woman exercise walking

Why Canadians Are Heading South for Warmth – and Medical Treatment

In Canada, it is likely to take more than a half of a year before a chance at relief from the pain of peripheral artery disease (PAD). A survey conducted in September of 2022 found that 41% of Canadians (approximately 12.8 million people) had a difficult time accessing or were totally unable to access key health services during the six months before the study.1Patients experience the most difficulty getting in to see a specialist. In fact, 58% of Canadians surveyed reported that, in their experience, seeing specialist was either impossible or difficult. The average wait time between referral and seeing a specialist is over three months. The shortest waits to see a specialist are two and a half months in Ontario and the longest waits are in Prince Edward Island at over 10 months. Further, from consultation with a specialist to the time that a patient actually receives treatment is over three and a half months.

This means that for patients with leg pain, cramping, non-healing wounds, and an impaired ability to walk due to pain, seeking vascular care in Canada is likely to take more than half a year before a chance at relief. These symptoms can be caused by a very common vascular disease, called PAD, which occurs when plaque builds up in the arteries of the arms and legs, reducing blood flow.  It starts by limiting mobility, causing pain and cramping to occur in the legs and feet while walking.  However, if left unchecked, the disease progresses to an advanced stage known as critical limb-threatening ischemia (CLTI).  During this stage, a patient may develop pain even while resting, wounds that do not heal, and in some cases, gangrene. 

A half a year of looking for the next spot to stop and rest, of missing out on events with the kids or grandkids, of declining outings with friends, of inability to exercise due to the pain, of waking up in the middle of the night with foot pain, of numb legs, of cold feet, of slow or non-healing wounds, of saying “Hold on, I need a break.”

For patients with critical limb-threatening ischemia, the wait time could be the difference between saving the leg and needing an amputation.

For Canadians with signs of peripheral artery disease who are traveling south for warmer weather during the winter, this presents a unique opportunity to get comparatively fast treatment and relief. Modern Vascular, the United States’ national leader in outpatient, minimally-invasive endovascular treatment of PAD, typically sees patients anywhere between a couple days and two weeks after initially reaching out to the clinic.  Between consultation and endovascular treatment (if needed), Modern Vascular patients can usually anticipate waiting around two to three weeks. For a few outlier clinics in areas with high demand, it can take up to a month or even two, but a patient with severe, debilitating disease will be considered urgent and be expedited. A few weeks is a short wait to visit a specialist clinic with highly-trained, expert doctors, and cutting-edge equipment.

This means in a matter of weeks, patients can walk scenic routes or shopping malls with fewer rests, get back into an exercise routine without immense pain, chase the grandkids around, feel the grass beneath their feet, and attend events without being held back by leg pain or cramping.

Modern Vascular is an outpatient clinic, meaning that patients can return to the comfort of their home the same day as the procedure. These minimally-invasive procedures performed through a pin-prick puncture require no hospital stay and have very little recovery time.

If you’re experiencing signs of PAD, call Modern Vascular to experience relief and properly enjoy the warmer weather.

Post Categories

Modern Vascular

Peripheral Artery Disease can be effectively treated when diagnosed early and properly.

You can schedule a comprehensive evaluation for peripheral artery disease at a Modern Vascular clinic if you believe that you are at risk or to put your mind at ease.

Schedule an Evaluation
Skip to content