Author Topic: Dr. Vail at UCSF 2010  (Read 7337 times)

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Dr. Vail at UCSF 2010
« on: February 08, 2010, 10:45:48 AM »
Dr. Vail is such an amazingly skilled surgeon and lovely gentle, humble human being that I would give him the highest recommendations to anyone considering a BHR or THR. Dr. Vail has performed bilateral BHRs on me and I am a new woman thanks to him! I had my left hip resurfaced by Vail 6 weeks ago, on December 22nd, 2009, and I just came back from a weekend in Tahoe, snowshoeing, swimming and otherwise moving around easily on my new hips. Dr. Vail resurfaced my right hip just 5 months before, on July 21, 2009. I saw Vail after having seen two surgeons in the East SF Bay both of whom said I needed arthroscopy.  The first surgeon referred to me by my primary physician, Dr. Kenneth Caldwell, is not a hip surgeon so his opinion can be discounted. The second surgeon I saw, Dr. Thomas Peatman at Webster Orthopedic, is one of the Raiders Team doctors. Two years in a row, Peatman insisted that I would only need to have arthroscopy and that I didn't need BHRs or THRs on my hips. I did extensive research to find a second opinion and found that most people with advanced arthritis had unsuccessful hip arthroscopies. And, thankfully, I found Vail. Within minutes of my first visit he gently broke the bad news that I would need either a BHR or THR, my choice as to which. I asked him which he would do himself or recommend to a family member and he said BHR if they had that as an option. From that day forward I have had only the most intelligent, respectful, and thoughtful communication from Dr. Vail and his staff. My surgeries each went very well. My hospital visits were very good and my post-op care has been as good as I have needed.  Dr. Vail visited me twice in the hospital after each surgery and his chief residents/fellow also visited several times. Everyone working with Vail has such complete respect and devotion to him, from his residents on down to his office assistants. After my first BHR Vail's previous chief resident said that he pioneered BHR in the U.S. and that he was one of the top hip surgeons in the country. His current fellow (post-residency doc), Dr. Caravelli, said that Vail is such an incredible surgeon that when he performs THRs he usually doesn't require any limitations or restrictions on movement. I had difficulty finding much information out about Vail prior to my first appointment with him, because he is relatively new to UCSF,they are a teaching hospital and thus don't focus on promotion and I believe because he is so humble and doesn't have a big ego. He truly wants to help people regain mobility and heal. I have been extremely happy with my BHRs and really feel that I owe my renewed life force to Vail.

Pat Walter

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Re: Dr. Vail at UCSF 2010
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2010, 10:57:15 AM »

Congratulations on the 2 new hips. Glad to hear they are working so well.

I would like to post your story on the main website if you add a bit more info for me.  You can email me privately if you like  pwalter@surfacehippy.info

What is your first name or full name if you want it posted?

How old were you when you had your surgeries?

I think your story is very important since so many surgeons bad mouth hip resurfacing for females.  Each women should be considered individually as to her potential by her bone density, hip problems and activity level - not by her age or sex.

If you have any photos of you skiing, I would be happy to add those to your story too.

So glad you took time to post - tell us your story and tell us about Dr. Vail.

Good Luck and stay in touch.

Webmaster/Owner of Surface Hippy
3/15/06 LBHR De Smet


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Re: Dr. Vail at UCSF 2010
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2010, 12:11:04 PM »

Thanks for your reply and for moderating this site!!! It was very helpful to me in deciding to do a BHR vs. THR after I first visited Dr. Vail.  Thanks also for posting this on your main website.  

Here's the info your requested:
Name: Moira Chapman
Age during surgeries: 48 right hip; 49 left hip

Per your comment, "...many surgeons bad mouth hip resurfacing for females.", this is news to me. Dr. Vail was very clear that BHR was a good option for me and I did not find anything in my research to the contrary. I have been athletic all my life, beginning at a very young age and I have strong bone structure, so though I am recently menopausal, I was a good candidate due to my bone density, high level of physical activity and age.  My understanding is that the reason that some women are not good candidates is due to the decrease in bone density post-menopause or due to smaller bone structure.  Dr. Vail was very forthright in neutrally presenting my options and very collaborative in the decisions about my courses of action and care.

I have not yet skied, nor done many of the activities I look forward to returning to soon as I want to make sure I have sufficient muscle strength to avoid falls and other injuries. When I do I will send you a photo so you can post it.

Many thanks,


« Last Edit: February 08, 2010, 12:15:18 PM by moira@sbcglobal.net »


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Re: Dr. Vail at UCSF 2010
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2013, 02:32:06 PM »
Hello Moira -- Pat, could you please help me get in touch with Moira?

I just posted regarding my failed BHR that has to be revised to THR. I am considering Dr Vail and Dr Maloney at UCSF. It appears that Moira is a fan of Dr Vail, and it would be really helpful if I could talk to her.  My profile is exactly like hers (49 at BHR surgery, athletic, skiing).  I am very very devastated because I looked forward to my BHR expecting to become pain free after surgery. Although I quickly recovered physically, I have been in chronic unbearable pain ever since.  I would like a surgeon who can figure out the reason and halp me correct it.  (positioing, loosening, ALVAL, metallosis, infection have all been ruled out). Thank you for your help.



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