Private Surgery in the US: Here is What You Need to Know

If you are planning to travel to the US for your private surgery there are a couple of things to plan and keep in mind. Even though the US is very similar to Canada, such as people speaking English and doctor’s getting their education in a similar manner, some things are different, especially when it comes to healthcare.

Most healthcare in the USA is private

This one is very known to Canadians. It is impactful and requires knowledge about how American people pay for their medical care. They are covered by private health insurance. Their particular insurance negotiates pricing for all kinds of health care and then the end user, or regular American person, pays deductible and co-pay, depending on the level of coverage they selected with their insurance company. This can be an issue for Canadians since they will not have this coverage and finding pricing without insurance can be daunting and exhausting. You will need to talk to billing at hospitals and explain that you are a self-pay patient. Even then, it may take a long time and no certainty can be given as to what the actual price may end up being.

Doctors in the USA get the same education and pass the same requirements and exams to become highly qualified specialists

This fact is also known to many Canadians. However, what many do not realize is that unless you live in Ontario where the population is large, many Canadian doctors see fewer patients per particular disease or surgery. In the USA, where the population is greater, doctors can become highly specialized and get more experience by doing the same surgery many more times than their Canadian counterparts. We work with an orthopedic surgeon in New Hampshire who exclusively does joint replacements and nothing else. Such narrowing of his surgeries allowed him to see many cases of joint replacements and become more efficient and more experienced in it. What that means for you, is that your outcomes will be better with someone who is specialized.

The US is an excellent choice for traveling to get private surgery

Similarity and proximity are important when considering where to go to get private surgery. If you choose the US, your medical records do not need to be translated, your operative report will be in English, so you can easily bring it back to your family doctor in Canada and you do not have to endure a long flight to get there. Flights over 4h increase your risk of DVT and thus when traveling back home, one has to be careful. Cost is very important too. Health Vantis works with a few ambulatory surgical centers in the US and is able to provide you with bundled price, without you having to spend hours calling and following up.

If you need assistance planning your medical travel, Health Vantis can help. Contact us toll-free at 877 344 3544 or and we would be happy to assist.

How to Prepare for Recovery after Your Private GYN Surgery

If you need a private GYN surgery your options are across the border in the US. Unfortunately, there are none that can be done here in Canada. Preparing for your travels and surgery should be planned in advance. Consider hiring a professional, such as a medical facilitator, as they have experience connecting people to reputable private medical facilities and taking care of all the logistical details of your journey.

Have a support system set up before you leave for surgery

Reach out to your trusted friends and family and let them know you are going for surgery and what kind of help you may need after you are back. Many people would be happy to help. Be specific with what you might need: getting groceries or simply visiting you.

Take some time off work

We advise our clients to take as much time as possible from work. Everyone is different in how they recover, some women are able to go back to work in 2 weeks and some need more time, 4 to 8 weeks. If you are able to work from home, this could be a nice option as well. If your work requires heavy physical activities, such as lifting, you may want to consider going on short-term disability for about 8 weeks post-surgery.

Do not rush your recovery by trying to do more too soon

As women, we tend to be taking care of many things but oftentimes think of ourselves last. After you had a GYN surgery, you may feel like you can still do a lot, but please do not rush things and allow yourself to rest. Your body will thank you for it, as you will be allowing it to heal. We had a couple of cases where women thought they felt “back to normal” only to experience a setback the next day because they overdid things. Take your time and rest.

If you need assistance planning your medical travel, Health Vantis can help. Contact us toll-free at 877 344 3544 or and we would be happy to assist.

Preparing for a Private Hip Replacement? 4 Top Things to Do

If you were told that a hip replacement is in your future, you may be thinking of how to prepare. Those that spend some time to think through preparations and carry out tasks in advance will have a smoother and faster recovery. Some things you may need help with are moving around your home and getting some things done.

Put a support system in place prior to your surgery

Reach out to your friends and family and tell them about your upcoming surgery and what you need help with when you get back home. Make a list of things that you will be unable to do for the first few weeks, such as driving and getting groceries and such. Ideally, you should have one person as a designated communicator to the rest of your support group. This person will provide updates about your recovery and ask for additional help if needed. For all private hip replacements, this person is also your travel companion and will come with you to pick you up from the medical facility, bring you back to the hotel room for recovery and keep an eye on you for the next 24-48 hours in case of any complications.

Rent or purchase all the needed equipment for your recovery prior to your going for surgery

Your doctor or your medical facilitator should be able to give you a list of things to have. Some of them you can rent at a local drug store or Red Cross, and some of them need to be purchased. Here is the list we give to our clients.

  • Cooling machine (cold therapy) if possible
  • Ice pack if the cooling machine is not an option
  • Walker or crutches or both
  • Raised toilet seat
  • Bed assistance rail
  • Bath transfer bench
  • Reacher/grabber with pincher claws
  • Long handle shoe horn and bath sponge

Prepare your home for your arrival before you leave

Get your home de-cluttered and ensure that you have ample walking space. If you have rugs in the hallways remove them till you have recovered. Those can be a hazard to your walking while you are recovering. Stock up on easily prepared foods, such as frozen meals and canned food.

Arrange your physiotherapy sessions with a qualified specialist

Physio is a must when you are in recovery after your private hip replacement. It will start the same day as your surgery when you are feeling better and have woken up after anesthesia. Ideally, it should continue every day for 3-5 days and then your therapist can re-evaluate to see if you are getting the exercises and are able to do them on your own. Then your physiotherapy sessions can take place once or twice a week. Remember that doing exercises after surgery is essential to a successful recovery as exercise strengthens your muscles and gets your hip moving.

If you need assistance planning your medical travel, Health Vantis can help. Contact us toll-free at 877 344 3544 or and we would be happy to assist.

Preparing For a Private Knee Replacement: Dos and Don’ts

If you were told that a knee replacement is going to happen in the near future, you may be thinking of the best way to prepare yourself, your loved ones, and your home for what is coming after the surgery. Some things can be done in advance and they improve your chances of better outcomes and recovery. Planning early will also help lower your stress level which in turn helps you manage your recovery.


Pre-hab exercises

We can not say enough about this one. In simple words, the more in shape you are prior to surgery the better off you are after. We also understand that reduced mobility will limit your ways of getting in shape before surgery, but do not just sit there. If you are able to afford a physiotherapist to guide you search YouTube for knee surgery pre-hab exercises and you will find some great ones to do at home.

Quit smoking

Smoking is harmful to your health overall, and specifically increases the risk of heart attack, DVT, and stroke, and will hinder recovery. It decreases the blood flow and thus slows the healing process as well as makes you vulnerable to infection and circulatory problems.

Prepare home for your recovery

You will be home after 5-7 days (travel and recovery at the location of surgery) and you will not be able to drive for about 6 weeks. If you live by yourself, ensure that you cleared your home prior to your departure. We usually advise people to have everything set up on one level of their home so that they do not have to climb stairs. Rent a cooling machine or have ice packs in your freezer, as well as prepared frozen meals to make it easier on yourself.


Do not have another cortisone injection

Surgeons advise against having a cortisone injection within the 3 months of private knee replacement surgery. Research shows that there is an increased risk of infection if a cortisone shot was done within the 3 months prior to surgery. Talk to your doctor or medical facilitator about this one if you recently had a cortisone shot.

Do not disregard pre-op instructions given to you by the doctor or nurse

You will be given specific pre-op instructions and we advise all of our clients to follow them precisely. If something is not followed, such as having a meal before your surgery or continuing to take certain medications, your surgery will be rescheduled for a different day.

Do not hesitate to ask for help

Knee replacement surgery is a common procedure, but knowing you have support can mean a much easier recovery. Do not wait or hesitate to ask for help. Reach out to your friends, family members, and neighbors and be specific as to what you will need, be it taking care of your groceries or simply wanting company for a couple of hours a day while you can not drive. Most people will be happy to help if they know what is asked of them. If you are completely by yourself and are able to hire a companion, google seniors’ companion services in your area and see if this is something you would want to consider.

If you need assistance planning your medical travel, Health Vantis can help. Contact us toll-free 877 344 3544 or and we would be happy to assist.

Traveling For Private Joint Replacement: Top 3 Considerations

So, you chose to travel to get your private hip or knee replacement. Now let’s get to planning to ensure your travel is as comfortable as it can be and as smooth as you are able to make it for yourself. Nowadays with all the travel interruptions and staff shortages, chances are you will experience some setbacks such as delays or cancellations. However, you should still be able to prepare yourself for this so that you do not miss your surgery or a pre-op consultation.

Plan to arrive 24 to 48 hours prior to your pre-op consultation

This one used to be not such a big deal, but in the past year or so, we have seen travel delays and cancellations, rescheduling our clients’ flights to the next day. We, therefore, advise booking a flight to arrive at the city of your surgery 24 to 48 hours prior to your pre-op appointment. This way if your flight gets delayed or rescheduled for the next day you will not be stressed out about your appointment.

Avoid leaving too soon

Your surgeon will be able to tell you when you can go home. This is the question to ask during your phone consultation with a doctor before you do all the planning. If you are not feeling well after the surgery, allow yourself to stay an extra day or two. When purchasing your airline tickets go for the fully refundable fare so that you can make changes to your flight without incurring major costs.

Make your trip as comfortable as you can

Pack essentials in your carry-on, such as your medications, blankets, pillows, reading materials, and snacks. On your flight back, choose your seat with as much legroom as your money can afford. Select an aisle seat so that you can get up and move a little bit. Flights over 4h have an increased risk of DVTs, so moving around is essential. It is also wise to have anti-nausea medication with you as many people experience motion sickness especially after being under anesthesia.

If you need assistance planning your medical travel, Health Vantis can help. Contact us toll-free at 877 344 3544 or and we would be happy to assist.