Private Lumbar Disc Replacement: Everything You Need to Know – Part 3

Private Lumbar Disc Replacement: Everything You Need to Know – Part 3

Welcome back!  In Part 1 and 2 of Private Lumbar Disc Replacement: Everything You Need to Know, we discussed the reasons why it is chosen as an option, selecting the right surgeon, whether or not you are the right candidate and cost.  In this blog we will provide the process and recovery associated with it.

Private Disc Replacement Process

Once you have been deemed a suitable candidate for private lumbar disc replacement, it is important to familiarize yourself with the step-by-step process of the procedure. Understanding the various stages involved can help alleviate any anxiety and ensure that you are well-prepared for your surgery.

The first step is a consultation. This involves meeting with your surgeon to discuss the procedure in detail, evaluate your medical history, and address any concerns or questions you may have.  Following the consultation, if you decide to proceed, a surgery date will be set.  Some pre-operative tests might be necessary such lab work. 

On the day of the surgery, you will be given general anesthesia to ensure you are pain-free throughout the procedure. The surgeon will then make a small incision in the lower back to access the affected disc.

The damaged disc will be carefully removed using specialized surgical instruments. A prosthetic disc will be inserted into the empty disc space. This artificial disc is designed to mimic the natural function of a healthy disc, allowing for improved mobility and flexibility.

The incision will be closed using sutures or surgical staples, and a sterile dressing will be applied to the wound. You will then be transferred to a recovery room, where medical professionals will closely monitor your vital signs and ensure that you wake up from anesthesia safely. Most people are discharged the same day.

Private Disc Replacement Recovery

After undergoing private lumbar disc replacement surgery, the recovery and rehabilitation phase is crucial for your long-term success and overall well-being. Recovery varies from person to person.  It will consist of postoperative care, pain management, and physiotherapy.

During the initial days of recovery, you may experience discomfort, swelling, or bruising at the incision site. Your healthcare team will provide you with instructions on wound care and pain management, including medication to relieve any postoperative pain.

As your healing progresses, your surgeon will provide guidance on when to resume activities, gradually increasing your range of motion and physical activity levels. Physiotherapy will recommend a program to restore your strength, flexibility, and functionality.

Throughout your recovery, it is important to follow your healthcare team’s instructions, attend scheduled follow-up appointments, and communicate any concerns or changes in your condition.

Next week we will continue with our 4 part blog series on everything you need to know about private lumbar disc replacement.  In the meantime, if you are considering private lumbar disc replacement, contact Health Vantis for more details to find you an appropriate facility.  We can be reached at 877-344-3544 or info@healthvantis.com.

Private Lumbar Disc Replacement: Everything You Need to Know – Part 2

Private Lumbar Disc Replacement: Everything You Need to Know – Part 2

Choosing the right neurosurgeon for private lumbar disc replacement is an important step in ensuring a successful outcome. When it comes to such a complex surgery, you want to be in the hands of a skilled and experienced professional. 

Choosing the Right Surgeon

Researching various surgeons who specialize in private lumbar disc replacement can be a grueling, long process, especially in North America due to lack of surgeons performing this surgery.  Most people look for surgeons who are board-certified, have extensive training in spinal surgery, and have a track record of successful outcomes. Reading patient reviews and testimonials can also provide valuable insights into their expertise and patient satisfaction.  But all of this takes time.  That is where Health Vantis can help you!

You need to have a consultation with a potential surgeon to discuss your specific case and ask all questions you may have.  We always recommend going in to it with your questions written down so you don’t forget to ask all things important to you.  During these consultations, consider the surgeon’s communication style, willingness to address concerns, and ability to provide clear explanations.

Additionally, don’t hesitate to ask about the surgeon’s success rates, complication rates, and any additional certifications or specializations they may have. These factors can give you a better understanding of their expertise and the confidence to move forward with the procedure.

Private Lumbar Disc Replacement Cost

Private lumbar disc replacement can be expensive, and the costs can vary depending on factors such as the surgeon’s fees, hospital charges, anesthesia costs, and any additional medical tests or imaging required.  Heath Vantis can provide you with an all-inclusive, one payment cost.  This takes the stress of surprise or multiple bills coming to you.

Remember to take into account any potential indirect costs as well, such as travel, accommodation, and post-operative care. Hiring Health Vantis to manage your case can give you the advantage of total costs estimates provided beforehand.  Contact us at 877-344-3544 or info@healthvantis.com for more information. 

Private Lumbar Disc Replacement: Everything You Need to Know – Part 1

Private Lumbar Disc Replacement: Everything You Need to Know – Part 1

Private lumbar disc replacement is a surgical procedure that is often seen as a last resort for individuals suffering from severe back pain caused by degenerative disc disease. While this procedure is not as common as other treatments for back pain, it has gained popularity in recent years due to its potential to provide long-term relief and improve quality of life. In Canada, private lumbar disc replacement is not an option for individuals who are willing to pay for the surgery out-of-pocket. This is something you’d have to travel for, however, options are very limited in the US. 

This month we will discuss everything you need to know about private lumbar disc replacement in a 4 part series.  Be sure to check back each Wednesday for the newest blog.

Why Do Surgeons Choose Lumbar Disc Replacement vs Fusion?

Lumbar disc replacement is a surgical procedure in which a damaged disc in the lower back is removed and replaced with an artificial disc. This procedure aims to alleviate chronic back pain and restore mobility and flexibility.  The goal, like any spine surgery, is the potential for long-term relief. Unlike spinal fusion, which can limit movement and put additional stress on adjacent discs, disc replacement allows for natural motion. This means that patients can continue to bend, twist, and move without restrictions, which can significantly improve their quality of life.

Additionally, private lumbar disc replacement offers the advantage of quicker recovery times compared to traditional open surgery. The procedure is minimally invasive, with smaller incisions and less damage to surrounding muscle and tissue. This often leads to a shorter hospital stay and faster return to normal activities.

However, it’s essential to note that private lumbar disc replacement may not be suitable for everyone. Factors such as the extent of the disc damage, overall health, and lifestyle goals should be considered. As with any surgical procedure, there are potential risks and complications.

Are You the Right Candidate for Private Lumbar Disc Replacement?

Before undergoing private lumbar disc replacement, it is crucial to assess whether you are a suitable candidate for the procedure. Several factors need to be considered to determine eligibility and maximize the chances of a successful outcome.

The extent of the disc damage will play a significant role in deciding whether private lumbar disc replacement is the right choice. This procedure is typically recommended for patients with degenerative disc disease or disc herniation that does not respond to non-surgical treatments. A surgeon will evaluate your condition based on imaging tests, such as MRIs, to determine the severity of the disc damage.

Overall health plays a major role in assessing your candidacy. Some medical conditions, such as active infections or severe osteoporosis, may increase the risk of complications and affect the success of the procedure. Therefore, a thorough medical evaluation will be performed to ensure that you are in good health and can tolerate the surgical procedure.

Your lifestyle goals and expectations should align with the potential benefits and limitations of private lumbar disc replacement. This procedure is best suited for individuals who want to maintain their range of motion and continue participating in activities that involve bending, twisting, and lifting. On the other hand, if you are content with restricted movement and want a more stable spine, other options such as spinal fusion may be more suitable for you.

In next weeks blog, we will explore in more detail the potential risks and complications associated with private lumbar disc replacement.  Come back and find out more!  In the meantime, if you are considering private lumbar disc replacement, contact Health Vantis for more details to find you an appropriate facility.  We can be reached at 877-344-3544 or info@healthvantis.com

Neurosurgery Wait Times in Canada: Decrease of 15.3 Weeks in 2023 vs 2022

Waiting for an elective neurosurgery in Canada has become a significant concern for patients and healthcare professionals alike. The prolonged wait times for neurosurgery have a detrimental impact on patients’ quality of life and overall well-being. This blog aims to highlight the latest neurosurgery wait times as reported by Fraser Institute.

Understanding Neurosurgery Medical Wait Times

Neurosurgery medical wait times refer to the length of time patients have to wait for elective procedures, such as laminectomy, discectomy, spinal fusion, and others. These wait times are measured from the moment a patient is referred to a specialist to the actual date of the procedure. It is broken down into two components: the wait time to see the specialist and the wait time from seeing the specialist to actual surgery. In Canada, these wait times have been steadily increasing over the years, leading to concerns about the accessibility and efficiency of neurosurgical care.

2023 Report

According to the Fraser Institute’s yearly publication on medical wait times, Waiting Your Turn: Wait Times for Health Care in Canada, 2023 Report median wait time from GP referral to see a specialist in Neurosurgery in 2023 was 31.1 weeks. In 2022 it was 45.7 weeks.

The median wait time between an appointment with a specialist and treatment in Neurosurgery in 2023 was 12.5 weeks. In 2022 it was 13.3 weeks.

The total wait time in 2022 was 58.9 weeks. In 2023 is it 43.6, an improvement of 15.3 weeks, with most of the wait time decrease coming from waiting to see a specialist.

Regional Differences

It must be noted that neurosurgery wait times vary widely depending on the province you live in. Generally speaking, Maritime residents have the longest wait times, and Ontario residents have the shortest. 2023 report states that the median total expected waiting time from referral by GP to neurosurgery was the highest in New Brunswick at 276.1 weeks, followed by Nova Scotia at 143.3 weeks and the lowest in Quebec at 6.8 weeks followed by Alberta with 34.3 weeks. The difference between the national 43.6 weeks to the highest is sixfold!

Should You Consider Private Neurosurgery

It is clear that provincial governments’ improvements are being made as the wait time for neurosurgery decreased by almost 4 weeks. However, many provincial governments are struggling to put more money into healthcare and federal help is being given for provincial healthcare, however a big chunk of that money is allocated to mental health, an issue in itself and not subject to this blog.

On a personal level – what can be done? There are private options for neurosurgery surgery in Quebec and the USA.

According to the Fraser Institute “this year’s survey of specialists also found that an estimated 1.8% of patients received elective treatment in another country during 2022/23. Physicians also report that only about 13.7% of their patients are on a waiting list because they requested a delay or postponement, and that 47.1% would agree to have their procedure performed within a week if an opening arose. Thus, despite provincial strategies to reduce wait times and high levels of expenditure on health care, it is clear that patients in Canada are waiting too long to receive treatment.”

If you are considering private neurosurgery we are here to help. You can reach us by email info@healthvantis.com or toll-free 877 344 3544 to see if private neurosurgery surgery is for you.

Private Neurosurgery for Spine in Canada

In recent years, the demand for private neurosurgery for spine in Canada has been on the rise. As the population ages and the prevalence of spine-related conditions such as degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis, and herniated discs increases, the need for timely and effective neurosurgical interventions has become more pronounced. This has led to a growing interest in the availability and accessibility of private neurosurgery options for individuals seeking specialized care for spinal conditions.

The Canadian healthcare system is based on the principles of universality, accessibility, comprehensiveness, and portability, as outlined in the Canada Health Act. Under this system, all Canadian citizens and permanent residents have access to medically necessary hospital and physician services without direct charges at the point of care. However, the reality of accessing neurosurgical care within the public system can be characterized by long wait times for consultations, diagnostic imaging, and surgical interventions. This can lead to significant delays in treatment and prolonged suffering for individuals with debilitating spine-related conditions.

In response to the limitations of the public neurosurgical system, private neurosurgery clinics have emerged to offer expedited access to specialized spine care. These clinics are often founded and operated by neurosurgeons who have chosen to practice outside of the public healthcare system, providing services on a fee-for-service basis or through private insurance arrangements. Private neurosurgery clinics may offer a range of interventions, including consultations, diagnostic imaging, minimally invasive surgeries, and post-operative rehabilitation, with a focus on personalized care and efficient delivery of services.

The availability of private neurosurgery for spine in Canada presents several potential benefits for patients. First and foremost, private clinics offer shorter wait times for consultations and surgical procedures, allowing individuals to receive timely care and potentially avoid further deterioration of their spinal conditions. Additionally, private neurosurgery clinics may provide access to advanced surgical techniques and technologies that are not readily available within the public system, potentially leading to improved surgical outcomes and faster recovery times. Furthermore, the personalized nature of care in private clinics may contribute to a more patient-centered experience, with greater emphasis on individualized treatment plans and comprehensive post-operative support.

If you were put on a long wait list to see a neurosurgeon for your spine issue contact Health Vantis to find out how we can help you get an MRI review and a phone consultation with a neurosurgeon in Canada or the USA. You can reach us toll-free 877 344 3544 or email us at info@healthvantis.com

Private Intracept Spine Procedure

Many Canadians suffer from lower back pain. A lot of money is spent on chiropractors, massage therapists, and physiotherapists trying to alleviate the pain. When all conservative methods fail, a minimally invasive procedure can be considered. It is called Intracept or basivertebral nerve ablation. It is not yet offered in Canada.

With the Intracept procedure, the physician makes a 3mm to 5mm incision in the lower back. A radiofrequency probe is then inserted to access the center of the vertebrae at the trunk of the basivertebral nerve. Then heat is applied through the probe desensitizing the nerve making it unable to transmit a pain signal.

The procedure is very minimally invasive and does not change the structure of the spine, thus the recovery time is faster and the risk of complication is low. The procedure is done under general anesthesia. You will need a responsible travel companion to come pick you up and take you back to your hotel room for recovery.

To be a good candidate for this procedure very specific requirements have to be met. Modic changes in the spine have to be present. Modic changes are bone marrow lesions seen within a vertebral body on MRI. These changes are suggestive of being associated with low back pain.

Health Vantis can arrange a consultation with a neurosurgeon to review your MRI and see if you may be a good candidate for this procedure. To find out more reach out to us by email info@healthvantis.com or toll-free 877 344 3544

Private Spine Surgery in New York City

Private surgery in Canada and the US can be expensive, especially if you don’t know where and how to look. Health Vantis has a prime location for Canadians looking to arrange private spine surgery.  That location is in New York City.  Who doesn’t like to travel to the Big Apple?   This location has several direct flights coming from Canada to 3 different airports in the surrounding areas so logistically, there is not a better place to travel.  

The bonus to this facility is that the pricing is very competitive, in some cases, much more affordable than other locations we can offer.  The surgeons are top notch in their specialty and you are able to review their credentials and pick which one you’d like to have your surgery with. 

Health Vantis manages your case from start to finish.  We will get your consultation arranged, transfer the medical records, assist with pre and post-op requirements, book your travel and accommodations, prepare border letters and also handle the airline fit to travel guidelines with handicap assistance for your trip home.

Listed below are some of the private spine surgeries offered.  Pricing is all-inclusive with surgeon fee, anesthesia fee, facility fee and Health Vantis’ fee for managing your case.

Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion (ACDF) 1-level $18,700 USD and 2-level $19,800 USD. This is a Surgery to remove a herniated or degenerative disc in the neck region.

Anterior Cervical Interbody Fusion 1-level $17,050 USD and 2-level $18,150 USD.  Bone graft is placed between two vertebrae replacing the existing disc in the cervical region.

Cervical Disc Replacement 1-level $23,100 USD and 2-level $24,750 USD. This is a surgery to remove a diseased cervical disc and replacing it with an artificial disc in the neck region.

Cervical Laminectomy, Facetectomy & Foraminotomy 1 segment $9,900 and 2 segment $11,000 USD.  Laminectomy is the removal of the lamina in the affected area in the neck region.  Facetectomy is the removal of the diseased facet joint which impacts the nerve root in the neck region.  Foraminotomy is the removal of the bone around the neural foramen in the affected area of the spine in the neck region.

Lumbar Microdiscetomy 1 interspace $12,100 USD and 2 interspace $9,130 USD. This is a surgery to remove part or all of a bulging or damaged/herniated disc in the lower spine.

Thoracic Laminectomy, Facetectomy & Foraminotomy 1 segment $9,900 USD and 2 segments $11,000 USD.  Laminectomy is the removal of the lamina in the affected area of the mid region spine.  Facetectomy is the removal of the diseased facet joint which impacts the nerve root in the mid region spine.  Foraminotomy is the removal of the bone around the neural foramen in the affected area of the spine in the mid region spine.

For more information about how Health Vantis can assist you in booking your private spine surgery at this location or elsewhere, please reach out to us at 877-344-3544 or info@healthvantis.com.

Is Private Cervical Disc Replacement Available in Canada?

Is Private Cervical Disc Replacement Available in Canada?

Artificial disc replacement is a treatment therapy used when all other traditional therapies have failed and only after extensive testing is completed.  The testing would include a discogram, which is aided by x-ray technology.  This test can determine whether the patient’s pain is directly caused by a degenerative disc.

Degenerative disc disease means the disc between the vertebrae has worn down or lost some or all of its cushioning.  The discs act as shock absorbers and when there is little to no cushion, it creates pain.  Artificial disc replacement surgery replaces the bad disc in hopes of better mobility and pain relief by restoring the disc to its original height.  This provides less risk for the adjoining discs to degenerate as seen in spinal fusions.

Finding a private spine surgeon in Canada is very tricky because there are really only a couple of surgeons practicing on a private basis.  Private cervical disc replacement is very specialized and requires an experienced neurosurgeon.  There is only one surgeon we know of currently doing these on a private basis.  He recently started offering them after many years of research and data to feel comfortable enough that it would be a successful surgery.

If you have been told you are a candidate for private cervical disc replacement, contact us and we can facilitate this surgery for you with an experienced neurosurgeon in Canada or the US.  We can be reached at 877-344-3544 or info@healthvantis.com.

Is Private Lumbar Disc Replacement Available in Canada?

Is Private Lumbar Disc Replacement Available in Canada?

Artificial disc replacement is a treatment therapy used when all other traditional therapies have failed and only after extensive testing is completed.  The testing would include a discogram, which is aided by x-ray technology.  This test can determine whether the patient’s pain is directly caused by a degenerative disc.

Degenerative disc disease means the disc between the vertebrae has worn down or lost some or all of its cushioning.  The discs act as shock absorbers and when there is little to no cushion, it creates pain.  Artificial disc replacement surgery replaces the bad disc in hopes of better mobility and pain relief by restoring the disc to its original height.  This provides less risk for the adjoining discs to degenerate as seen in spinal fusions.  Lumbar disc replacement can only be done on 2 of the discs, the last two which are L4-5 or L5-S1.  It is also reserved for those patients with discogenic pain, ie. a form of low back pain caused by chemically or mechanically damaged intervertebral discs.

Finding a private spine surgeon in Canada is very tricky because there are really only a couple of neurosurgeons practicing on a private basis.  Private lumbar disc replacement is very specialized and requires an experienced neurosurgeon who has had extensive training doing them.  Currently, we do not know of anyone doing these on a private basis in Canada so going to the US would be the next likely option.  Because it is so specialized and the patient needs to meet very specific criteria, there are not as many neurosurgeons doing lumbar disc replacement as there are cervical disc replacement.

If you have been told you are a candidate for private lumbar disc replacement, contact us and we can facilitate this surgery for you with an experienced neurosurgeon.  We can be reached at 877-344-3544 or info@healthvantis.com.

Private Cervical Fusion vs Private Cervical Disc Replacement

Private Cervical Fusion vs Private Cervical Disc Replacement

Private cervical spinal fusion surgery and private cervical disc replacement surgery can be done in Canada or the US.  There are a lot more options if you go to the US, where the pricing will be comparable.  What is the difference between a cervical spinal fusion and cervical spinal disc replacement?  Let’s find out what each surgery encompasses and how they differ.  

What is a Cervical Spinal Fusion?

Cervical spinal fusion is the surgery that uses artificial bone material and other substances so they heal into a single solid bone. This, over time, can improve the stability of the spine and eliminate pain, however, will limit the range of motion for that joint.

What is a Cervical Spinal Disc Replacement?

A cervical disc replacement differs in that the surgeon inserts an artificial disc in the disc space.  Some patients are not good candidates for cervical disc replacement if they have a history of cancer, degeneration, bone infections, scoliosis, or osteoporosis.

Disc Replacement vs Fusion Surgery

Cervical disc replacement surgery is a fairly new surgery so there is not a lot of information out there, especially for long-term success rate and outcomes.  What is known is that it allows for greater movement and mobility than a fusion.  It acts as a real disc and is designed to function as if it was a natural disc whereas cervical fusion welds bones together not allowing for movement in that specific area.

Spinal fusion is known to create more stress on the vertebrae above and below the artificial disc.  With a disc replacement, the movement is naturally still there, which could reduce the risk for further disc degeneration in the future.

Spinal disc replacement surgery also has a much quicker recovery time.  Because you do not need to wait for the bones to completely fuse together, which can take several months, even up to 18 months, most people resume their normal activities within a 4-6 week time frame.  

We have options with credible and experienced surgeons that can do both of these procedures.  If you are interested in a private cervical spine surgery, give us a call to set up a consultation to see which procedure would be right for you.  You can reach us at 877-344-3544 or info@healthvantis.com.