normally without pain. I would recommend Dr. Mast to anyone considering this surgery, his dedication, bedside manner, and skills are unsurpassed. I would highly recomend this prodcedure to any considering the replacement surgery.