SMH and Venice Regional Medical Center Win Blue Distinction for Spine Surgery & Total Knee/Hip Joint Replacement

Both Sarasota Memorial Health Care System and Venice Regional Medical Center received the highest level of distinction by Florida Blue, Florida's Blue Cross and Blue Shield company, as a high performing hospital for quality and efficiency in spine surgery and total hip/knee joint replacements. The Blue Distinction Centers for Specialty Care® program is a national designation awarded by Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies to medical facilities that have demonstrated expertise in delivering quality specialty care - and has recently been expanded to include more robust quality measures focused on improved patient health and safety as well as new cost-efficiency measures.

Hip Replacements Heal Faster with Anterior Approach

Most of the important muscles we use for daily activities are in the buttocks, which is why the prospect of hip replacement surgery can seem so daunting to some. Getting in and out of chairs, into a car or going up and down stairs can become an arduous task in the weeks following traditional hip replacement surgery.

But a new approach that allows surgeons to maneuver around rather than through the muscles that surround the hip is reducing post-surgery pain and cutting recovery times in half. The Anterior Supine Intermuscular (ASI) approach uses smaller incisions at the front of the hip instead of the side or back of the hip, allowing surgeons to preserve those important muscles and tendons while helping patients experience less pain and a faster return to daily activities.

Orthopedic Hip & Knee surgeon, Dr. Edward Stolarski  performs ASI Hip Replacement surgery. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Stolarski or for more information, contact Florida Medical Retreat.

Testimonial from knee replacement patient for Dr. Edward Stolarksi

Florida Medical Retreat is happy to share a knee replacement patient      testimonial for Dr. Edward Stolarski. If you would like more information on how to schedule a consultation with Dr. Stolarski, contact Florida Medical Retreat.


Dear Doctor Stolarski,

I would like to volunteer to be your Knee Replacement Poster Boy, at the tender age of seventy-one.

Seriously, I am writing to update you on my experience and recovery from a total knee replacement that you performed on August 25, 2011. My experience with you and your staff from the very onset was extremely positive. That included my office visits, pre-surgery visits, surgery, post-op. rehabilitation and physical therapy.

I was hoping that the surgery would enable me to return to a more active, pain-free lifestyle, that included tennis and golf. Within two months I was back playing golf, and within three months I was able to play doubles tennis. When I inquired about the possibility of downhill skiing, you gave me a green (yellow?) light that I should be able to, if I skied conservatively and avoided moguls.

Over the Christmas holiday Gust four months after surgery) I joined my sons and families in Utah for a ski vacation, not knowing if I would last an hour or a day. In fact, I lasted the full three days, each day skiing more aggressively and confidently. I was amazed at how well the new knee performed. It had been years since I had skied without pain, and had actually given up the sport a couple of years ago because the pain was too severe and the joint too weak.

In summary, I cannot thank you enough for all that you did for me. My new knee Is straighter and stronger than ever, and devoid of all pain----an affliction I had reluctantly accepted for fifty years, ever since I injured it in a serious automobile accident. Thank you for restoring the quality of my life, and please feel free to use this endorsement in any way that you deem appropriate.


       Michael J Loparco

Minimally Invasive Hip Replacement Surgery with Dr. Edward Stolarski

Minimally-Invasive Total Hip Replacement New minimally-invasive hip replacement makes surgery easier on you. Thanks to a smaller incision, there is less trauma to underlying muscle and soft tissue. The result? Patients benefit from a smaller scar, less post-operative pain and a faster return to normal activities. In fact, minimally-invasive hip replacement allows recovery in half the time of traditional hip replacement surgery.(1) The thought of major surgery is enough to make most people cringe, but a minimally-invasive techenique can make the whole experience a lot better. Anesthesia, pain medication, blood loss, hospital time and complications -- all these can be significantly reduced with minimally-invasive hip replacement.(1-2) You can get back to your life, back to what is important, faster and with less downtime than ever before. This new procedure far surpasses the older approach in terms of minimizing trauma; reducing complications; and hastening patient recovery. The chart below speaks for itself. As you can see, minimally-invasive hip replacement cuts the recovery time in half over traditional hip replacement surgery. Thanks to a smaller incision, the operation itself becomes less invasive and more precise. This creates many patient benefits, including:

  • Less anesthesia
  • Decreased blood loss
  • Reduced post-operative pain, which means less pain medication during recovery
  • Lower risk of complications, including heart and lung problems
Traditional Hip Replacement Surgery Minimally-Invasive Hip Replacement Surgery
Incision Size 8 - 10 inches 3 - 4 inches
Duration of Surgery 83 minutes 50 minutes
Hospital Stay 5 - 7 days 3 - 4 days
Recovery Time 12 Weeks 4 - 6 Weeks


If you would like more information on Dr. Edward Stolarski and the latest minimally invasive hip replacement surgery contact Florida Medical Retreat or call (800) 643-0529.

1. Swanson, Todd V., M.D., Hanna, Rammy S., M.D., "Advantages of Cementless THA Using Minimally Invasive Surgical Technique." Exhibit at 2003 AAOS Meeting, New Orleans, LA 2. Chimento GF, Sculco TP. "Minimally Invasive Total Hip Replacement." Operative Techniques in Orthopaedics. 2001;11(4):270-3

Testimonial from Lisa R., an ASI hip replacement patient from New Hampshire

We're always pleased to share a testimonial from a happy client! For more information on Board Certified, Fellowship trained Orthopedic Surgeon, Dr. Edward Stolarski contact Florida Medical Retreat today!

"Hope you don't, but if you do need any surgical work, you will not find a better team than this. They go above and beyond attending to every detail, including how you are doing emotionally as you approach your surgery. Everyone is so caring and considerate of you as a human with fears and feelings, not just a patient. And Crystal attends to every detail of all the paperwork and insurance, leaving no stone unturned, which takes a lot of the worry away. My doctor, Dr. Stolarski, did such a fabulous job I was out of the hospital in 24 hours with a total hip replacement - amazing!" Lisa R. from New Hampshire

Dr. Edward Stolarski attends Annual American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons

San Francisco was the location of this year's 2012 American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Florida Medical Retreat's Knee & Hip Orthopaedic Surgeon, Dr. Edward Stolarski was in attendance and was a moderator for hip replacement surgery.

The conference is a vital source to continuing medical education activities include a world-renowned Annual Meeting, multiple CME courses held around the country and at the Orthopaedic Learning Center, and various medical and scientific publications and electronic media materials.

We are proud to work with Dr. Stolarski and his continuous efforts to remain the top in his field.

Dr. Edward Stolarski to Speak at Doctors Hospital in Sarasota

Dr. Edward Stolarski, Orthopedic Hip & Knee Surgeon and physician partner with Florida Medical Retreat will be speaking at Doctors Hospital of Sarasota on Saturday, February 18th at 10am. The lecture will be held at Doctors Hospital Auditorium.

For more information please contact Crystal at (941) 552-3288 or (800)643-0529.

Frequently Asked Questions About Knee & Hip Replacement Surgery with Dr. Stolarski, Part III

Our third installment of FAQs with Dr. Edward Stolarski. For more information, please contact Florida Medical Retreat.

1.  When there is a defect in the bone or inadequate bone in the hip what is used to fix it?

Dr. Stolarski uses a bone graft from the head.

2.  Why do some people have one leg that is shorter than the other after they have a hip replacement?

One of the benefits of the anterior approach is that leg length can be optimized during the surgery.  The bottom line though is that if the leg being operated is shorter it should be able to be made equal, if the legs are equal or the leg having surgery is longer, it may be longer after your replacement.  The joint has to be brought back to the level it was before the arthritis took away the cartilage.

3.  Can the problem of one leg being shorter than the other be prevented?

The anterior approach provides more stability than other approaches therefore your legs have the best chance of being equal.  There is no guess work with leg lengths with this approach.

4.  Can I use running as a type of exercise?

Long distance running such as marathons will wear a total joint out faster than more reasonable forms of exercise.  Gentle jogging, swimming biking and other lower impact exercises are best.

5.  How long will it be before I no longer require help at home?

The main hindrance is driving.  Two to three weeks is fine. If you do not have the means necessary for this then inpatient rehab could be an option for you.

6.  When is it safe to fly on a plane?

It is preferred you don’t fly for two weeks so we can keep an eye on your incision.

7.  Do I have to take an antibiotic for teeth cleaning?

Yes all forms of total joint replacements should take antibiotics prior to dental procedures.  This helps prevent bacteria getting to your joint.  The current recommendations are lifetime.

8.  When can I sleep on my side with a new hip?

The anterior approach allows for a patient to sleep on their side when they are comfortable.

9.  If I suffer from bursitis will the bursa be removed during surgery?

No.  Bursitis is a separate issue and is not a reason to have a total joint replaced.

10.  When can I cross my legs at the ankles?

This can be done immediately after surgery but at the ankles only.

11.  When standing in one place for a long time is it normal for the surgical side to become tired and sore?

Yes it does take time to heal.

12.  When will numbness disappear?

A small percentage of anterior total hips will have a numb patch over their lateral thigh.  It is usually temporary and not painful.  Most resolve over the first year.

13.  When moving from a sitting to standing position why is the surgical side “stiff” until it is walked out a little bit?

Surgical inflammation and swelling causes this feeling and will subside with time.

14.  Does Dr. Stolarski use metal on metal for the anterior approach to hip replacement?

Metal on metal is an excellent bearing surface for certain individuals.  All bearing surfaces have their risks and benefits.  It’s a decision made together.

15.  How long do I have to be on a blood thinner and what type do I use?

For a hip replacement you will be giving yourself a Lovenox injection for 4 weeks unless otherwise specified followed by two weeks of

Aspirin (325 mg).

For knee replacements you will be on two weeks of Lovenox injections followed by four weeks of aspirin(325 mg).

16.  If I have a hip replacement can I bend over to tie my shoes?

If you have an anterior approach hip replacement it is ok to bend over but if you have a revision or posterior approach please do not bend past ninety degrees and follow the other hip precautions.

17.  If I have a knee replacement can I kneel on my new knee?

Most people can eventually kneel.  The incision has to be completely healed and you must have good range of motion.  A small percentage of people are never comfortable kneeling.


More Frequently Asked Questions about Knee & Hip Replacement Surgery with Dr. Stolarski, Part II

Continuing our FAQs from Dr. Edward Stolarski, board certified Orthopedic surgeon. Dr. Stolarski specializes in Knee & Hip Replacement surgery. For more questions, contact Florida Medical Retreat.

1.      Do the muscles have to be cut before the site can be entered?

No muscles or tendon are cut at all.

2.      Does Dr. Stolarski do only hip and knee surgery?

He is trained in all orthopedic surgery but he is fellowship trained in adult reconstruction and specializes in hip and knee replacements and complex revisions.

3.      How long is the recovery time for a hip replacement?

Recovery means different things to different people.  Many people go home the next day. Have therapy in their home for a couple weeks then may participate in outpatient therapy.  Most people are off their cane at 2-4 weeks.

4.  How long is the recovery time for a knee replacement?

A Total knee replacement takes longer to recover because of the need to be aggressive to get the best range of motion.  Therapy is often for 6 weeks.

5.  How long will I be in the hospital?

That depends on many factors.  A healthy person with no major medical problems usually go home the next day if they do well with physical therapy.  You should be in the hospital no longer than three days. 

6.  How long is physical therapy and how many times a week?

Physical therapy is usually 2-5 days a week for 4-6 weeks or as long as needed for an excellent outcome. 

7.  When can I start playing sports again?

Six weeks for low impact sports such as golf and twelve weeks for high impact sports such as tennis. But only return to these activities if everything feels good. 

8.  When can I return to work?

This depends on many factors such as type of surgery and the physical demands of the surgery.  We have sent people back to work in a week and others have taken much longer. 

          9.  When can I start driving again?M

Two to three weeks as long as you are no longer using a walker or taking narcotic pain medication and feel safe.           

10.  What about the bearing surface? (what rubs on what)

                                The bearing surface is individualized for each patient depending on many           variables.  It is a decision the patient and doctor make together.  Options include metal on plastic, ceramic on plastic, ceramic on ceramic and metal on metal.

Dr. Edward Stolarski Answers Frequently Asked Questions for Knee & Hip Replacement, Part 1

Dr. Stolarski is an industry leader and developer of new approaches to joint replacement allowing quicker rehabilitation and shorter hospital stays.  His interest in research and the advancement of the treatment of arthritis keeps abreast of new developments such as computer/image guided joint replacement systems.

Florida Medical Retreat is proud to partner with Dr. Edward Stolarski and share frequently asked questions.  If you have more questions,would like to schedule an appointment or second opinion with Dr. Stolarski contact Florida Medical Retreat at or call toll free (800) 643-0529.

1. What are the benefits of doing a hip replacement using the Anterior Approach or ASI?

  • Truly minimally invasive
  • No muscle or tendons are cut
  • Much more accurate with leg length (legs should be equal)
  • Minimal to no hip precautions
  • Sleep in almost any position
  • Quicker recovery
  • All implant positions and sizing are verified with fluroscopy

2. Why should Dr. Stolarski do my hip or knee replacement?

  • National and international physician educator of total hip replacement utilizing the anterior approach
  • Performed over 1,000 total hips using this approach
  • ACGME fellowship training in all aspects of hip and knee replacement and revision surgery
  • Vast experience dealing with all complications regarding hip and knee replacement

3.  Does Dr. Stolarski make a front incision for a hip replacement?

Yes, Dr. Stolarski does use the anterior approach; in fact he is a pioneer and physician educator for this type of procedure.

4.  How big is the incision for the anterior approach hip replacement?

It will be about three to four inches in length or as long as necessary for safe placement of implants.

5.  How long does a hip replacement last?

The goal is 20 years or longer. This depends on many factors such as bearing surface, patient's weight and activities.

6. How long does a knee replacement last?

The goal is 15 to 20 years based on weight and the type of activities performed.

Stay tuned for more FAQ. If you don't see your question, please give us a call. Our Patient Care Coordinators are happy to assist.

Dinner with the Doctor at Doctor Hospital of Sarasota

Dr. Edward Stolarski will be speaking on the exciting developments in Hip and Knee Replacement Surgery on Thursday, September 22nd from 5:30-6:30pm. The seminar will be held at the Medical Office Building, Auditorium. 5741 Bee Ridge Road, Sarasota, FL 34233.

Dinner will be served and the seminar is free. Seating is limited.

Call 1-888-685-1596 to make your reservation.

Risks associated with surgery and ambulatory aides required post surgery for safety

This final segment discusses post surgery, rehab questions. Dr. Stolarski also discusses the risks associated with surgery and ambulatory aides required post surgery for safety. If you have additional questions please contact Florida Medical Retreat,

Dr. Edward Stolarski discusses Medical Tourism and how he became involved with the industry

Dr. Edward Stolarski discusses Medical Tourism and how he became involved with the industry. Dr. Stolarski answers additional questions sent in by the viewers. If you have additional questions please contact Florida Medical Retreat,


Dr. Edward Stolarski on Knee & Hip Replacement surgery (SNN Interview)

Local Doctors on Call - SNN News 6, May 23, 2011. Host Alix Redmonde interviews Board Certifiied, Orthopedic Surgeon, Dr. Edward Stolarski on Knee & Hip Replacement surgery. This three part series answers questions sent in from the local community.If you have additional questions please contact Florida Medical Retreat,


Facing surgery? Preparation is everthing - Part III

One of the busiest doctors on the orthopedic floor is Dr. Edward Stolarski. He was an electrical engineer before he became a surgeon. Stolarski is proficient in a relatively new hip replacement method. He is also an international educator in the anterior method, which involves approaching the hip joint through the front of the thigh. The technique involves working between the muscles and tissues. No muscles or tendons are cut, healing is rapid and the pain of sitting on an incision site is avoided.

Stolarski is a candid and forthright man. When he speaks, he keeps his eyes focused on yours.

"Here's what I look for in a patient," he says. "I want people to be at their wits' end. You don't need to suffer so badly that you can't get to the toilet or refrigerator, though. The perfect example is this: I won't do your hip replacement so you can play tennis, but you may be able to play tennis after you get your hip replacement.

"When your hip is bad enough so you can't exercise to take care of your heart, when the pain is bad enough and you feel it's warranted and that line in the sand has been crossed, you tell me when to replace your hip. Your X-rays also have to be bad enough that I agree with you.

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Facing Surgery? Preparation is everything - Part I

Major surgery -- even when it was elective -- used to be just plain scary. There was so much about the procedure you faced that was both profoundly invasive and difficult to understand. Even though the decision was yours.

Now, elective surgery patients are carefully prepared by a team of doctors and nurses for the assault on the body that is the necessary precursor to a pain-free hip, or a flatter tummy or a workable shoulder.

Surgeons and hospital staff have come to understand that pre-operative body toning and nutrition, together with a post-operative therapist and enlightened caregiver, makes a profound difference in the outcome of major elective surgery.

Your journey from disability to wellness now comes in three carefully planned stages: pre-op training, hospital care, and post-operative rehabilitation at a rehab facility or at home.

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Medical Paradise - Article about Florida Medical Retreat in Gulf Coast Business Review

Debra Sandberg, the administrator at a high-end rehabilitation therapy center in Sarasota, recently set out on a new business mission: to turn the town into a player in the niche world of medical tourism.

It’s an ambitious goal and it comes with a secondary, yet juicy element. Sandberg wants the business, Florida Medical Retreat, to infuse some much-needed capitalism into the national health-care debate. Says Sandberg: “Anyone who has socialized medicine will be a big network for us.”

The company, Florida Medical Retreat, is a partnership that includes the Sarasota Bay Club, Sarasota-based senior living property management firm Roskamp & Patterson and local orthopedic surgeon Dr. Edward Stolarski. Sandberg cites Canada and Europe as places Florida Med-Retreat will seek potential clients, in addition to U.S. cities in the northeast and Midwest. 

“I didn’t even know there was a medical tourism industry,” says Sandberg, the CEO of Florida Medical Retreat and also the administrator of The Inn at Sarasota Bay Club. “But this is for real.”

Sarasota economic development officials agree.

In fact, more than 30 medical practices in Sarasota County reported an interest in medical tourism, according to an Economic Development Corp. of Sarasota County survey. Moreover, at least 15 practices have international clients, the survey found, with a focus on vision, hearing and orthopedics, says Virginia Haley, president of the Sarasota County Convention and Visitor’s Bureau.

Haley and EDC President and CEO Kathy Baylis say the survey helped build word-of-mouth interest in the industry.

“This is not your traditional kind of tourism,” says Baylis. “To really have medical tourism, it’s not enough to just have doctors doing the surgery. You also have to have the continuum of services.”

That’s where Sandberg hopes Florida Medical Retreat fits in. The concept is to simultaneously plug Sarasota’s first-rate attractions and its medical facilities, then provide concierge-style services from surgery through recuperation and rehab. Accommodations will be provided at the condos at the Bay Club, less than a mile from downtown Sarasota on U.S. 41. Says Sandberg: “[A patient] will be a VIP right through the whole process.”

Surgeons who will perform procedures through Florida Medical Retreat include: Sarasota-based Center for Sight founder Dr. David Shoemaker, who specializes in cataract and lens surgery; Dr. Thomas Sweeney, a leading local physician on minimally invasive endoscopic spine surgery; and Dr. Brian Schofield, an orthopedic shoulder surgeon.

The tourism side of the business, says Sandberg, will include trips to places near Sarasota, like Busch Gardens and the Dali Museum. Other trips will be closer to home, such as the Sarasota Opera House and beaches.

One early challenge Florida Medical Retreat faces is one familiar to the health-care industry: how to price services. The company recently joined the West Palm Beach-based Medical Tourism Association for assistance in pricing and other aspects of the industry. 

A second challenge for Florida Medical Retreat lies in another task familiar to many businesses: how to find clients. The company recently hired its first employee beyond Sandberg, a marketing director who will use the Internet and other networking sources to generate interest. 

“We are going to have to build our reputation,” says Pilar von Lazar, Florida Medical Retreat’s marketing director. “People will have to hear about us.”


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