Double Hip Replacement in Costa Rica. Mike & Jonatta Matta from Surprise, AZ share their story.

About two and a half years ago Mike was diagnosed with avascular necrosis which is where the bone tissue slowly dies due to a lack of blood supply. Avascular necrosis (see note below) can lead to tiny breaks in the bone and the bone’s eventual collapse.

The most common joint affected by avascular necrosis is the hip and it tends to get worse over time so managing it is a lifelong process.

Jonatta Matta explains that: “Mike needed both of his hips replaced and the reason we ended up in Costa Rica was Mike was put on the waiting list” and “I was interested in finding alternative ways to get him fixed..”

Double Hip Replacement in Costa Rica
Mike & Jonatta Matta from Surprise, AZ shares their story.

“I researched Costa Rica, India, Thailand… Mike was so much pain that in order to take an airplane flight that was 20 hours 30 hours I just couldn’t see that happening. We live in Arizona and that’s a 6 hours flight and he couldn’t sit 6 hours straight, and we also chose Costa Rica because of the price it was definitely more reasonable but not only that, I think that through my research I was trying to find the best place with the best doctors, it was just a good feeling…”

“You could almost tell who is doing it for a business and who is doing it because they really really wanted to help someone, so that’s the reason for choosing this hospital, it felt right.”

Mike said that: “We had also been here in Costa Rica several years ago and we felt comfortable coming somewhere where we kind understood how the currency worked, the language here is easier than Thailand, India… it was an easier choice to come in somewhere that we already visited, and found a place where the language is easier to overcome…”

“I have tremendous gratitude towards all the hospital and staff, having two hips replaced I certainly wasn’t in the position to take care of myself” and the staff “made the whole thing easier…”

Jonatta said that: “It was an excellent experience…”

“It was a good thing. It’s been wonderful!
2 or 3 weeks after his surgery, he was walking around, it was just amazing!”

Mike: “I will do it again if it were me only because I wouldn’t want to suffer one hip surgery and then think that there is one left… I knew that I was young and strong to come all over here… I was suffering with this pain for two and a half years and haven’t been able to do the things I wanted to do… It was a major surgery it was major, not small, I wouldn’t recommend it for everyone but I’m glad I did it because I’m here 3 weeks after and I’m walking on my own unassisted.”

“Yeah I’m still tired at the end of the day, minor pain still, medications… I hope to be home soon but to be 3 weeks out and feel the way I feel after a hip surgery I feel very glad, it was a really good experience.”

Mike Paid US$25,000 Instead of US$100,000+ in the U.S.

“One more thing that I wanted to talk about is about the ability overall of the whole procedure I had down here in the Hospital Metropolitano. I’m a working class guy I’ve been working in construction my whole life and affording this types of procedure in the United States is not possible even with Medicare. I still would been looking for a huge amount but without Medicare it would be $50,000 per hip… and much more.

Here I was able to calm down, have a great place to have a surgery done, great staff doctors for only $25,000 and not only that, I was able to recover in the most beautiful places in the world with my wife. It was like a vacation for us too.”

Jonatta: “It was very important to me to feel safe and I did. I felt that I could do that, take a cab and show up, leave at a certain time, everybody spoke English and if they didn’t, I had a business card, where I was going, a phone number. Sometimes I felt alone because he was on the recovery and I was in the room, but I was calling the nurses and they were calling me.”

“I never felt scared, there is no fear to go to San Jose… I was feeling at home …, everything is just perfect.”

Mike: The staff “… were worried about everything, the recovery, they were caring about her.”

Jonatta: “At the supermarket everything was so easy, everything was pretty close. Everything was easy.”

Mike: “If I had any advice for friends or family that were interesting in surgery or options I would want them to visit – Costa Rica has been really good to me, the hospital has been really good to me and I can’t complain. Once again my name is Mike Matta and I live in Arizona.”

Jonatta: “Do your research, you can really trust in your intuition, it’s all about who you talk to, their care and if it feels right in your heart just do it and don’t let anybody take out of it!”

Avascular necrosis is the death of bone tissue due to a lack of blood supply. Also called osteonecrosis, avascular necrosis can lead to tiny breaks in the bone and the bone’s eventual collapse.

The blood flow to a section of bone can be interrupted if the bone is fractured or the joint becomes dislocated. Avascular necrosis is also associated with long-term use of high-dose steroid medications and excessive alcohol intake.

The most common joint affected by avascular necrosis is the hip. Avascular necrosis worsens with time, so managing it is a lifelong process.

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