Dreal- New Spinal Technique

A new technique called Dreal was developed for posterior unilateral thoracic discectomy.  Dreal is a curved high speed drill that assists in thoracic discectomies.  It removes disc material that can normally be difficult to access, quickly and thoroughly, providing a large clean bony surface for the discectomy.  This reduces removing too much bone and results in a better outcome.

This procedure also allows for the removal of calcified and soft disc fragments without manual maneuvers.  In traditional surgeries, this would require forceful maneuvers done manually by the surgeon, which could manipulate the spinal cord.   By eliminating that, it improves patient outcomes, reduces complication rates and allows for safer treatment of thoracic disc herniations. The design also allows easier, safer access for the surgeon to reduce the chance of trauma, resulting in a better outcome for the patient.  By being able to quickly and precisely remove the bone, operating time is reduced.  This in return reduces complications and/or infection.  

While this is still a fairly new technique and not available in Canada yet, it is available in the US. Contact us for details to find out if you are a candidate for this kind of procedure at 877-344-3544.

 

Health Vantis

877-344-3544

www.healthvantis.ca

SuperPATH for Total Hip Replacements

SuperPATH for Total Hip Replacements

SuperPATH (Super capsular percutaneously-assisted total hip replacement) is a recently developed technique that is less invasive than traditional approaches. It only requires a 3” incision, which reduces the number of muscles and tissues that are normally cut or damaged. 

During a traditional hip replacement, hip dislocation is done.  This increases your chances of having a dislocated hip post operatively.  With SuperPATH, there is no hip dislocation.  It allows the surgeon to build the implant in place, therefore, resulting in zero risk of dislocation after surgery.  By having the ability to protect all of the important structures around the hip joint, it will protect critical tendons from stretching or traumatizing the muscles that are so important to your hip function.

An additional benefit of this technique is faster recovery time.  Patients are normally able to walk with little or no assistance within a couple hours of having the surgery.  Pain level postoperatively is low.  Because it is such a small incision, scarring is kept to a minimum and rate of infection is low.  There are little or no limitations on activity. You are still able to cross your legs or bend forward.  

If you’d like to see if the SuperPATH technique is right for you, give Health Vantis a call at 877-344-3544 and we can connect you to a surgeon trained to do this technique.

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.

February Newsletter 2020

3 Easy Steps to Working with Health Vantis

Have you ever been subject to a lengthy delay in medical services that left you looking for alternative options?  If so, you probably know how frustrating and time consuming it is trying to find a private facility to have it done sooner.  Many people do not even know where to start so their first jab at it usually involves making countless phone calls to places found on the internet, most of which lead you to dead ends.  If you do get a call back and need a price for a surgery, they will have you going in circles to get an all-inclusive price.  The whole process can be daunting and even more frustrating when you compound the emotions of already having to wait.  

By the time we get the phone call, the customer is already exhausted from all of the work they’ve spent trying to locate someone on their own. Many are incredibly frustrated and appalled by the fact they can’t be seen in a timely manner and are left to feel like no one cares about their health or situation.  It makes them feel helpless.   We understand these feelings because we’ve been in their shoes before.  

Health Vantis was created to help those left in these kinds of situations to provide them with immediate pricing and pre-vetted, leading health care professionals and facilities to meet their needs.  The countless hours you would spend doing this yourself can be achieved quickly with Health Vantis.  Our process is designed to make things seamless so all you need to do is focus on your health and recovery.  It can be broken down into 3 easy steps.

Initial Contact: Evaluation and Medical Overview

Our initial contact involves us getting details to your needs, concerns and expectations.  Most of the time we can offer an initial ballpark price.  (*Challenging or uncommon cases may require one of the doctors to review your records prior to getting a price).  If you would like to get an exact price, we would need to collect your medical records to be sent off to a couple of facilities for a medical review. To start the process, we require a $100 CAD non-refundable administrative fee to do this.  Our Consent and Release form need to be signed at this time to allow us to safely receive and transfer your medical records and facilitate obtaining information you need to make an informed decision.  You are under no obligation to proceed with a surgery or treatment.  

Decision Making:  You Are In Control

After the medical review is completed, we provide you with the accurate pricing, facility and surgeon credentials, any requirements such as blood work or EKG that might be needed prior to surgery, time frame the surgery can be done, how long you will be required to stay and any other information you may need so you can make an informed decision.  If you need to speak directly with the surgeon prior to making your decision, we can make the arrangements for that to happen.  Once you’ve made the decision to proceed, we start planning the remaining details to your surgery.  This includes your transportation, hotels, and any post-op treatment you might need.  We charge 10% of the cost of the surgery (in CAD dollars) to do this and it is collected at this time.  

Logistics:  Scheduling, Traveling and Follow Up

A personalized medical travel guide will be provided to you.  This includes every detail necessary for your surgery such as pre-op instructions, what to expect post operatively, appointment times, facility location, hotel and transportation details and any other information pertinent to your trip.  Once your surgery is complete, we continue to check in with the surgeon, you and your companion until you are fully recovered.  

It is important to note that we do not contract out any of our services.  We care a great deal about our customers and like to be involved from start to finish to ensure a successful outcome.  We are always available and spend a great deal of time walking you through the process.  

If you are considering private options, contact Health Vantis prior to investing hours of searching and making phone calls.  Your time is valuable and your health is important.  Our level of dedication and due diligence in finding the right facility for you will provide the stress free process you need to ensure a smooth and safe surgery!

The Hidden Costs Of Medical Tourism

Considering traveling abroad to get a medical treatment, diagnostics, and/or second opinion and wondering how much it costs? We addressed cost issues in several of our blogs in the past.  Today we wanted to bring to our reader’s attention the hidden costs of medical tourism.

It could be broken down into two categories – financial and non-financial. Monetary hidden costs are a bit more manageable if one prepares and asks the right questions before going.

Potential Unexpected Financial Costs

  • Unexpected medical complications.  All surgeries carry a risk of complications. Talk to your medical tourism professional about them. Arrange an interview with prospective doctors to better understand the rate of complications. We highly recommend looking into purchasing a medical complications insurance for traveling abroad to receive medical treatment such as Global Protective Solutions.
  • Hidden hospital charges. Ask how much it costs if you need a longer hospital stay.
  • Is the price you were given an all-inclusive price?  Questions you need to ask are: Does this price include the surgeon fee, facility charge, anesthesia, pre and post op medications, and pre-op testing such as blood work or EKG.  In some situations such as a GYN surgery, there might also be a biopsy required.  Would this be included?  In the case of an orthopedic surgery such as a joint replacement, is the implant included?  No one likes an unexpected bill so be sure to ask all of these questions upfront!
  • Additional testing for diagnosis such as a CT Scan or MRI.

Non-Financial Costs

  • The cost of not talking to your primary care provider in your home country can be very high and it is potentially harmful to your overall health. Your family physician has the most knowledge about your situation and if you inform her of your intended travel you will place yourself in a much better position to mitigate the risks. She will be able to talk to you about different health scenarios for your particular condition. It will be easier to consult her when you are back home. No one likes surprises and it’s not worth the risk. Sometimes it can be difficult to bring up this conversation but is well worth the efforts. All Canadian doctors are aware that medical tourism exists and for the most part are supportive of it.
  • Access to the doctor who performed your surgery or treatment can be limited. This one should be closely discussed and reviewed as you are going through your quotes and selection of medical specialists and facilities.
  • Arranging follow-up care can be challenging and costly. Find out the recovery time and what you need to do. Your medical tourism facilitator can provide you with a quote and connect you to a physiotherapist so that you can continue the recovery process when you are back home. If you have supplemental health insurance your physiotherapy may be covered.  If not, the cost of a therapist traveling to your home is about $90 per session.

All these considerations are a lot to think about and are easy to forget. Ensure you either have a good medical facilitator to keep track of these or print this list and keep it as you go through your research.

World Cancer Day

February 4th was World Cancer Day.  There are currently over 100 types of cancer people battle with every day.  Not all cancers present noticeable symptoms, however,  knowing what some of them are may provide you with the knowledge of when to have something checked out.  See the infographic above for some of the more common symptoms. *Infographic courtesy of World Cancer Day.Org

5 Tips to Help with Exercise in Winter

We all know that winter and its colder temperatures can lead to hibernation moods.  Shorter daylight can bring about a lack of motivation to go outside for a run or drive to the gym. It is, however, very important to stay active in winter. In some parts of Canada winter last longer than some people would hope for, and the need to exercise does not diminish. Below are 5 tips to get moving in winter

  1. Bring your workouts indoor – get a gym membership. If a paid gym is out of the budget, set up a small area in your home where you can practice yoga, lift weights or follow an online workout class. All you will need is a yoga mat, your phone and a set of weights.
  2. Join your kids or grandkids in their outdoor play. Some fresh air and moving around is sure to follow!
  3. Dress according to the weather and go outside – walk your dogs, have a look around your neighbourhood, observe winter changes at a local park.
  4. Get a group of friends to commit to a winter exercise routine and motivate each other to stay on track.
  5. Embrace the winter! It gives us an opportunity to ski, snowboard, skate, snowshoe, walk (yes, it is still an exercise in winter!) Pick a winter sport you might enjoy and give it a try!

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.

Private Spinal Fusion Surgery

Minimally invasive surgery is one of the more common words used to describe newer surgery approaches and techniques. Spine surgeries are not an exception. We even came across ultra-minimally invasive when doing research. Things have definitely moved on in the past few years and spinal fusions are now routinely done on an outpatient basis.

However, the meaning of minimally invasive can be confusing. As we know, any surgery is a bit of a shock to your body. Recovering from surgery can take time.

The recovery from traditional spinal fusion was lengthy and painful. The traditional approach was to make an incision that is 5 to 6 inches long, move the muscles aside so that the surgeon can see the spine. One of the major drawbacks of open surgery is that the pulling of muscle can damage both the muscle and the surrounding soft tissue. Therefore, recovery is lengthy and painful. There is an increased risk of blood loss and infection.

Minimally invasive spine surgery was developed to treat spine issues with less tissue and muscle disruption. Through the use of specialized instrumentation, intraoperative navigation, advanced robotics and microsurgical techniques, surgeons are able to perform many common spinal procedures through very small incisions. These techniques lead to more rapid recovery, shorter hospital stays (often < 24 hours), less pain, lower complication rates, and faster return to work. There is less bleeding, fewer days spent in the hospital (if any) and therefore less risk of infection.

Many spine conditions can now be treated with minimally invasive surgery. Your neurosurgeon will be able to determine if you are a good candidate based on the sources and type of back pain you are experiencing and your diagnostic tests, such as X-ray and MRI.

Health Vantis provides access to no wait spinal fusions in the US. All surgeons are board-certified. Contact us now to find out more details on how you can get better sooner. Toll-Free 877 344 3544