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 Knee Replacement

Private Knee Replacement

Knee replacement surgery numbers have been growing over the past few years and will continue to rise in the future. Canadians experience some of the longest wait times for this surgery. It can take up to 2 years. Waiting for a medical procedure has serious consequences. They include mental anguish, worsening of the condition, poorer medical outcomes and even permanent disability.  Checking into private knee replacement options can provide you with alternatives to painful waiting.

Health Vantis is a full concierge medical facilitation service. We will help you find the right facility for your private knee replacement. Access to private robotic-assisted and custom knee replacements is also available.

We work with hospitals and surgery centers in the US and Canada that offer safe, trustworthy, affordable and timely private medical treatments. For more information and to see if you or your loved one are a good candidate, please give us a call a toll-free 1877 344 3544.

Private Hip Replacement

Private Hip Replacement

Hip replacements have notoriously long wait times in Canada. You can wait up to 2 years for one. That is 2 years of your precious life! The procedure itself is one of the most successful surgeries in history. It gets rid of the pain from arthritis. The pain can prevent you from enjoying daily activities such as walking in the park, playing golf or going on a hike.

Instead of silently waiting for your turn, you can choose to be pro-active and explore your private hip replacement options. Yes, there is a payment involved. However, that total amount divided by 24 months of possible waiting may give you a better idea if it is worth it for you to stay in line or go to fast, safe and affordable private route.

Health Vantis works with facilities that offer private outpatient hip replacements. They provide options for robotics and minimally invasive procedures. Robotics offer more precision and less room for human error. Minimally invasive techniques reduce recovery time and provide better overall outcomes.

Give us a call to see if you are a good candidate for it. We can arrange your entire medical journey so that you don’t have to worry and can concentrate on getting better sooner!

Toll-Free 1877 344 3544

The Number of Joint Replacement Surgeries Is on the Rise – What Does It Mean to You?

In the last 15 years, Canada’s population grew by about 5 million people – from a little bit over 30 mil people in 2001 to a bit over 35 mil people in 2016. With the median age of Canadians now at 40.6, the growing age brackets are 45 to 64 and 65 and older, and yes, 90 and older. Great news – we are now living longer!

However, when we get older, health issues may start to appear. Most of us are familiar with arthritis and how debilitating it can be. So far, the only sure way to get rid of it is to have a joint replacement.

If we look at the numbers of joint replacement surgeries, those have increased as well – as probably expected. According to Canadian Institute of Health Information, the total number of hip replacement increased by 17.8% from 2012 to 2017 and the total number of knee replacement went up by 15.5% in the same five year period.

Medical Advances

The good news is that medical advances in joint replacement allow for minimum downtime nowadays. Although not yet widely available in all Canada, same day hip and knee replacements offer benefits. They minimize recovery time and pain and get you back to normal faster. Robotics aid in performing many surgeries nowadays. They allow for a more precise placement of the implant that leads to faster recovery and less room for surgical error, hence complications.

Impact on the Employers

If your employees are over 45 you will probably feel the impact of arthritis and its painful progression on your bottom line. Employees performance and productivity can be affected and the absenteeism may go up. What can you do to prepare?

Employers can help their employees get the minimally invasive joint replacement by offering Health Spending Accounts or covering a percentage of the surgery, should an employee choose to have it done privately, in Canada or the US.

Employers can also implement strategies that focus on safety, ergonomics, and wellness. These programs will contribute to preserving joint health for employees of all ages. A supplemental health insurance that covers physiotherapy will help a person pay for the expenses associated with rehab

Individual Impact

You are probably wondering if you will be waiting longer for a joint replacement surgery. It is not unreasonable to think so. The number of surgeries is going up, and the aging population is growing. Some provinces are investing in hiring more orthopedic surgeons to keep the wait times down.

One way to address the wait list issue is to obtain it privately. It is an investment in yourself and will get you moving and healthy faster.

As for the individual responsibility staying within healthy weight can prevent joint replacement. We wrote another blog about the relationship of weight and joint replacement. If surgery is your only option, be prepared to go through rehab. Local support groups are sometimes a good way to socialize with others who had the same surgery.

If you are interested in learning about private minimally invasive joint replacement surgery, Health Vantis can help. Reach out to us at toll-free 877 344 3544.

Medical Travel For A Sports Injury

Medical Travel for the Athlete

In the past few months we have been getting a few calls from injured athletes looking for a faster solution to their medical problem. Athletes are tough individuals and can usually push through the pain, however, sometimes that is just not possible.  Many times it requires medical attention that might include a diagnostic test or surgery in their future.  It is difficult for an athlete to hear they need to have a specialist consult but cannot get in for 9 months.  Or that they need to have a surgery but have to wait another 6 months.  That is when we get a call inquiring about medical travel for a sports injury.  

Athletes are people who are most likely in the best physical fitness you could imagine.  Even for a non-professional athlete, if you are a consistent runner, swimmer, tennis player or softball player on a league just for fun, chances are your health is important to you.  But even our most fit people can and do get injured.  

Sitting on the sidelines watching your other team members continue to play can cause feelings of anger, frustration and even depression. Injuries not attended to can cause irreversible further damage, loss of muscle tone, the ability to be productive at school or work or potentially a long term disability.   Knowing what your options are may give you the motivation to focus your energy on finding a solution so you can get back out there and play.  Turning to a Medical Facilitator is one of those options.

Why A Medical Facilitator?

When you contact a Medical Facilitator, they listen to what your needs are.  This will help you determine possible alternatives.  They can offer suggestions such as getting your diagnostic test, ie. CT Scan or MRI, done at a private facility.  The benefit of a private and fast diagnostics test is being able to get into the specialist sooner.  

Not all provinces have a wait list a mile long, however, there are many that do.  We recently had a young athlete contact us that had been waiting 6 months to see an orthopedic specialist, all the while in excruciating pain due to a shoulder injury.  His appointment was scheduled for Feb 2019.  That is a 1-year wait of being in pain knowing there will likely be another wait to have the surgery.  Situations like this make it impossible for an athlete to grin and bear it.  

Being proactive and seeking out other alternatives, such as private treatment are a great option.  The cost to pay out of pocket might be minimal in the grand scheme of things when your livelihood and health are affected. 

Contact Health Vantis if you or someone you know is stuck on the sideline waiting.

Health Vantis

www.healthvantis.ca

877-344-3544

info@healthvantis.com

MAKOplasty and Your Total Hip Replacement

In our last blog we talked about three major approaches to hip replacement. We also mentioned the words minimally invasive when describing surgical techniques procedures. But what does that really mean though? Through the years, the surgeons improved on their techniques and are able to make shorter incisions and less tendon cutting. All that means less invasive when it comes to any surgery. Some of those techniques differ in name depending on what country you have your operation. What matters though is that the doctors are using these minimally invasive techniques to improve the outcomes, patient experience and shorten the recovery time.

Robotic Assistance In Operating Rooms

In our world of technology and race to develop Artificial Intelligence, robotic assistance can be found in many places. Operating rooms are not an exception. When the surgeons combine the improved techniques with a much more precise and individualized robotic assistance, the joint replacement surgeries leave less room for human error. When a surgeon makes an incision and opens up your hip, he only has an approximation of your individualized hip socket size and bone damage.

The scientific data does tell us that poor component positions and impingement are the sources of increasing mechanical complications in total hip replacement. Robotic guided navigation attempts to improve the surgeon’s performance by precise quantitative knowledge in the operating room. This technology provides predictable and reproducible results.

MAKOplasty and Hip Replacement

In 2010 the first MAKOplasty Total Hip Replacement was performed. MAKOplasty utilizes RIO Robotic Arm Interoperative Interactive Orthopedic System and RESTORIS Family of Implants for partial knee and total hip arthroplasty. MAKOplasty increases accuracy in aligning and placing implants. The RIO system assists surgeons by creating a 3-D model of the patients’ anatomy. It enables surgeons to develop a pre-surgical plan that customizes implant size, positioning and alignment specifically for each patient. During the procedure, real-time visual, tactile, and auditory feedback enforces a safety-zone and facilitates ideal implant positioning and placement.  Thus it reduces the potential for complications.

As a patient, you will be required to get a CT scan first. The information from the CT scan will be loaded into MAKO software system.  Then it is used to create your personalized pre-operative plan. During surgery, the surgeon guides the robotic-arm while preparing the hip socket and positioning the implant based on your personalized pre-operative plan. The Mako system also allows your surgeon to make adjustments to your plan during surgery as needed. When the surgeon prepares the bone for the implant, the Mako system guides the surgeon within the pre-defined area and helps prevent the surgeon from moving outside the planned boundaries. This helps provide more accurate placement and alignment of your implant.

The use of the robotic arm is a valuable innovation for Total Hip Replacement. Contact Health Vantis to learn more about your individualized options in hip replacement.

Newer Orthopedic Surgical Techniques

Newer Orthopedic Surgical Techniques Are Bringing Greater Results To Patients

Orthopedic procedures are skyrocketing in Canada due to the aging Baby Boomer population. High on the list are hip and knee replacements. These are considered major surgeries and in years past, required overnight stays in the hospital with a long recovery period. Newer orthopedic surgical techniques and procedures are now available to make the surgery out-patient vs inpatient with a less invasive approach. This has the patient up and moving within hours of the surgery and a much quicker recovery. 

Posterior Approach 

In years past, these surgeries were done posteriorly, which entered through the back side of the knee or hip. This required a large incision, cutting through the muscle and other soft tissues. In the case of a hip, a wide piece of fibrous soft tissue at the top of the outer thigh was cut and the large gluteus maximus muscle that attaches to it. The surgeon would cut the external muscles that connect the top of the femur to the pelvis. These are the muscles that provide hip stability preventing dislocation out of the back of the hip socket. The muscles are repaired and reattached at the end of the surgery. This approach provides a good view of what they are doing to the surgeon, thus the preferred approach for most. 

Having a posterior approach would require at least 2-3 days stay in a hospital and then 2-3 weeks of physical therapy in a rehab hospital. There is a much longer process for healing and mobility with this approach. 

Anterior Approach 

The Anterior approaches is preformed through the front of the hip or knee.  This technique requires a very skilled doctor. Not all physicians are trained to do this approach, furthermore, there are not many surgeons in Canada offering it at this time. While both techniques provide you with the same overall outcome, there are greater benefits to doing the replacement(s) anteriorly. Some of those are: 

.–  Lower rates of infection

–Sparing the muscles and tendons, allowing the patient to move the joint duringrecovery

–  Less pain

–  Faster recover time

–  Improved mobility

–  Reduced scarring

–  Improved stability

–  Reduced risk for dislocation after surgery

–  No overnight hospital stay

 Patients who have undergone direct anterior procedures have reported post operative pain and discomfort markedly less than traditional approaches. Recovery is expedited and they are able to resume normal actives sooner.

Microdiscectomy For The Spine 

Microdiscectomy for the spine is the most common minimally invasive spine surgery procedures being done. Like traditional posterior hip and knee approach, traditional discectomies are done with a 6-8” incision that requires cutting through the back muscles. This technique has significant muscle damage with a slow, painful recovery. 

Microdiscectomy is preformed with advanced technology that uses an endoscope

Click To Tweet
 Microdiscectomy is preformed with advanced technology that uses an endoscope. This only requires a tiny incision the size of a pin and is able to burrow through the muscles as opposed to cutting through them. The endoscope is removed and the heart muscle closes naturally. Per Chiropractor and rehab therapist Dr. Amy Cannutta, this allows for less down time, greater results, less pain and practically no infection rate. Her experience has also seen people’s recovery period much easier and quicker than traditional discectomy. 

Which Surgical Technique Is Right For You? 

Just like any surgery, only your doctor will know what is the right approach for your situation. Not everyone is a candidate for Microdiscectomy or an Anterior Approach for hip or knee replacement. If you are ever in doubt or would like to explore an alternate approach, solicit a second opinion. Health Vantis can help you with this. Contact us today at info@healthvantis.com or 877-344-3544 as we have facilities that offer these techniques and are able to provide you with a second opinion. 

Health Vantis

www.healthvantis.ca

877-344-3544

info@healthvantis.com 

7 Things to Do Before Your Total Knee Replacement Surgery

 

Planning early and thinking ahead about how total knee replacement will affect your life and stress level will help you manage the recovery.  We offer 7 tips for you to consider.

  1. Exercise your leg muscles and try to get in better shape physically – start about 2 to 3 months prior to surgery

If you are considered a good candidate for a knee replacement by your orthopedic surgeon, he or she may advise on an exercise program before surgery. Due to pain and limited mobility the strength of your muscles declines. Your successful recovery depends on your general health and the strength of your muscles pre-op. Although the reason you probably stopped using those muscles is due to pain, you can schedule a visit with a physiotherapist to talk about how to carry out an exercise plan while having mobility issues and pain.

  1. Quit smoking.

It is not good for your general health and will hinder the recovery. Note that some surgeons require you to demonstrate a negative urine test before your surgery is scheduled.

  1. Ensure you had a dental exam within the last 6 months.

An infected tooth or gum could cause your new knee to get infected.

  1. Talk to your doctor about blood loss during surgery.  He/she may want you to donate your own blood in case you need a blood transfusion.

Before your doctor schedules your surgery date you will go through some blood tests to see if you have anything that may warrant further investigations. If you are having a knee replacement due to an infected prosthesis, you will not be able to donate your own blood.

As well your doctor will have a conversation with you about your current medications and whether you can continue taking them, for example, blood thinners. An appointment with an anesthesiologist is set up to discuss your options during the surgery, and last but not least, you will have a pre-op informational session with a hospital nurse.

  1. Prepare your home for recovery

If you live by yourself ask a friend or a relative to stay with you or stay at their place for a week after you come back from the hospital. You will not be able to drive for about 6 weeks.  Make arrangements for transportation from the hospital as well as a driver until you have been released to drive.

It is preferred to stay on one level without having to climb stairs.  Clear out your hallways so that you can move around freely.  Get some things to make yourself more comfortable: raised toilet seat, stable shower bench or chair for bathing, long-handled sponge or shower hose, a grabber to reach for things, slip on shoes, bed rails if needed, walker/crutches/cane. Some of these can be rented at no charge at your local Red Cross. Make sure you book early, as availability may differ.  Ensure you have a sufficient amount of frozen meals or have someone prepare your meals for the first week after the procedure.

Rent an ice cooling device such as Ossur Cold Rush or Kodiak Cold Therapy for a month if you are able to afford one.

Have cold packs and ice packs in the freezer if you are not able to get the cooling device. Cooling your knee after the operation will help you manage the pain and increase your comfort level post-surgery.  This encourages you to move around and speed up the recovery.

  1. You will be given a detailed list of “the day before” and “the morning of” instructions to follow.  Ensure you follow them precisely.

If you get sick with the flu, cold or fever shortly before, be prepared to reschedule the surgery until your recover

  1. Arrange for physiotherapy before you have the surgery and follow through with it after.

You will probably have a couple of sessions with physiotherapist while you are still in the hospital. To ensure your successful recovery, you have to do exercises to strengthen your new knee.  Call around to find a physiotherapist who specializes in therapy after joint replacement. Your provincial health care plan or supplemental insurance may cover some of the cost.

You will be put on a blood thinner to prevent blood clotting post-surgery. If you are traveling for a knee replacement, keep in mind the possibility of DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis) increases dramatically if your flight is over 4 hours. Your doctor may also ask you to wear TED (Thrombo-Embolic Deterrent).

Health Vantis offers total knee replacements at facilities that are 4 hours or less away from your home to ensure that you are not taking on more risks. We can also take care of finding and arranging the physiotherapy after your surgery. That is part of our white glove service to all of our clients.

This information is for educational purposes only.  It is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or health care. We encourage you to discuss with your doctor any questions or concerns you may have.

Health Vantis

www.healthvantis.ca

877-344-3544

info@healthvantis.com

Considerations for Total Knee Replacement

 

Knee pain can be excruciating. The knee joint is a major weight-bearing joint that is often taken for granted until it is injured or affected by osteoarthritis. In March we will have a series of blogs about the knee. This first one talks about potential treatments your doctor may have you try in order to preserve your joint, rebuild the muscles surrounding the joint to prevent further injury or decrease your pain so you are not lead down the road to a knee replacement.

Each patient is going to have their own unique treatment plan based on the circumstances to their knee pain such as: Was there an injury, tear, knee dislocation, fracture to the bone, arthritis developed as a result of a previous injury or just arthritis due to age.

Several things have to be carefully considered when your doctor determines what is the best treatment plan for you. Some of those are, but not limited to, duration of pain, location and reason for the pain, mobility, pain level, age, physical activity level, BMI, other medical history, or social risk factors such as smoking.

Total joint replacement surgeries are usually the last resort for those suffering from knee pain. There are many options to try prior to your doctor even considering or recommending a replacement. Below we will explore those options that are less invasive that may prevent you from going down the road to surgery.

  1. Anti-inflammatories, analgesics or short-term narcotics for pain control – The choice your doctor may prescribe depends on many things such as the severity of your pain level, a reason for the pain ie. swelling due to injury or arthritis, and other health risk factors. Many times, doctors choose to give anti-inflammatories or analgesics for mild to moderate pain and reserve narcotics for those with severe pain.
  2. Physiotherapy or exercise – The best way to rebuild a knee or decrease the pain is to gain proper mobility and strengthen the muscles around it to support it from further injury or deterioration. Structured exercises to isolate the issue can be done through the recommendation of a physiotherapist.
  3. Knee brace or orthotic shoes – Keeping your knee stabilized with a brace or wearing special orthotic shoes can give you extra support.
  4. Ice, heat, gels/creams or elevation – Something as easy as icing and elevating your knee can help decrease swelling which will, in turn, decrease your pain level. Heat works well for pain as do non-steroidal anti-inflammatory creams or gels.
  5. Weight loss – Lifestyle changes such as weight loss can be incredibly important. All of your weight bears down on your knees so the healthier you are and within a normal BMI range, the less stress your knee has to endure.
  6. Smoking cessation – Smoking is a bad habit in general and has many serious known complications. When you have an injury, smoking will interfere with your recovery. Not only will it prolong the healing process, it may also cause additional inflammation making it more difficult to get the pain under control and have the necessary mobility to rehabilitate your knee.
  7. Cortisone injection – These injections can be useful for decreasing the inflammation and pain in the short term. Their effect wears off within a few weeks to 3 months and may need to be repeated as needed.
  1. Hyaluronic acid injections – Hyaluronic acid is a natural substance that can give the joint fluid its viscosity. These injections take about 8 weeks to have their full effect and will typically last for 24 weeks.
  2. Platelet-rich plasma injections – Many people, especially athletes, are familiar with this procedure due to Tiger Woods when he utilized it for his injured knee. The process involves drawing your own blood, centrifuging it down to get the platelet-rich plasma and injecting it back into the injured tissue. The hope is to stimulate and optimize your body’s natural ability to heal the injury.
  3. Bone marrow and/or Stem cell therapy – Stem cell therapy has anti-inflammatory and regenerative capacities. It has been known to stimulate blood vessel formation, repair tissue and make cartilage. While it is not FDA approved, there has been a great success, as much as 80% effectiveness, with regards to knees.
  4. iOvera treatment – This treatment is a cold therapy that kills away targeted sensory nerves around the knee that prevent the nerve from sending pain signals to the brain. It is injected into the skin and will last about 6 months. Because this is not permanently damaging or killing the nerve, the nerve will regenerate and grow back over time so the process may need to be repeated.

Keep in mind that not every one of these treatment plans will be appropriate for you. Consideration should be given to all these factors during a consultation with an orthopedic specialist and it may be recommended you try many of them at the same time.

As we age our joints can get arthritis. It damages the bone and the cartilage, thus making it very painful to move. Severe arthritis is not reversible and the affected joint does not usually improve on its own. Keeping the knee healthy when this first starts is key to further degeneration.

All of these treatments may not be available in your province.  If you are in a situation like this and your doctor feels you could benefit from one of them, contact us and we will help you find a facility that can.  info@healthvantis.com or 877-344-3544

This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or health care provider. We encourage you to discuss with your doctor any questions or concerns you may have.

Health Vantis

www.healthvantis.ca

877-344-3544

info@healthvantis.com

5 THINGS YOU CAN DO TO PREPARE FOR YOUR HIP REPLACEMENT SURGERY

Research shows that people who are well prepared and fully participate in their care have a smoother and faster recovery after joint hip replacement surgery.  How do you go on with your life after a hip replacement? You will need help moving around and getting some things done.  You will likely not be able to drive for 6 weeks (left hip replacement) and up to 3 months (right hip replacement). There are some things you can do BEFORE going to surgery to ensure a successful recovery AFTER:

  1. Before going to surgery ensure you have good support from your family or friends. They will be the ones to help you move around, bring groceries and take you to your doctor’s appointments. Have a designated contact person that will communicate your progress to the family as you may be in pain and on medication during the first couple of days in the hospital.
  2. Ensure you have all the needed equipment for the recovery prior to going in for surgery – a walker, crutches if you have stairs without handrails in your home, high toilet seat, bed assistance rail, bath transfer bench, leg pillow, reacher/grabber with pincher claws, long handle shoes horn and bath sponge.  Red Cross provides some of this equipment or it can be purchased at your local drug store.
  3. If you can, rent or purchase a cold therapy unit. It will provide an effective and soothing option for post-operative pain and swelling. By managing your pain with cold therapy you will be more encouraged to do your exercises and move around after your surgery. You can bring the cold therapy unit with you to the hospital and ask your nurse to use it when you have woken up from anesthesia.
  4. Arrange for sessions with a physiotherapist who can guide you through your recovery exercises – a must in your after surgery care. You can do the exercises on your own too, but optimally there is a therapist to help you through. Remember that you must keep doing your exercises at home to strengthen your muscles and get your hip moving. Walking is an excellent exercise.
  5. Prepare and freeze some healthy meals for easy warm up after you are back in your home. Make sure you have an adequate supply of canned food and staples.  You should be stocking up on foods that are rich in dietary fiber, calcium, and iron.

Remember that hip joint replacement is a major surgery and requires a great deal of hard work and healing on the part of the patient. Being prepared before helps your successful recovery.

 

 

Health Vantis
info@healthvantis.com
www.healthvantis.ca
877-344-3544