Medical Tourism in Costa Rica

Costa Rica’s healthcare system is very advanced, particularly in the city of San Jose, and is considered one of the best in Latin America. For some procedures, it ranks higher than the US.

The country boasts highly-competent specialists in plastic surgery and dentistry, which are two areas of treatment most in demand. With additional recent medical advancements, heart, kidney and liver transplants are now offered, as is bone marrow transplantation. The World Health Organization gives high marks to the quality of medical care in Costa Rica.

World-renowned as a leader in eco-tourism, Costa Rica boasts tropical rainforests, stunning mountain vistas, fabulous beaches, an ideal climate and friendly, welcoming people. There is now an increasing awareness that the country is also a premier destination for quality medical treatment at amazingly low prices.

The country’s specialists in cosmetic surgery procedures are fully-credentialed and are experienced in the latest surgical and non-surgical techniques available. Costa Rica’s Plastic Surgery Board provides listings of physicians who are credentialed members of the national association. In addition, the board will provide information on whether a physician is currently certified or preparing for certification.

Costa Rica’s cost of living and the strong value of the US dollar in relation to the country’s currency means medical services cost much less here than in the US. Every year, thousands of US citizens take advantage of the low cost of procedures and the high level of quality care provided by Costa Rica’s cosmetic surgeons and dentists. By the early 1990s, approximately 15 percent of all visitors to Costa Rica entered the country specifically to undergo some sort of medical treatment.

Typically, a patient will plan on a week to 10 days in Costa Rica, which allows time for a procedure and a short recovery period. The actual time spent, of course, depends on the complexity of the surgery and the number of follow-up visits required. With medical tourism packages, a patient will often spend a few days sightseeing, undergo the planned treatment and then spend some time in a suitable location, such as an eco-tourist destination, for rest and additional sightseeing or recuperation.