Private Hip Replacement Cost

The wait times for a hip replacement in the public system can be long. Many Canadians do not wish to wait and are looking for private hip replacement options in Canada, US and other countries.  Cost considerations for a private hip replacement can lead to a long search on internet and phone calls to multiple places. Some medical facilities are able to give the pricing right away and some require multiple follow up and even then, it may not be possible to get the total price.

Health Vantis does all the logistical work for you, so you can focus on your health. We have established relationships with certain facilities in the US and Canada. We are able to provide you with a range for bundled pricing when you call. Bundled pricing includes the facility fee, anaesthesia fee and surgeon fees. Knowing the price for your private hip replacement is very important. However, price alone should not be the deciding factor in your decision where to go for surgery.

Things like surgeon’s reputation, facility accreditation and proximity to your home should be considered. If you are going to fly somewhere, make sure that you select flights that are 4 hours or less. Flights over 4hours increase the risk of DVTs considerably. It may be cheap to go to India, but you will be flying across the world.

In addition, pricing in Canada and the US can be comparable considering all the costs involved. Health Vantis works with accredited, pre-vetted facilities that offer safe and affordable private hip replacement. The price will differ depending on the location you chose to go to and will start at about CAD $25,000. *

If you are considering a private hip replacement, give us a call to get more information toll-free 877 344 3544.

*Prices may change without notice

Private Endometriosis Surgery

Endometriosis happens when tissue that grows on the inside of the uterus grows on the outside of it as well. The misplaced tissue often attaches itself to the ovaries, fallopian tubes, bowel or bladder. It can spread to other organs as well. Just like the lining of the uterus that bleeds every month during menstruation so does the tissue that grows outside the uterus. But because the bleeding happens in areas where there is no easy way of out of the body it causes inflammation and swelling. Women with severe endometriosis may have heavy and painful menstrual cycles and sometimes may also have problems getting pregnant.

Endometriosis can not be cured, but there are options to make you feel better. The non surgical options include pain management, hormone birth control, hormone treatment and other medications.

Surgical options, such as laparoscopy, can be recommended for mild to moderate endometriosis. It is done using a laparoscope, a small lighted viewing instrument to look for signs of endometriosis. The endometriosis implants and scar tissue are removed by cutting (excision) or can be destroyed with a laser beam or electric current. Hysterectomy treats more severe endometriosis.

The wait times for laparoscopy vary depending on the province you live in.  If you were told that the wait is long, and you are unwilling to wait, we can help arrange a private endometriosis surgery. Give us a call to find out the details toll-free 877 344 3544

Private Knee Replacement Cost

If you were put on a long wait list to get you knee replaced, and are exploring your private options, you are probably wondering if you can afford one. Many Canadians travel outside their province or country to get a surgery or procedure in a private manner, without the wait. Cost considerations are very important. Many will do the search on their own, contacting hospitals and surgical centres in the US and Canada. Often it takes some time and persistence to get a firm, bundled price.

Health Vantis takes care of all the logistics and planning of your medical travel for you. We established relationships with medical facilities in the US and Canada and are usually able to provide a range for the cost of your private knee replacement. We try to match up our clients with the closest facility to their home town, whenever possible. We do this so that the actual travel stays to a minimum and the flights do not exceed 4h, to reduce the risk of DVTs.

Price for your private knee replacement is important, but it should not be the only factor in your decision-making. Consider the reputation of the surgeon and the facility, as well as the number of surgeries performed by the doctor a year. Those numbers are important because the old saying “practice makes perfect” stands here as well. Although there is no magic number that make a surgeon proficient, 5 years of experience and at least 30 surgeries a year is a good start.

Health Vantis will provide you with the information about the surgeon and the facility prior to your decision to go ahead with the surgery. If you wanted to speak with the doctor, we can arrange that too. If you are contemplating a private knee replacement and need to know the costs and what is involved, give us a call toll free 877 344 3544 and we would be happy to help!

Is It Safe to Have Private Surgery at an Outpatient (Ambulatory) Facility?

Advances in surgical techniques and modern medicine allow less invasive, less cutting surgeries, and therefore faster recoveries. Many surgeries can now be done in an outpatient facility, or ambulatory surgical center. In fact, about 60% of al surgical procedures in the United States are performed as an outpatient surgery. After the surgery, you would stay for a few hours at the center, and then go home to continue recovery in a familiar setting and your own bed. But is it safe to do so?

The answer will depend on your general health and the type of surgery. The researchers identified seven main risk factors:

  • being overweight
  • being obese
  • obstructive lung disease
  • hypertension
  • past history of heart attack or stroke
  • previous cardiac intervention
  • prolonged operating room time.

If any of these apply to you, there should be a discussion with your doctor about having surgery at a hospital. This is true even if the surgery is considered low risk. Inpatient surgery will have you stay overnight and more, if need be. It is also suggested that being over 65 years old carries more risk, although age alone should not be used to qualify someone for an outpatient surgery.

All surgeries carry risk. Some have more than others. It is important to understand the potential risks of your particular surgery. Research suggests that certain procedures may be more problematic when carried out on an outpatient basis. Talk with your doctor about the risks involved.

If you are generally healthy, and your surgery is low risk, then outpatient surgical facility may be an option for your private surgery. A recent study published in The Spine Journal looked at insurance database for a single neck surgery – posterior cervical foraminotomy and looked at what the outcomes were. The groups were pretty comparable in age, gender and health conditions. Those that had surgery in the hospital had much higher rates of infections, wound complications, respiratory failure and urinary tract infection compared to those who had an outpatient surgery.

Some other important benefits of outpatient surgery are lower cost and recovering in the comfort of your own home. Your doctor should be able to identify if you are a good candidate for a private outpatient surgery. Most of the facilities we work with offer those with much success. If you would like more information, please contact Health Vantis at toll-free 877 344 3544.

Private Surgery in the US: Doctor’s Credentials

Going for surgery is a big undertaking. Worries and doubts can be overwhelming. One of the things you can do to ease your pre-surgery anxiety is to check your surgeon’s credentials and online reviews.

In the USA, each state has a medical board and every practising physician must have a license issued by the medical board in the state they practice. State boards also can take disciplinary and corrective actions against the members. So if there are any disciplinary actions against a doctor in the past, they would be reflected on the state medical board website. The states are only required to list that particular state’s information, and if your surgeon lived and practised in other states, it may be useful to look those up as well.

In addition to required state board certification, there are board certifications by the speciality boards. In the US, there are three organizations that certify Medical Doctors and Doctors of Osteopathy. The American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), the American Osteopathic Association Bureau of Osteopathic Specialties (AOABOS), and the American Board of Physician Specialties cover 26 recognized medical specialities. If a doctor is certified by a speciality board, it means that he or she has chosen to achieve expertise in a medical speciality or subspecialty. The certification is a highly visible indicator that the doctor is committed to providing quality patient care and knows today’s standards of practice.

In addition, there are many other self-designated boards. These boards can be established by anyone and the criteria for certification is established by a group of physicians. The requirements for membership are much less rigorous than the above-mentioned board certifications.

Online reviews can also tell more about the patient experience with a given doctor. While not everyone who had a pleasant experience will be writing a positive review, the presence of many or the majority of negative reviews is a sign that a further investigation may be required.

Health Vantis does all this groundwork for you, and present you with your doctor’s credentials. We can help you get private medical care with positive outcomes without the wait. Contact us at 877 344 3544 to find out more.

Crossing the US-Canada Border for Medical Reasons

If you are travelling to the United States for a surgery or a medical procedure there are some things to consider and be aware of. Canadian citizens and permanent residents do not require a visa to enter the US. However, there are certain points to keep in mind.

  • Cannabis is illegal in the United States

This one is very serious. It is illegal to bring any cannabis or cannabis products into the US, including prescription cannabis, CBD oils and others.

  • State the reason for your visit clearly and do no make anything up

In recent years we have seen a slight shift in the amount of subjective authority the border officers are given to evaluate someone entering the US. If an officer detects you are not telling the truth even in the matter not relating to your trip, he or she can assume you are not being truthful in any of your explanations. So, speak the truth – always!

  • Have proof of financial support at home

We have seen clients turned away from entering the US because they could not verify that they are able to pay for their medical service in the US.  It can be interpreted that they can potentially present risks to become a burden to the already monetarily stressed healthcare in the US. This is a rare occurrence. However, it is helpful to bring with you a recent bank statement from your bank at home to show that you are able to pay for the procedure. This will help avoid any delays or appointments missed.

While these three things may seem trivial, they are sometimes overlooked. Hiring a medical facilitator will help you keep everything together and ensure that your medical travel goes smoothly and without any delays. Contact Health Vantis for your free evaluation, toll-free 1 877 344 3544.

Pre-Op Testing – What Is Needed?

Once you make your decision to proceed with the surgery Health Vantis makes all the arrangements for you. One of the moving parts of preparation for surgery is pre-op testing. The requirements can be different, depending on the procedure you require and your individual health.

The two most common tests the doctors we work with ask our clients to complete is bloodwork and EKG. Blood work within the last 3 months prior to surgery is usually accepted. If more recent blood work is required, you can schedule a visit with your family doctor and ask for a requisition of what is needed. It usually takes a couple of days to get the results and those can also be picked up at your family doctor.

If you are over 65 and/or have high blood pressure or other cardiological issues, an EKG test is required. In most provinces, it is fairly easy to get. Again, this can be done through your family doctor.

If the results of the EKG are concerning, a cardiological clearance is required. This one is not as easily obtained as the EKG or blood work. Most of the facilities we work with can suggest a local cardiologist that can schedule a consult on short notice to accommodate your surgery date. The cost varies per doctor and location and will be communicated to you by Health Vantis upfront.

Sometimes, when there is a GYN surgery involved, the surgeon would like to see the results of the most recent PAP test. This is done to ensure the overall health of the client is acceptable for surgery.

If you are considering private surgery and have any questions, we are here to help!

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

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.

Health Vantis

www.healthvantis.ca

877-344-3544

info@healthvantis.com

 

Private Surgery In Canada and Beyond

While healthcare is free to all Canadians, we are all aware that we do pay for it through taxes and that access to it can be limited. Oftentimes Canadians experience lengthy wait times for some surgeries and lack of training and proper equipment for the latest surgical technologies and advances. Health Vantis helps connect Canadians with private surgical and treatment facilities that have no waitlists and can be arranged as fast as 1-2 weeks.

Some private surgical facilities exist in Canada, but there are very few and limited to what they can do, and, surprisingly, how fast they can accommodate. Through the years we have found that access to private surgery in Canada is also a bit of a wait, however, not nearly as bad as the public system.

Often times we get calls from people that are at the end of their patience reserves and need help asap. In most cases, we can help. We have a unique system of working with different medical facilities and select the best suited for our client’s needs. We do not get paid by medical facilities and connect our clients with the most appropriate, experienced and trained doctor for their ailment. Other facilitators may contract out with medical facilities which means that they will only send you tp one place, where they get paid.

Being honest and transparent with our clients is our priority. You will know the costs upfront, and there is never a hidden fee. We send our clients to the facilities we visited so that they have peace of mind. If you have any questions or concerns, we will stay with you all the way through your medical journey until you are back home.

If you are interested in learning more about how to get your surgery in a private manner give us a call toll-free 877 344 3544 and we will be happy to help!

September 2019 Newsletter

We welcome September as the first month of the Fall, still warm and beautiful, with crisper air and golden leaves peeking through. Things start settling into routines as we head towards cooler weather. In this issue, we bring to you some news about a promising new Alzheimer’s blood test, some information on how to get your medical records in Canada and a list of Medical travel Do’s and Don’t.

September is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia. It is progressive and not reversible, causing memory problems that become severe over time. Eventually, people with Alzheimer’s can not perform their daily tasks.

Detection and Diagnosis

Diagnostic methods have improved in recent years, but there is still not a single diagnostic test to determine if someone has Alzheimer’s disease. A number of tools and tests are used to help with diagnosis. They usually include physical exam and review of medical history, a neurological exam, mental status test and brain imaging, such as CT scan or/and MRI. All other diseases should be ruled out prior to diagnosing someone with dementia.

Early Diagnosis

Getting an early accurate diagnosis is beneficial for several reasons. The person is able to participate actively in their own health-care decisions and future plans. They are able to focus on what is important to them, make informed decisions about legal, financial and care matter and ensure that their families and friends know.

Starting medications early, when they are most effective, is another benefit. While current medications can not stop the damage Alzheimer’s causes to brain cells, they may lessen or stabilize symptoms for a limited time. Also, people that are diagnosed early are able to participate in clinical trials of new medications and diagnostic tools. All current medications help mask the symptoms of the disease but do not treat the underlying causes or delay its progression. Several new medications are in development and testing. However, they need more volunteers. Trials are recruiting people with Alzheimer’s and mild cognitive impairment, as well as healthy individuals to be controls. To find out more about participation in a clinical trial click here.

Future of early diagnosis

Two proteins are linked to Alzheimer’s disease, one is called tau and the other one is beta-amyloid. The disease is described as having tangles and plaques on brain MRI images. Tau forms tangles and beta-amyloid form plaques in the brain.

Tau proteins play a vital role in how nutrients and other important materials are transported in the brain and keep the brain cells alive. In unhealthy brain areas, tau protein collapses and twists, thus “tangles”. These tangles prevent nutrients from reaching brain cells, resulting in cell death.

Beta-amyloids molecules clump and those clumps form plaques. As plaques spread, the cells of the brain are unable to receive signals between nerve cells and cause cells to die.

Beta-amyloid spreads throughout the brain at an early stage, decades before the patient notices signs of the disease. Tau, on the other hand, starts to spread at a later stage, from the temporal lobes to other parts of the brain.

Early detection of these proteins enables earlier diagnosis of Alzheimer. Two of the recent detection research findings are worth noting.

The first one is a tau-PET scan. Researchers developed a PET scan to determine the presence of tau. When tau begins to spread the neurons start dying and patients start experiencing the first problems with the disease. A tau-PET scan detected 90-95% of all causes of Alzheimer and only gave a few false positives in patients with other diseases.

The second one just recently made the news. It is a blood test that can identify Alzheimer’s almost 20 years before symptoms appear. The blood test developed can detect the start of beta-amyloids build up in the brain. PET scans can already detect these build-ups, so researchers looked at the results of the newly developed blood test and the results of the PET scans. They saw that the results agreed 88% of the time. In an attempt to refine the results and improve the blood test accuracy the researchers then took into account other risk factors such as age and a specific genetic variant. The accuracy went up to 94%!

Also of importance is the fact that those participants flagged as false positives based on the results of their PET scans showed positive test results years later. This may suggest that some of the early blood tests were more sensitive than the brain scans in detecting the disease in the very early stages.

Blood tests are much easier and faster to perform than PET scans and if these findings are approved then Alzheimer’s will be easier to diagnose, treat early and recruit participants in clinical trials.

To learn more about these two researches we provided the links to the first one here and the second one here. To learn more about Alzheimer’s disease click here.

Medical Records and How to Obtain Them in Canada

When we start working with a prospective client, we ask them to collect and submit their medical records for a doctor’s review. This part of our process sometimes takes the longest. We came across a few cases where people were unaware how to get them, other than asking their family doctor. Asking your family doctor will probably get you as far as the visits in her office and sometimes blood work, but other important records can be at a hospital or a diagnostics facility you were treated at.

So how do you get your medical records at a hospital or a diagnostic facility? Under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA), a request must be made in writing. Depending on the province you reside in the request can be usually faxed or emailed to a hospital’s Health Records Department. They, in turn, have up to 30 days to provide you with an electronic or paper copy of your medical records. There is a small charge involved in this and usually depends if you wanted your diagnostic records on a CD, if you prefer printed copies, etc. The fees range between $35-$85, from our experience, although they may change in the future.

In Nova Scotia, where we are based, all the records have to be requested by either faxing or emailing in a request form.

In Alberta, you can access your medical records online. Once you create an account and digital ID, you should be able to view your records any time.

In British Columbia, you will need to reach out to your local health authority. This can also be done online. For example, for those belonging to Island Health, you can go here, or if you are under Vancouver Coastal Health the form can be found here

In Ontario, the process is very similar to that of BC. You will need to contact the Health Information custodian and submit a form via fax or email. Health Information custodians are defined as doctors, hospitals, pharmacies, labs, etc. We always advise calling the hospital or facility you were treated at and ask them what their processes and fees are, as they may have their own form to fill out.

Other provinces have similar rules and processes.

Getting medical records can take time and patience. Health Vantis can do this for you, provided the proper forms are filled out and signed by you, our client. For more info, please contact us at toll-free 1 877 344 3544 or by email info@healthvantis.com

 

Medical Travel Do’s and Don’ts

Travelling for medical reasons can be complicated. Not only someone is stressed about their surgery or treatment there are other things to consider when planning a trip to get better. Here we highlight a few do and don’t items to help you plan your medical journey successfully.

DO:

  • Do all the research you can about the doctor and the facility you are going to. Ask if you can talk to some of the doctor’s patients. Sometimes it is possible. Doing your own research will help you make a better decision on where to go for treatment. If you are short on time and are not able to do all the research, consider hiring a medical travel facilitator. A good medical travel facilitator will be able to provide you with feedback on the doctor and the facility.
  • Ask your doctor questions about your procedure. Make sure you understand the risks and possible outcomes. Knowing these things will help you keep calm before and after surgery. Stress hinders recovery and can affect surgical outcomes.
  • Find out the exact pricing and what additional items you may be charged for. This one is sometimes very tough, but most of the time once a doctor reviewed your medical records, they will be able to provide you with an accurate estimate
  • Communicate with your doctor in Canada. It is a good idea to bring up the intent to travel 4-6 weeks before you plan to go. Your medical provider needs to know about your plans because she or he will be able to give you some valuable advice beforehand as well as see you after you come back home.

DON’T

  • Make a selection of the doctor and facility based on price only. Ensure that you will be receiving treatment in a safe manner by a qualified doctor and at a certified facility with known outcomes. Many news stories covered cheap surgeries in the Dominican Republic and Mexico that ended badly. Be wise, and when in doubt, ask questions.
  • Give up on an exercise program or a healthy diet. Even if your mobility is limited, there are a number of programs that allow for gentle exercises, such as swimming (for those with back pain) or walking. Eating healthy will keep your weight in check and prevent unnecessary weight gain.
  • Expect the results overnight. Any surgery is a serious medical procedure and the recovery may be lengthy no matter if you had it at the best place and by the best surgeon possible.