Sports After A Knee Replacement

Sports After A Knee Replacement

Anytime there is an injury to a crucial part of your body, it is natural to be cautious even after a surgery to protect it.  It does not need to be the end of your active life by any means though.  Many times people do not realize they can go back to doing a sport after they have been properly rehabilitated.  A knee replacement is a great example of that.

The knees bear the weight of your body.  When there is osteoporosis, injury or too much weight on them, it can cause excruciating pain.  This might prevent you from doing a sport you love.  If a knee replacement is necessary, what happens after you have it?  Can you eventually resume your normal activities?

Most doctors would say yes and support you resuming your sports and activities. There is no reason why someone couldn’t go back to running, playing tennis or biking after the knee has been properly rehabilitated.  This of course needs to be done in a smart manner and always under your doctors supervision.  

Your ability to return to sports after a knee replacement will depend greatly on your general health as well.  The healthier you are, the higher chance you have of going back to playing the sport you did before.  Some low impact sports can be resumed within a 6-week time frame.  More active sports such as running or biking could take 12 weeks to 6 months before you are ready to resume.  The decision to start your sport back up again should always be discussed with your doctor first.

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Can Working Out in the Morning Offer Better Weight Loss Success

Can Working Out in the Morning Offer Better Weight Loss Success?

Working out in general is always going to be beneficial to your health.  But does it really matter when you work out as long as you do it?  A recent study suggests it’s possible that more weight can be lost if your work out is done in the morning.  

The International Journal of Obesity did a study in July of this year.  Subjects were allowed to visit the gym between 7a and 7p each day.  The people who worked out before noon had, on average, lost more weight than the men and women that routinely exercised after 3p.  Why is that?

It was noted that the early exercisers took more steps in total.  They were more active throughout the day than those who waited to exercise in the pm.  The amount of food eaten was on average less too.  Overall, the differences were small, however, they felt that cumulatively, it may have made a difference in how many pounds people lost.

Previous studies also suggest working out in the morning will kickstart your metabolism.  This aids in burning more calories throughout the day versus at night.  Doing your workout prior to eating your breakfast or while fasting will burn the fat stores instead of the carbohydrates you’ve consumed through food. 

While the claims are small, there is no doubt that exercise greatly aids in weight loss when done consistently with a proper diet.

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Medical Traveler’s Concern: Do People Die On The Operating Table?

With Medical Travel, people are often concerned about a possible surgery mishap.  It can be a scary process of going to another country and trusting a doctor you most likely haven’t met to provide you with a successful outcome.  One of the biggest misconceptions and fears is that you could die during the surgery.  Yes, that is certainly a risk, however, very uncommon.  Less than 1% of people will die on the operating table.  Most of the time the risk of death and complications occur after a patient is discharged to go home.

Post Operative Care

Preparing to recover after surgery is not just a mental thing to be ready for.  Probably the most important factor is how your after care is structured.  The 3 most common complications associated with death after a surgery are:  major bleeding, heart damage and infection.

Surgery causes an inflammation reaction in your body.  Immediately after surgery, you are most likely going to be on pain killers or Experal, an extended form of numbing medicine.  These drugs can sometimes mask a significant complication such as coagulation, which can lead to blood clots or heart failure.

Research shows that the postoperative care in a home setting is where the focus needs to be.  It is crucial that you have someone with you after surgery for a minimum of 24 hours. Forty-eight hours is even better to help you identify any signs of complications.  Listening to your body and doing exactly what the doctor has told you in your post op instructions is important.  Trying to do more than you are ready for, even at 5-6 weeks out, can cause a significant set back.

Surgery is a traumatic shock to your body.  It needs time to heal.  You might feel like you are ready to resume normal activities because you are experiencing little pain.  This is greatly in part to the pain killers you are most likely taking.  These mask the pain associated with your recent surgery.  Trying to do more than you are ready to because you ‘feel’ great or have a good day, prior to your incision healing, can cause bleeding and/or even re-injury.   


Sepsis is also a great concern.  Most surgeries are now done on an outpatient basis, which reduces your chance for infection.  However, that still doesn’t mean it can’t happen.  If you are traveling out of the US and Canada, the risk for antibiotic resistant infections is much higher.  To avoid this, verifying the hospital is JCI accredited will provide a piece of mind that their regulations are the same as those in the US and Canada should an infection occur.

Complications coverage is available if you wish to be protected in the event you do have a complication, even after you are back home in Canada.  You can find more information about it here.

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Drug Shortages and How It Might Affect Snowbirds

The Canadian Snowbirds are making their plans to head south soon. Recent articles in the news talked about the shortage of drugs.  This has forced doctors to change patients’ doses and/or actual medication. So how will drug shortage in Canada affect the Snowbirds?

How Could It Affect Snowbirds?

For months, well-established drugs have been placed on back order for an unknown period of time. The reasons why are unknown. Some of the drugs are used to treat very common ailments such as hypertension, heart failure, diabetes, and heart burn. Having your medication changed to a substitute drug, even if it is in the same family, can cause different side effects and reduce efficacy. 

Most of Snowbirds will take out private travel insurance prior to leaving for their trip. Medical history plays a major part in the ability to get insurance. If you recently had a medication change within the past 3 months, even if it’s for an ailment you’ve had controlled for several years, you run the risk of being declined or having that particular ailment excluded from the insurance. In the eyes of the insurer such a switch can give an impression of medical instability of the person taking the medication.

The loss of insurability presents a problem to a large group of people who have otherwise been stable on a medication for years. What can you do?

What Can You Do?

If you know that you will be traveling soon, talk to your doctor about it.  Discuss your particular medication situation sooner rather than later. Find out if what you are taking will present a risk for being put on another drug as a substitute. If so, see if they can do it now to allow time for you to be on it so you still qualify for travel insurance. Do not wait until a couple of weeks before your planned trip to do this. It might prevent you from being approved.

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National Cancer Wellness Awareness Day

National Cancer Wellness Awareness Day

When someone is diagnosed with cancer, it can be an emotional rollercoaster.  The treatment for the actual cancer may be met, however, there is nothing incorporated into helping the person as a whole.  This includes the psychological aspects of it as part of the treatment in Canada.  National Cancer Wellness Awareness Day, on June 26th, was created to put emphasis on the importance of the psychosocial care as an integral part of treatment as well.

It is reported that the majority of cancer patients start with normal psychological functioning.  Once they are given the diagnosis, they may start to experience fear, worries and other forms of stress that cause significant distress.  Depression and anxiety can quickly set in due to the physical demands on the body, financial stressors, prolonged disability preventing them from working and/or emotional exhaustion.  

Many facilities are working towards treating the person as a whole and not just the cancer.  Cancer Treatment Centers of America  is an excellent example.  When you are treated at their facility, your case is discussed with many different experts to come up with a unique treatment plan.  It is an integrative care model.  Depending on your preferences and needs, your care team might include a dietitian, mind-body therapist, naturopathic provider, spiritual support provider, pain management practitioner along with the Oncologist or Surgeon.  Their philosophy is that treating your body as a whole, focusing on your diet and mental health, are just as important in achieving a successful traditional?treatment.  

For more information about CTCA, please contact Health Vantis for a free assessment.  We are able to get preferential pricing you wouldn’t otherwise get by contacting direct!


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New Sunscreen Guidelines From FDA

Summer is quickly approaching.  It’s a reminder that sunscreen needs to be worn.  Prior to 2019, U.S. FDA guidelines had not been updated in over a decade.  In order to make sunscreen safe and effective, they have recently proposed updated and new regulatory guidelines.

The new guidelines are focused on bringing nonprescription, over-the-counter (OTC) sunscreens, that are marketed without FDA approval, to have more up to date information. The FDA’s proposal will focus on the active ingredients, dosage, sun protection factor (SPF) and broad-spectrum requirements.  They have also proposed better labeling to make it easier for the consumer to identify important product information.   

Sunscreens that you purchase from the store are still safe and effective.  With newer scientific advancements,  experts now know much more about sunscreen skin absorption.  With people utilizing it more often, sometimes on a daily basis, more investigation was deemed necessary to ensure continued safety and effectiveness for the consumer.

For details as to what the proposal will focus on, please visit here:

Stay safe this summer and be sure to always wear some form of SPF that protects against UVA & UVB rays!

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Organ Transplants and Medical Tourism

Organ Transplants and Medical Tourism

From time to time we get calls and emails from individuals seeking organ transplants.  The requests not only come from Canadians but individuals from other countries looking to come to Canada or the US for the surgery.  Organ transplant cases are probably the most complex kind we could ever assist in because there are so many variables and factors to account for when making arrangements for such a surgery.

Black Market

For starters, we cannot help someone locate an organ for them.  This is actually illegal in all countries around the world, with the exception of Iran.  Despite these prohibitions, the trafficking of organs is still done globally on what they call the ‘Black Market’.  People are willing to sell their organ(s), such as a kidney, in exchange for money.  It’s pretty evident why this would and should not be allowed.  

Having A Match As A Donor

Some of the calls we’ve gotten are from individuals that have a family member that is a match for them.  In cases like this, we can help, however, the requirements and financial aspects of having it done privately can be quite stringent and cost prohibitive  For someone coming from another country to the US or Canada, certain requirements have to be met prior to a hospital even considering doing the surgery. 

The out of pocket expense to have an organ transplant surgery would start around $100K USD and go up.  The hospital would not only require proof of financial means to pay for the surgery through a verifiable source, but also need proof that the recipient has the financial means or insurance for the follow up care, which is life long, and very expensive.  In addition, they would require proper testing to have been done on the donor such as a physical exam, immunological tests, multiple lab and tissue tests, EKG, chest x-ray, psychological evaluation, urine samples and several others should the surgeon feel they are warranted.  The US & Canada also require a Visa to enter if you are from certain countries.  This would need to be approved in advance as well.

Being A Donor

Unfortunately, waiting for the appropriate organ can take several months to several years.  Not everyone is successful in finding a match.  One thing you can do to help contribute to those in need is to become a donor should you pass away unexpectedly.  The process for registering is very quick, simple and the database is connected nationally. 

There is also living donation should you be interested.  Living donors can give a kidney, bone marrow and partial lung, pancreas, intestine or liver.  This of course, is out of the goodness of your heart as you will not receive any kind of monetary incentive.  Things such as plasma and blood are also considered donations that are always needed.  For information on how you can be a donor, please visit: https://


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Dangers in Medical Travel

Dangers in Medical Travel

In the past few months you might have seen an increase in articles in the media warning about the dangers of Medical Travel to Mexico or Dominican Republic /or against traveling to Mexico or Dominican Republic for medical reasons.  This includes a recent warning from the CDC not to have surgery in a specific region and hospital in Mexico and Dominican Republic.  While there is a cause for concern, the results can be different, if you select a facility based on knowing what to watch out for.   There can be dangers in Medical Travel but if you ask the right questions and verify the given information, those can be avoided.

Dangers To Avoid

  • The facility does not have a US, Canadian or JCI Accreditation 
  • You cannot verify the surgeons credentials and what they are certified to perform in, that they are up to date and what their actual training was in
  • The facility doesn’t publish their infection rate
  • There is no procedure in place if there is an emergency or something goes wrong during the operation 

But It’s Cheaper

While cost is important it should not be your deciding factor.  Many people think, it’s just breast implants or a simple hernia surgery.  They do these every day.  What could go wrong?  If the right standards are not met, A LOT!  Sometimes you get what you pay for and your health should not be compromised to save a few dollars.  

Having a safe, successful surgery should be your number 1 priority.  That can be achieved if you gather all the facts.  This can be incredibly time consuming but well worth the effort.  Hiring a Medical Facilitator that does all of this for you will ensure no detail or question is left unanswered.  It also gives you a guide through the entire process.  If you are in need of such knowledge and expertise, contact Health Vantis today!  

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Private Bunion Removal Surgery

Bunion is a bony deformity of the joint at the base of the big toe. The deformity could be due to wearing uncomfortable shoes that are too small or too tight, genetic pre-disposition, or because of the arthritis.  Bunions can be very painful, making walking an unpleasant experience. Your doctor may recommend wearing comfortable, or orthotic shoes, or using splints to correct the positioning of the big toe. If that doesn’t help, surgery may be considered to correct the issue.

The type of surgery will depend on the severity of the deformity. Your doctor will request an Xray of your foot to help diagnose the condition. Many types of surgical procedures exist when it comes to removing the bunion. The type of recommended surgery will depend on the current size of bunion and how it developed.

The wait times for bunion surgery vary depending on the province you reside in. In Nova Scotia, it will take about 466 days to get in for a consult with a surgeon and then additional 359 days to wait for surgery – close to 2.5 years altogether. In Alberta, wait times for foot and ankle surgery are not much better, with most people getting surgery within 46.8 weeks or 327 days.  The wait time to see a specialist is not published.

Health Vantis works with private medical facilities that can accommodate bunionectomy within 2 weeks. The pricing starts at USD $4125. It is a day surgery and does not require overnight stay in a hospital. If you or your loved one are interested in finding out more about private bunion removal surgery, please give us a call toll free at 1 877 344 3544.

Private MRI and Private CT Scan

Private MRI and Private CT Scan Clinics in Canada

Private MRI and private CT Scan clinics in Canada have long been a source for debate.  It is a concept many Canadians are opposed to because the provincial health plans cover the cost should you need one.  The downside to this is the unbelievably long wait list to get one.

What is an acceptable amount of time to wait to have a MRI?  That is all relative to your situation.  If your wait time is causing you intolerable pain, stressors over a potential diagnosis, time off work or your aliment is keeping you from day to day living, considering a private MRI or private CT Scan is a viable option and most likely a good investment.  You will have answers quicker and speed up your wait time in getting to a specialist should your results require one.

Let Health Vantis find a private MRI or private CT Scan clinic closest to you!

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