Private Surgery and When to Consider It

Canadian healthcare works well if there are no waitlists. Unfortunately, this is not the reality for many people. Covid-19 pandemic is creating even longer medical lines.

How Long Is Too Long?

Waiting for medical treatment has consequences. What the Canadian medical system thinks is an acceptable wait is not be acceptable to many Canadians. Those that live in pain can suffer from mental anguish and their condition can deteriorate leading to more complications.

In addition, every day that people live in pain is not exactly a great day. So if you have been waiting for a while, and think that you are no longer willing to wait, consider your private options. At the very least find out what they are so you can decide.

Are You Able to Travel?

Another thing to consider when thinking about going the private route is that in the majority of the cases one has to travel outside their local area to get private care. We work with medical facilities in the US and Canada. Many Canadians do not want to go to the US just yet. It’s understandable. Unfortunately, only a handful of private clinics exist in Canada.

Do Your Research!

If you are willing to travel and are considering private options, we suggest doing thorough research on the place and doctor you are going to see. How many procedures are done at the facility? What are the outcomes? Infection rates? How many of the procedures you are seeking a doctor does a month?

Also, consider the distances you will go. Flights over 4h carry higher risks of DVTs.

If you are busy or do not feel well to do your research, hire a reputable medical facilitator to guide you through the process and make all the arrangements for you. You should also ask the facilitator how they get paid. The answer will provide you with a little bit of info into the integrity of the facilitation business. Look for those that are open to disclose how they get paid.

If you have any questions or would like to know your private options, please give us a call at toll-free 877 344 4544.

Private Spinal Surgery – Lumbar Fusion or Disc Replacement?

Back pain can bring a lot of disruptions to our daily lives. While non-surgical methods should be the first line of treatment, sometimes surgery is needed to address the pain and correct the issue. In this blog, we talk about spinal fusion and disc replacement as two surgeries that address lower back pain. As always, we encourage you to discuss this information with your spinal surgeon to determine which one will benefit you specifically.

Lumbar Fusion

This has been a traditional approach when it comes to treating pain from lumbar degenerative disease. The vertebrae surrounding the painful disc are fused together using a bone graft. Bone graft is placed between the vertebrae causing the two vertebral bodies to grow together into one long bone.

This makes a part of the spine immobile. Metal plates, screws or rods may be used to help hold the vertebrae together while the bone graft heals. Limiting motion in this case eliminates the pain. A couple of surgical approaches exists to this method, such as front, back or both.

Usually, a 2- or 3-day hospital stay is required, however, this is changing and fusions are now done in a minimally invasive way as day surgery.

Lumbar Disc Replacement

During this procedure, the disk that is causing pain is removed and an artificial one is implanted. The natural motion of the spinal segment is preserved.  Disc replacement addresses the pain by reducing instability and muscle tension caused by painful micro-motions at the degenerated disc level.

This is a relatively new procedure as compared to lumbar fusion. It has been available in the US since 2000. Not everyone is a good candidate for a disc replacement, however.

Both Lumbar fusion and disc replacement have their pro and cons. According to the studies, similar rates of complications happen in both. Which one is right for you? Discuss both options with your neurosurgeon, ask what experience they have with both and what they think will work best for you. Then, we always suggest a second opinion when it comes to spinal surgery.

If you would like to explore your private spinal surgery options we can get your diagnostic tests reviewed by a neurosurgeon. Give us a call to find out more toll-free 877-344 3544

Benefits of Private Endoscopic Spine Surgery

Many Canadians will experience back pain at some point in their lives. While non-surgical options should be tried first, sometimes surgery is necessary to eliminate the pain. Spinal surgeries offered in the past were quite involved requiring overnight stay in the hospital and months of rehabilitation. Over the years they evolved and less invasive options with optimal outcomes are now available. One of the recent developments is spinal surgery using an endoscope. Endoscopic spine surgery has many benefits over traditional spinal fusion.

Day Surgery vs Stay in Hospital

Endoscopic spinal surgery allows surgeons to access and address spinal pathology without the morbidity associated with traditional techniques. It allows doctors to perform an ultra-minimally invasive decompression when a fusion might have been necessary. People can be released to go home within a few hours of surgery and only take Tylenol for post-op pain while recovering.

Pain Management Centered Approach

When seeking spinal surgery, patients are most concerned with their pain and eliminating it through surgery. Ultra-minimally invasive surgeries such as endoscopic dorsal rhizotomy eliminate the pain. The surgery uses an endoscope allowing a surgeon to visualize the nerves and ablates the ones that send pain signals from the joint to the brain.

Smaller Incisions Allow Faster Healing

Using a tiny camera inserted through the special tube using a 1-inch incision allows doctors to see the operative site. The camera guides and assists the surgeon during the surgical procedure.  Smaller incision means less tissue and muscle damage, which also means less blood loss and less post-op pain. All that leads to faster overall recovery.

Regional vs General Anesthesia

In most cases this surgery can be performed using regional anaesthesia instead of general, decreasing the overall risks in patients who are older or have other medical conditions that may increase surgical risk. The patient is awake during the endoscopic procedure and does not need intubation, which is an advantage during the COVID-19 pandemic. Avoiding intubation protects staff from exposure to respiratory secretions directly from the lung.

If you have dealt with back pain for a while and non-invasive methods did not help, we will be able to get your diagnostic scans such as MRI reviewed to see if you may be a candidate for private endoscopic surgery. Gives us a call to find out more details toll-free 877 344 3544. *Please note that there are no private surgical facilities in the Maritimes and you will have to travel outside of your home area.

Is It Safe to Delay Hip Replacement Surgery?

If you are experiencing hip pain due to osteoarthritis, you may be wondering when it is time to consider surgery and if it is safe for you to delay surgical interventions. As we age, arthritis progresses, and the pain can become severe.

Hip replacement surgery is one of the most successful surgeries done today. Does that mean you should get one as soon as you feel pain in your hip? Not quite, say the experts. In many cases osteoarthritis pain can be managed with physiotherapy, a weight loss regimen, modifying your activities and taking anti-inflammatory over the counter medications. These conservative approaches may work for some time.

However, if your pain is so severe that you are experiencing it while resting, its time to talk to an orthopedic surgeon. Arthritis of the joint can not only cause pain in the hip but also in the knee, groin, lower back and buttocks. If the pain and inflammation begin affecting your ability to do daily activities and you are no longer able to take shorter walks, get dressed or put shoes on without debilitating pain, you may want to seek a hip replacement surgery.

Waiting too long has consequences. The surgery can be less effective because due to all the limited mobility and activity, your overall health can worsen. People that are going into surgery healthier tend to have better outcomes. Badly deteriorated joints can make surgery more difficult to perform, requiring special skill and additional physiotherapy afterwards.

Most hip replacement implants last 10 to 20 years. For many people, that means that if they got their hip replacement in their early 60-ies, it would last them for the rest of their lives. The concerns of having a revision surgery somewhere down the road should be discussed with your orthopedic surgeon. Surgeons and patients should work together to ensure the best outcome.

If you are placed on a long waiting list for surgery and are unable to see an orthopedic specialist in the public system, we can help connect you to a private option for your total hip replacement. We can get your X-ray reviewed by an orthopedic surgeon in a private, no wait manner.  Give us a call toll-free 877 344 3544 and find out your private total hip replacement options in the US and Canada.

Is It Safe to Delay Private Knee Replacement?

Arthritis can damage our joints as we age. In some cases, the pain is so severe that one has to get a total knee replacement. This joint replacement surgery corrects the worn our knee surfaces and the mechanics in knee movement. The ideal result is a pain-free, stable and aligned joint.

Delaying total knee replacement can have negative effects on postoperative outcomes and recovery. Arthritis is a progressive disease and damages knee joints over time. The more damage occurs the more your body will need to adapt to a new “damaged” condition of your knee. Sometimes these adaptations create deformities of the knee joint and stretch out the ligaments of the knee. As a result, the movements of your limbs become irregular, muscles and bones get weaker and there is more pressure put on other parts of your body such as the ankle, hip and spine.

On the other hand, having a total knee replacement too early can result in revision surgery somewhere down the road. Studies show that the younger you are at the time of total knee replacement the more likely it is that you will need revision surgery. Revision surgeries are complex, require specialized skill and the outcomes are rarely as good as the initial surgery.

The decision to delay your total knee replacement is a personal one and should be discussed with your orthopedic surgeon in detail. In some instances, it is safe to delay the surgery and manage arthritis pain conservatively. Losing weight is among one of those measures. It can relieve the stress your body has on your knee joint. A study done with overweight and obese adults with knee osteoarthritis found that losing one pound of weight resulted in four pounds of pressure being removed from the knees. Yet another study showed that losing 10–20 percent of starting body weight improved pain, function, and quality of life better than losing just five percent of body weight.

However, if your pain is long-lasting, is present when you are resting and is interfering with your day to day activities, it is time to talk to a doctor about possible surgery. Surgeons and patients should work together to ensure the best outcome.

If you are placed on a long waiting list and are unable to see an orthopedic specialist in the public system, we can help connect you to a private option for your total knee replacement. We can get your X-ray reviewed by an orthopedic surgeon in a private, no wait manner. Give us a call toll-free 877 344 3544 and find out your private total knee replacement options in the US and Canada.