Private Treatment for Skin Cancer

Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in Canada.  There are over 80,000 cases diagnosed each year.  Although there are several types of skin cancer and treatment options, one of the preferred treatments is a Mohs procedure.  Unfortunately there are only 17 surgeons in all of Canada that are trained to do this and the wait time on average is 10-12 months.  It is no wonder that many will opt for private treatment for skin cancer removal.

Mohs is used for certain types of skin cancer because it has a cure rate of 98 to 99 percent.  It is useful for those that have a high risk of recurrence, borders that are difficult to define in areas that require as much healthy tissue preservation as possible and are large or aggressive in nature.  Mohs is also important in areas where cosmetic appearance and aesthetics are essential such as on the face.  Personally, I’d prefer a trained and licensed plastic surgeon if it was on my face, however, there are only 2 plastic surgeons in Canada trained to do a Mohs procedure.  

If you are put on a wait list to have skin cancer removal, do not delay in getting this done.  Contact Health Vantis and we would be happy to find you a skilled doctor to have the private treatment for skin cancer done.  For more information on Mohs treatment, visit the Skin Cancer Foundation website.


Health Vantis


Where Can I Have A Back Fusion Done Privately?

Back pain is one of the toughest ailments to treat.  Many times after all non-invasive avenues have been exhausted to maintain pain control, it results in a need for surgery, such as a back fusion.  Back fusion has one of the lengthier wait times.  For those who cannot wait, unfortunately, there are not facilities in Canada to have a back fusion done privately.  This would need to be done outside our borders.

The US has private back fusion options and they do not have to break the bank as ‘Dr. Google’ would suggest.  You will get astronomical numbers in the six digit range if you ask google this question and it simply is not true.  At least, not if you are a cash paying customer.  The prices you find will most likely be insurance quoted pricing.  *The fully accredited, fully vetted facilities we work with can do 1-level anterior cervical fusions for under $25K and 2-level for just a little over that.  A 1-level lumbar fusion will run you under $40K with a 2-level closer to $45K. These can be done minimally invasive, which has less down time, less chance for infection and a quicker recovery.

If you are considering a cervical or lumbar back fusion done privately, contact Health Vantis.  We can find you the most appropriate surgeon and location for this.

* Pricing is always subject to change and based on straight forward cases, for otherwise healthy individuals. 

Health Vantis


February Newsletter

Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

My 10 year old son has a good friend and hockey mate that was diagnosed with B Cell Lymphoblastic Lymphoma in October 2017.  His treatment is approximately a 2.5 year program and his family recently celebrated 365 days left of dealing with this horrible disease.  If all goes well, this means: 2,892 more chemo pills, 12 more infusions in his port, and 4 more spinal taps left for him. This doesn’t include all of the other things that will need to be treated such as a broken bone due to the weak bones from all of these drugs (he’s had 2), pneumonia due to a suppressed immune system or other viruses his body can’t fight off.

The bravery and wisdom I’ve seen from this little being who’s only been here for 10 short years surpasses most adults I know.  One of the things I have learned from them is that:

  • 1 in 3 children who survive 5 years past diagnosis will die at a young age due to side effects from the drugs they had to take that put them into remission.
  • By the time they turn 45, more than 95% of childhood cancer survivors will have a chronic health problem and 80% will have severe or life-threatening conditions.
  • 1 out of 285 children will be diagnosed with cancer before the age 19.
  • There has only ever been 4 FDA approved drugs specifically developed to treat children’s cancers.  All other drugs were developed for adults.
  • Only three new drugs have been developed for the treatment of childhood cancers in the past 45 years.
  • If they are fortunate enough to beat cancer, they will most likely have watched a friend they made along the way not be as lucky. 

What Can You Do To Help?

  • Donate blood or plasma.  Chemotherapy and radiation can damage the cells in the bone marrow that manufacture platelets and blood so it is almost a given they will need a transfusion at one point or another.  Blood banks rely on the goodness of others to donate for reasons such as this.
  • Support organizations or events like St. Baldrick’s, Alex’s Lemonade Stand or Coins4CURE
  • Start a fundraiser such as a 5k run or Jump-A-Thon to raise money and awareness
  • Volunteer at a Children’s Hospital or Treatment Center.
  • Instead of your child receiving birthday gifts, have the party guests bring an item to be donated to the cancer unit at your local hospital.

Resources For Those Who Have Childhood Cancer

What Do Patients Want?

What exactly do patients want?  While the list might be long, here are a few of the top things that come to mind:

Communication – Patients go to a doctor for a problem and hopefully a solution.  Sometimes, we don’t know or understand what our body is doing and have a multitude of symptoms.  We want our doctor to listen attentively to us so our needs are heard and understood.  We rely on our doctors to have strong communication skills.  Conveying medical information to a non-medical person can be challenging.  To have it explained in a manner you can understand with clear and accurate instructions creates an easier and comfortable relationship.

Compassion – Although there are a handful of doctors who don’t have the strongest ‘bed side manner’, the majority of them do.  They go into their profession to help others and we expect compassion and understanding when we see them.  Patients want to be treated as a person and not a disease or number.  The doctors ability to express empathy gives the patient the security in knowing their best interests are being served.  

Trust – In any situation, trust is normally earned and the same would apply to your relationship with a doctor.  Patients are more likely to follow through with a doctors recommendations when they feel a connection to the doctor, which can be assumed as trust in them.  At times we need to request respect for our own thoughts and judgements.  A doctor that will allow this and take that into consideration can create a bond of trust between both parties.  We also want trust in knowing that our information will be kept private and protected, adhering to privacy rights. 

Transparency – Knowledge is power.  We’ve heard this statement over and over again.  Being given the good, the bad and the ugly with open transparency for our situation can provide us with information to make an informed decision.  Doctors do have limits and guidelines they must work within just like any profession and they are not miracle workers.  Just because we want a certain result doesn’t mean they can produce it but if we have all of the facts, we can be assured the doctor is providing the right course of action.  

Quick access – Patients want to be able to see their doctor in a reasonable amount of time. With the shortage of doctors in Canada, this can sometimes be challenging.  Referrals to specialists can be months long and even getting an appointment with a GP for an acute illness may not happen right away.  We want our pain to be short lived and to feel better as soon as possible.  Waiting for appointments, diagnosis tests such as a MRI and surgery need to be done in a timely manner.  Convenience is almost demanded in today’s world as well.  Virtual visits (ie. telemedicine) and in house employee access to a medical program are options that are becoming more popular to accommodate this.

Their Time – Time is a valuable commodity.  When we see a doctor, we want our appointment time honored and their full attention. We want all of our questions answered and to not be rushed or treated like a number.  Doctors sometimes have to dedicate more focus than expected to another patient or be pulled away for an emergency.  This can cause a delay in keeping to your scheduled appointment.  Most doctors can appreciate the value of your time and are not creating delays on purpose.  Keeping this in mind and knowing you could be that person needing additional time on another given day will help long delays seem more bearable.



Are There Private Facilities That Do GYN Surgery?

There are a handful of surgery centers in Canada that can do private surgeries should you wish to pay out of pocket.  Most of them are doing orthopedic surgery or minor surgery such as hernia repair. But what about GYN private surgery?  The short answer to this is probably not.  There really are not any private facilities that do GYN surgery within Canada, at least not for the more common surgeries such as a hysterectomy.  

Many GYN surgeries are non-urgent in Canada.  Although it might be considered a non-urgent surgery, it can really affect a woman’s hormones on a day to day basis causing moodiness or depression.  Some women experience heavy bleeding and anemia as a result or painful cramps along with that.

If you are on the wait list and do not want to wait, consider calling Health Vantis to connect you to private facilities that do GYN surgery.  There are newer, less invasive alternatives now to treat GYN disorders.  The private facilities we work with can offer robotic assisted surgery or a cervical ablation in place of a hysterectomy.

Health Vantis


Private Neurosurgeon Clinics in Canada?

We get a lot of calls from people who feel frustrated because they are unable to deal with their back pain any longer.  They’ve had their MRI or X-Rays and know they need to see a neurosurgeon, however, their wait time to see one is months away. Some people are told that they will need surgery, however, the first step is to see a specialist and that is a long wait. Then there is more waiting for the surgery itself.  Great News! Health Vantis has access to private Neurosurgeon clinics and consultations sooner.  

Most provinces are not going to have a Neurosurgeon that can see you on a private basis. This can be tricky and creates a challenge in locating someone.  Most likely, travel and of course cost would be incurred.  For some, it would be worth every penny.  You have to weigh the benefits vs costs on how long your wait is, how much pain you are in and how it is affecting your daily life.  If you are considering locating a private neurosurgeon clinic, contact Health Vantis and we would be happy to help.

Health Vantis