Private Laser Spine Surgery

Private Laser Spine Surgery

Those experiencing back pain may wonder what laser spine surgery is and if it could help them relieve the back pain. Laser surgery gets a lot of attention as people think it is something new. However, it really is not. The holmium laser was FDA approved in the 1980-ies for use in orthopedic and spinal operations.

A laser is a focused beam of light.  The purpose of it is to burn the source of compression the beam is directed at. Surgeons have been using lasers to remove portions of soft tissue that presses on the nerves in your spine, such as herniated disk or a ligament enlargement, as well as certain types of tumor. Lasers may also be best for shrinking disc material around a nerve.

However, they are not very effective when it comes to spinal stenosis. Bone does not respond that well to the heat from the laser. Mechanical bone cutting instruments are needed to perform surgeries to relieve pain from bony stenosis.

Remember, laser is just a tool. Its successful use requires experience and proper training. There is still an incision that needs to be made and there is a greater risk of damaging nerves or tissue with a laser. In addition, there is no scientific evidence that laser spine surgery is in any way superior to a non-laser approach.

So, is laser surgery right for you? Talk to you doctor and inquire about his/hers experience with laser. If you need help navigating the landscape of private spinal treatment centers and specialists’ qualification, we are here to help. Give us a call toll free 877 344 3544 and we will ensure you have the best information possible to make the right decision about your private laser spine surgery.

Private Herniated Disc Surgery

Private Herniated Disc Surgery

A herniated disk is a common cause of back and leg pain. Spine discs normally act as a cushion and shock absorber between our spine bones, or vertebrae. When a disc in our spine is damaged, such as bulged or broken, it is pressing on nerve roots and causing pain.

First line of treatment is a non-surgical one, such as changing your activities, physiotherapy, steroid injections, anti-inflammatories or pain medication. If none are helping and pain has persisted for over 6 weeks, surgery can be considered to take pressure off the nerve roots. The surgery removes the bulging disc material that is pressing on the nerves. Necessary diagnostic tests must be done prior to considering surgery, such as MRI, CT scan or Myelogram (use of dye for X-ray).

Most common type of surgery performed for herniated disc is called discectomy. There are several approaches to discectomy. A traditional and most common technique is open discectomy, with or without the use of an operating microscope.

If a microscope is used the surgery is considered minimally invasive. The use of it illuminates and magnifies the surgical field and allows the surgeon make very small incisions. It is also called microdiscectomy. This type of surgery offers immediate relief from sciatica due to a lumbar herniated disc.

Endoscopic microdiscectomy is a technique where a small incision is made and an endoscope is used to visualize the interior structures of the spine and the bulging part of the disc. The smaller space needed for endoscope allows for smaller incision. This type of surgery is not suited for everyone suffering form back pain.

Percutaneous discectomy is another minimally invasive surgery to treat a herniated disc. A special tool is used to remove the herniation by heating it or scraping it. This type of surgery is not appropriate for everyone either. It does provide a faster recovery due to a very small incision.

Laser discectomy is yet another minimally invasive approach. In this type of surgery, the bulging disc material is not removed but burned by the laser.

When considering spinal discectomy, ensure you talk to your surgeon about your options. It is also very important to have a surgeon who is highly skilled in the type of surgery you are seeking. If you need help sorting through different private spinal centers and their doctors and specializations, Health Vantis is here to help. Give us a call and we will ensure you have the best information possible to make the right decision about your private herniated disc surgery.

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 Treatment for Skin Cancer

Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in Canada.  There are over 80,000 cases diagnosed each year.  Although there are several types of skin cancer and treatment options, one of the preferred treatments is a Mohs procedure.  Unfortunately there are only 17 surgeons in all of Canada that are trained to do this and the wait time on average is 10-12 months.  It is no wonder that many will opt for private treatment for skin cancer removal.

Mohs is used for certain types of skin cancer because it has a cure rate of 98 to 99 percent.  It is useful for those that have a high risk of recurrence, borders that are difficult to define in areas that require as much healthy tissue preservation as possible and are large or aggressive in nature.  Mohs is also important in areas where cosmetic appearance and aesthetics are essential such as on the face.  Personally, I’d prefer a trained and licensed plastic surgeon if it was on my face, however, there are only 2 plastic surgeons in Canada trained to do a Mohs procedure.  

If you are put on a wait list to have skin cancer removal, do not delay in getting this done.  Contact Health Vantis and we would be happy to find you a skilled doctor to have the private treatment for skin cancer done.  For more information on Mohs treatment, visit the Skin Cancer Foundation website.


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Where Can I Have A Back Fusion Done Privately?

Back pain is one of the toughest ailments to treat.  Many times after all non-invasive avenues have been exhausted to maintain pain control, it results in a need for surgery, such as a back fusion.  Back fusion has one of the lengthier wait times.  For those who cannot wait, unfortunately, there are not facilities in Canada to have a back fusion done privately.  This would need to be done outside our borders.

The US has private back fusion options and they do not have to break the bank as ‘Dr. Google’ would suggest.  You will get astronomical numbers in the six digit range if you ask google this question and it simply is not true.  At least, not if you are a cash paying customer.  The prices you find will most likely be insurance quoted pricing.  *The fully accredited, fully vetted facilities we work with can do 1-level anterior cervical fusions for under $25K and 2-level for just a little over that.  A 1-level lumbar fusion will run you under $40K with a 2-level closer to $45K. These can be done minimally invasive, which has less down time, less chance for infection and a quicker recovery.

If you are considering a cervical or lumbar back fusion done privately, contact Health Vantis.  We can find you the most appropriate surgeon and location for this.

* Pricing is always subject to change and based on straight forward cases, for otherwise healthy individuals. 

Health Vantis


February Newsletter

Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

My 10 year old son has a good friend and hockey mate that was diagnosed with B Cell Lymphoblastic Lymphoma in October 2017.  His treatment is approximately a 2.5 year program and his family recently celebrated 365 days left of dealing with this horrible disease.  If all goes well, this means: 2,892 more chemo pills, 12 more infusions in his port, and 4 more spinal taps left for him. This doesn’t include all of the other things that will need to be treated such as a broken bone due to the weak bones from all of these drugs (he’s had 2), pneumonia due to a suppressed immune system or other viruses his body can’t fight off.

The bravery and wisdom I’ve seen from this little being who’s only been here for 10 short years surpasses most adults I know.  One of the things I have learned from them is that:

  • 1 in 3 children who survive 5 years past diagnosis will die at a young age due to side effects from the drugs they had to take that put them into remission.
  • By the time they turn 45, more than 95% of childhood cancer survivors will have a chronic health problem and 80% will have severe or life-threatening conditions.
  • 1 out of 285 children will be diagnosed with cancer before the age 19.
  • There has only ever been 4 FDA approved drugs specifically developed to treat children’s cancers.  All other drugs were developed for adults.
  • Only three new drugs have been developed for the treatment of childhood cancers in the past 45 years.
  • If they are fortunate enough to beat cancer, they will most likely have watched a friend they made along the way not be as lucky. 

What Can You Do To Help?

  • Donate blood or plasma.  Chemotherapy and radiation can damage the cells in the bone marrow that manufacture platelets and blood so it is almost a given they will need a transfusion at one point or another.  Blood banks rely on the goodness of others to donate for reasons such as this.
  • Support organizations or events like St. Baldrick’s, Alex’s Lemonade Stand or Coins4CURE
  • Start a fundraiser such as a 5k run or Jump-A-Thon to raise money and awareness
  • Volunteer at a Children’s Hospital or Treatment Center.
  • Instead of your child receiving birthday gifts, have the party guests bring an item to be donated to the cancer unit at your local hospital.

Resources For Those Who Have Childhood Cancer

What Do Patients Want?

What exactly do patients want?  While the list might be long, here are a few of the top things that come to mind:

Communication – Patients go to a doctor for a problem and hopefully a solution.  Sometimes, we don’t know or understand what our body is doing and have a multitude of symptoms.  We want our doctor to listen attentively to us so our needs are heard and understood.  We rely on our doctors to have strong communication skills.  Conveying medical information to a non-medical person can be challenging.  To have it explained in a manner you can understand with clear and accurate instructions creates an easier and comfortable relationship.

Compassion – Although there are a handful of doctors who don’t have the strongest ‘bed side manner’, the majority of them do.  They go into their profession to help others and we expect compassion and understanding when we see them.  Patients want to be treated as a person and not a disease or number.  The doctors ability to express empathy gives the patient the security in knowing their best interests are being served.  

Trust – In any situation, trust is normally earned and the same would apply to your relationship with a doctor.  Patients are more likely to follow through with a doctors recommendations when they feel a connection to the doctor, which can be assumed as trust in them.  At times we need to request respect for our own thoughts and judgements.  A doctor that will allow this and take that into consideration can create a bond of trust between both parties.  We also want trust in knowing that our information will be kept private and protected, adhering to privacy rights. 

Transparency – Knowledge is power.  We’ve heard this statement over and over again.  Being given the good, the bad and the ugly with open transparency for our situation can provide us with information to make an informed decision.  Doctors do have limits and guidelines they must work within just like any profession and they are not miracle workers.  Just because we want a certain result doesn’t mean they can produce it but if we have all of the facts, we can be assured the doctor is providing the right course of action.  

Quick access – Patients want to be able to see their doctor in a reasonable amount of time. With the shortage of doctors in Canada, this can sometimes be challenging.  Referrals to specialists can be months long and even getting an appointment with a GP for an acute illness may not happen right away.  We want our pain to be short lived and to feel better as soon as possible.  Waiting for appointments, diagnosis tests such as a MRI and surgery need to be done in a timely manner.  Convenience is almost demanded in today’s world as well.  Virtual visits (ie. telemedicine) and in house employee access to a medical program are options that are becoming more popular to accommodate this.

Their Time – Time is a valuable commodity.  When we see a doctor, we want our appointment time honored and their full attention. We want all of our questions answered and to not be rushed or treated like a number.  Doctors sometimes have to dedicate more focus than expected to another patient or be pulled away for an emergency.  This can cause a delay in keeping to your scheduled appointment.  Most doctors can appreciate the value of your time and are not creating delays on purpose.  Keeping this in mind and knowing you could be that person needing additional time on another given day will help long delays seem more bearable.



Are There Private Facilities That Do GYN Surgery?

There are a handful of surgery centers in Canada that can do private surgeries should you wish to pay out of pocket.  Most of them are doing orthopedic surgery or minor surgery such as hernia repair. But what about GYN private surgery?  The short answer to this is probably not.  There really are not any private facilities that do GYN surgery within Canada, at least not for the more common surgeries such as a hysterectomy.  

Many GYN surgeries are non-urgent in Canada.  Although it might be considered a non-urgent surgery, it can really affect a woman’s hormones on a day to day basis causing moodiness or depression.  Some women experience heavy bleeding and anemia as a result or painful cramps along with that.

If you are on the wait list and do not want to wait, consider calling Health Vantis to connect you to private facilities that do GYN surgery.  There are newer, less invasive alternatives now to treat GYN disorders.  The private facilities we work with can offer robotic assisted surgery or a cervical ablation in place of a hysterectomy.

Health Vantis


Private Neurosurgeon Clinics in Canada?

We get a lot of calls from people who feel frustrated because they are unable to deal with their back pain any longer.  They’ve had their MRI or X-Rays and know they need to see a neurosurgeon, however, their wait time to see one is months away. Some people are told that they will need surgery, however, the first step is to see a specialist and that is a long wait. Then there is more waiting for the surgery itself.  Great News! Health Vantis has access to private Neurosurgeon clinics and consultations sooner.  

Most provinces are not going to have a Neurosurgeon that can see you on a private basis. This can be tricky and creates a challenge in locating someone.  Most likely, travel and of course cost would be incurred.  For some, it would be worth every penny.  You have to weigh the benefits vs costs on how long your wait is, how much pain you are in and how it is affecting your daily life.  If you are considering locating a private neurosurgeon clinic, contact Health Vantis and we would be happy to help.

Health Vantis



Private Arthroscopic Discectomy

Private Arthroscopic Discectomy

Back pain can disrupt your life and limit your mobility and therefore ability to walk, run, play sports and enjoy life. Your doctor may order an MRI and/or X-ray to see what is happening in your spine. If you have a herniated disc and no other issues, your doctor may recommend arthroscopic discectomy.

Arthroscopic discectomy is a procedure performed on the lumbar spine (and the cervical spine to some extent). Micro-tools are used to perform it. The surgeon will use a range of such micro-tools, including mini-callipers, lasers and micro-vacuums in conjunction with a laparoscopic microscope to view the surgery site up close.

The procedure is minimally invasive and the recovery time is minimal. People report immediate pain relief and the surgery is generally performed under local anaesthesia, as an outpatient procedure. The procedure requires that a qualified surgeon who has specific training performs the operation.

In many Canadian provinces, the wait time for back surgery is quite long. Waiting in pain can make it hard on you. Many Canadians prefer to check a private arthroscopic discectomy option. If you have been diagnosed with a herniated disc Health Vantis can help you find, vet and arrange your private arthroscopic discectomy.

Call us to find out all the details and see if you are a good candidate for this type of surgery.

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.