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Author Topic: Frustrated in Canada  (Read 2448 times)

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wookey

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Frustrated in Canada
« on: September 22, 2007, 04:10:03 PM »
After two years of limping and being unable to walk for more than ten minutes without pain, Iíve learned I need a new hip.  I am being referred to a doctor who does resurfacing to see if I am a candidate for this procedure.  Fortunately our government health insurance covers this procedure, however, the downside is that the expected wait time for this surgery in Ontario is one to two years. Ouch!  Iíd have it done tomorrow if I could.  The pain is constant and Iím also experiencing pain in the other hip and lower back.  A good nightís sleep is a thing of the past.

My concern is that if I have to wait for more than a year, how likely is it that I will miss that window of opportunity to have resurfacing and have to go to a THR?  Iím also concerned that the long wait will accelerate the wear and tear of my other hip that is also showing signs of arthritis.  I have taken prescription meds for the pain but have had to give it up because of stomach problems and indigestion (even taking stomach protection meds).  I now take Tylenol Arthritis. It doesn't provide adequate pain relief but it's better than nothing.

Iím curious to know if any Ontario residents have received prior approval from OHIP (Ontario Health Insurance) to have surgery out of country.  I know Iím not alone in this situation. Wait times for surgery here are totally unacceptable.

Pat Walter

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Re: Frustrated in Canada
« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2007, 05:09:51 PM »
Hi Wookey

I would guess it would be best to as the hip resurfacing doctor how long you can wait before missing the "window of opportunity" for hip resurfacing.

That's the good and bad of the national health systems. You get it free when they get ready to give it.

Is there any way to speed it up? I think there have been a number of Canadians go to Dr. Bose in India and Dr. De Smet in Belgium for the same reason.  They were in pain and needed it done yesterday.

Dr. Bose can be done for $10,000 - $12,000   some of the other Indian doctors that are very good can be done for less.  Dr. De Smet is starting to get expensive at about $18,000 now. 

I had no health insurance and could not get any.  I just used my credit cards and got my hip resurfaced.  It is was the best investment of my 63 year old life.  An investment in my health and well being.  Better than any used car or even house.  Some times we just have to pay for what we want.  Many of us have had to do that. 

I don't know what other Canadian options your have.  I thought I read somewhere that you could also pay for a private resurf and it was around $10,000  But for the life of me, I don't remember where I read that.

I waited 10 years because I did not want a THR. I spent most of my nights in pain for years.  No medicines even the strong ones like Vicoden help much at night.

I hope someone from Canada can give you some suggestions. You also might want to join the large Yahoo Surface Hippy Discussion Group to see if anyone has any ideas. There are over 6000 memebers and many from Canada.  http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/surfacehippy/

Good Luck.
Pat in Ohio
3/15/06 LBHR De Smet
Webmaster/Owner of Surface Hippy
3/15/06 LBHR De Smet

markgbaker

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Re: Frustrated in Canada
« Reply #2 on: September 28, 2007, 02:09:52 PM »
I am in Ontario and scheduled for BHR on November 14th 2007.  I had never heard of Hip Resurfacing before this past June.  I don't think your information concerning a one or two year wait is accurate.  The two Doctors I consulted reported waiting times of 3 months and 2 months respectively.  There is a very good guy in Montreal, Dr. Antoniou who is probably the leading guy in Canada and certainly known as the "pioneer" here.  He has probably done the most resurfacings in this country.  Another very good surgeon is Dr. Schemitsch in Toronto who has pioneered the use of a digital imaging system to determine the optimum placement of the prosthesis.  There are several guys in Ottawa as well that I have not met.  I have met three men who have gone to Belgium and had their BHR from Dr. de Smet who also has a very short waiting list and they have subsequently had the majority of their costs refunded by the Ontario Health Insurance Plan after a little pushing and shoving.

So, don't be discouraged about waiting times.  I think you need to see someone else.  Feel free to email me if you think I can help more.

wookey

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Re: Frustrated in Canada
« Reply #3 on: September 29, 2007, 01:36:27 AM »
Thanks for the replies.  I'm going to see a doctor in Ottawa next month and was told by his office that the wait is one to two years. I've since been researching wait times across Ontario and notice they have gotten shorter in the large city hospitals (Ottawa & Toronto), whereas the smaller hospitals are now showing longer waits.  These wait times are specific to hip surgery.

I just wanted to explore my options before going to Ottawa and I had already come across Dr. Schemitsch's name and noted the wait times in most Toronto Hospitals are much shorter than Ottawa.  If the wait is, in fact, too long in Ottawa, I'll ask to be referred to Dr. Schemitsch and see if that would speed things up.

motherof4

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Re: Frustrated in Canada
« Reply #4 on: October 03, 2007, 03:03:42 AM »
Frustrated

One or two years is nonsense.  St. Mikes in TO is 2-3 months. Dr. Scheimitsch is the surgeon.  THe problem is this procedure is more expensive than hip replacement and therefore being controlled by OHIP.  There are few doctors who are authorized to perform the procedure, so push harder and demand more.  I've known about this procedure for 18 months, it took 3 attempts before I located the right guy.  Good luck.

Motherof4

wookey

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Re: Frustrated in Canada
« Reply #5 on: October 05, 2007, 01:43:36 AM »
I have every intention of pushing to get this done sooner. I contacted Dr. Schemitsch's office in Toronto yesterday to find out how long the wait is for hip resurfacing and was told 8 to 10 months.  The hip surgery wait time, according to the OHIP website, shows it's only 104 days for St. Mike's.  I want to have some options if there truly is a 1 to 2 year wait in Ottawa. Although 8 to 10 months is better, it's still not good enough.  Perhaps once you meet with the surgeon, you actually get to surgery sooner than they tell you on the phone.  I appreciate the input and will post again after seeing the surgeon.

wookey

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Re: Frustrated in Canada
« Reply #6 on: October 17, 2007, 12:00:20 AM »
I was told today that I am too old for resurfacing!  There were no questions, no discussion about my bones or other health issues - just that a 59 year old female isn't a good candidate for this procedure because bones are generally weakening by this time of life.  I know my bones are better than most females of my age so I find this upsetting.  It was a total waste of time even seeing this doctor if he doesn't even want to consider hip resurfacing on a female over 55 years old.  He told me I'd be better off with THR. 

Pat Walter

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Re: Frustrated in Canada
« Reply #7 on: October 17, 2007, 12:54:46 AM »
Hi

I can tell you that no one is too old for resurfacing unless their own bone density is not good enough.   

I was 61 when I had my hip resurfacing with Dr. De Smet.  I did have a loss of bone density, but Dr. De Smet could tell by my x-rays that I was still a good candidate.  So could Dr. Bose.  Now Dr. Gross of the US wanted a bone density test before he would give me an opinion.

The really experienced surgeons can look at x-rays and tell you whether you are a candidate.  Another 67 year old lady was done about the same time I was by Dr. Ure in the US.

I would suggest trying to go to a different doctor.  I know you are in Canada, but from what I have read, some have done that.  You need a doctor that believes in hip resurfacing.  You need to keep your femur bone since you are still young.  Then if you ever need a revision, you will have a complete femur to be revised to a THR.

If you can't get good info in Canada, consider traveling.  Dr. De Smet and Dr. Bose will give you free consultation via email so you actually know whether you are a good candidate or not.  You can't beat that.  Send them an email with your x-rays attached in a .jpg format.  I guess you have a hard time getting your x-rays. But once you do you can take digital photos of them and send them off.  Then you will know for sure from some of the best experts in the whole world whether you are a candidate.

I am not sure how you work in the Canadian system, but you might want to consider going abroad and paying for what you want.  I did and it cost me about $17,000    Others have gone to Dr. Bose for $10,000 to $12,000     I could have gotten an almost free or free THR, due to our financial situation, but I used what was left on our credit cards to get what I wanted.

I hope you can get a better answer from another doctor.

Pat
Webmaster/Owner of Surface Hippy
3/15/06 LBHR De Smet

 

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