Resource Blog/Media/BHOC Gaukhman Barton HERO


Coral Springs Woman Walking Again After Two Hip Replacements

Baptist Health Orthopedic Care

“The pain was beyond imagination. I didn’t think I could handle it. I’m a very active and energetic person but I could hardly walk,” says Mariola Barton, 67, of Coral Springs. “I had to take a leave of absence from work and was spending most of my time in bed crying.”


Ms. Barton, a Polish-born South Florida resident for the past 30 years who works as an area market manager for Valley Bank, has always led an active lifestyle. In addition to socializing with friends; playing with Rosie, her Teacup Yorkshire Terrier; and spending time with Ava, her granddaughter who lives nearby, she loves to walk and practice yoga and she also plays golf and tennis regularly.


(Watch now: Mariola Barton of Coral Springs talks about her experience at Baptist Health Orthopedic Care in Boca Raton after having total hip replacement surgery on both of her hips earlier this year. Video by Eduardo Morales.)


Last summer, however, while traveling in Italy, Ms. Barton started feeling pain in her left hip. Thinking it was from too much walking, she went to see a sports medicine specialist in Boca Raton when she returned home. He diagnosed her with osteoarthritis, a degenerative joint disease that “can degrade cartilage, change bone shape and cause inflammation, resulting in pain, stiffness and loss of mobility,” according to the Arthritis Foundation.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says osteoarthritis (OA) affects more than 32.5 million adults nationwide. Historically, it was known as a ‘wear and tear’ condition associated with aging but it is now recognized as a disease of the entire joint, including bone, cartilage, ligaments, fat and the tissues lining the joint (the synovium).


A referral for a total hip replacement

Ms. Barton’s physician told her that she OA also was detected in her left hip and that she would need total hip replacement surgery – first her left hip and later her right. He referred her to Alexander Gaukhman, M.D., an orthopedic surgeon with Baptist Health Orthopedic Care in Boca Raton who has performed hundreds of the procedures.


Alexander Gaukhman, orthopedic surgeon with Baptist Health Orthopedic Care in Boca Raton


Several of Ms. Barton’s banking clients have been patients of Dr. Gaukhman and were doing “amazingly well,” she says. “They said, ‘You are in good hands, he’s amazing.’ So I trusted them and I trusted him.”


Dr. Gaukhman says the most unique aspect of Ms. Barton’s case was the fact that she had arthritis in both of her hips. “It was interfering with her quality of life. She had exhausted conservative management with physical therapy, anti-inflammatories and, in particular, steroids, so she was a good candidate for a total hip replacement.”


Same-day surgery at Cooperman Medical Arts Pavilion

Ms. Barton’s left hip was replaced in January at Baptist Health Orthopedic Care’s outpatient center in Boca Raton. On April 15th, when she had her right hip replaced, Ms. Barton had the distinction of being the very first surgical patient at the new Toby and Leon Cooperman Medical Arts Pavilion on the campus of Boca Raton Regional Hospital, part of Baptist Health.


The 64,000-square-foot facility – one of the cornerstones of Boca Regional’s $660 million construction and renovation program – includes a top-floor outpatient ambulatory surgery center as well as physician offices for orthopedics, urology and gastroenterology.


Dr. Gaukhman says that Baptist Health Orthopedic Care’s facility spans one and a half floors of the Cooperman Medical Arts Pavilion and includes five state-of-the-art operating rooms for outpatient and overnight cases, as well as 16 dedicated recovery bays.


The Toby and Leon Cooperman Medical Arts Pavilion at Boca Raton Regional Hospital, part of Baptist Health, houses Baptist Health Orthopedic Care and other clinical specialties


The new facility also brings together all of the orthopedic specialties under one roof, Dr. Gaukhman says. “We have a comprehensive team of anesthesiologists, surgeons, physical therapists and clinical staff here. All of them are focused on ensuring the highest quality of care for our patients and preparing them for same-day discharge by educating them on what to expect and how to successfully recover at home,” he says.


Following her right hip replacement, Ms. Barton was discharged the same day, which would have been unthinkable 30 or 40 years ago. Dr. Gaukhman credits today’s technology and state-of-the-art surgical suites such as those at Cooperman Medical Arts Pavilion.


“The ultimate objective of same-day, total hip or total knee replacement is to deliver the highest quality of care in a setting where we can keep healthy patients healthy after their procedure and get them back home as soon as possible,” Dr. Gaukhman says.


Recovering from total hip replacement

Recovery for most same-day total hip or total knee replacement patients starts immediately with physical therapy, according to Dr. Gaukhman. “We want to get them up and walking around as soon as possible after surgery. Once they get home, the overall recovery period is anywhere from about two to six weeks, depending on what the patient’s pre-surgery functional level was.”


Ms. Barton recalls waking up from anesthesia after her surgery. “As soon as I was awake and able, they brought the walker and I was up and walking immediately. I didn’t feel anything yet because I was still having the pain medication.”


Three hours later, she was able to go home. “For me, this was not a little surgery like a tooth extraction,” she says. “Having the surgery and going home the same day was such a relief because who wants to stay at the hospital? I’d rather be at home with my family and friends.”


Six weeks after her second surgery, Ms. Barton says she feels “amazing.” “I’m 99 percent back to my normal life. I walk, I drive, I go out with friends and have fun spending time with Ava,” she says.


Ms. Barton experienced pain for her first week or so at home but she didn’t let that deter her from walking as much and as often as possible every day. Soon, she was able to ditch the walker and resume her yoga. “Every day was better and better and better,” she says.


Praise for Baptist Health Orthopedic Care

Ms. Barton has nothing but praise for Dr. Gaukhman and the staff at Baptist Health Orthopedic Care. “He’s my hero. He brought my life back to me. I feel like I’m back to the normal me,” she says. She is now planning a trip to Europe – something she wouldn’t have been able to even think about just six months ago.


When her friends profess amazement at how well she’s doing after having both of her hips replaced in a matter of months, Ms. Barton is quick to credit Dr. Gaukhman. “I hope none of my friends have to have a hip replaced – let alone both of them – but if they do I will always recommend Dr. Gaukhman. He’s the best.”

Healthcare that Cares

With internationally renowned centers of excellence, 12 hospitals, more than 27,000 employees, 4,000 physicians and 200 outpatient centers, urgent care facilities and physician practices spanning across Miami-Dade, Monroe, Broward and Palm Beach counties, Baptist Health is an anchor institution of the South Florida communities we serve.

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