One other thing that was discovered was that Gerardo had high cholesterol, which is hereditary. Within hours, and several IV’s later, Gerardo was feeling much better and on his way to recovery. The treatment he received at Hospital Mexico was excellent, on par with any private care we have experienced anywhere in the world.

Unfortunately for my mother, this would not be her last visit to the doctor. Having a long history of kidney problems (infections and stones), she developed a bad kidney infection. We found Dr. Fabian Fonseca Guzman, who practices at Hospital CIMA and Clinica Catholica in San Jose. He quickly discovered that my mother had a 1.5 cm stone that was blocking the passage between the kidney and bladder.

She was treated for the infection, and with-in a month underwent surgery to remove the stone. Things did not go so smoothly. Once inside, Dr. Fonseca discovered the stone was imbedded, and the infection had not cleared up. He drained the kidney but was unable to safely remove the stone. Stints were put into place as well as a drain to help clear the infection.

At this point he was afraid she would lose her kidney, but was optimistic. One month later, she was well and could have the stone removed. The kidney was working perfectly and all was well in paradise. Dr. Fonseca was not only amazing in treating my mother, but his compassion for her was beyond compare. He is a true example of what a doctor should be with impeccable bedside manners.

After all the emergency treatments had been taken care of, we finally had time to figure out what was causing my mother’s back pain. It all started about 8 years ago just before she retired. For years, she had been having lower back pain and it was getting progressively worse. Back in Tampa, she had seen several doctors, all of which tried treating the problem but no real diagnoses was given.

After several rounds of nerve blocks, spinal injections, and 1.5 years of treatment with prednisone, my mother was worse, but had gained over 100 pounds, that was straining her small 4’10” frame. A close friend of ours who lives in Costa Rica, recommended Dr. Javier G. Brenes, a neurosurgeon at Clinica Biblica in San Jose.

My mother took all her previous records to her appointment with Dr. Brenes. He started by taking an extensive history, then asking where the pain was located. Then he asked my mother to walk, then lay down on the examination table so he could take a closer look. Within five minutes, before looking at my mothers previous exam reports, he knew what the problem was.

He diagnosed her with two bulging disc’s, spinal stenosis, and bone overgrowth on the joint facets. Dr. Brenes suggested an aggressive treatment that started immediately. The treatments he prescribed are helping, but not a cure. To completely correct the problem she will eventually need surgery, but Dr. Brenes is very cautious with patience like my mother due to her diabetes.

As word spread within our network of family and friends, several people have taken the journey to Costa Rica, taking advantage of the quality medical services that they otherwise could not have afforded back home. One friend Bobby, from Florida, was so impressed with all the stories he had heard and read, he sent his wife, Carol down to have extensive dental work.

Before the the decision was made, Carol had several quotes back in Florida, but after a few phone calls to Costa Rica, she arranged everything, including her 2 weeks stay, which turned into a vacation and they saved over $20,000

Bruce and Ingrid, a couple we have been friends with for over 15 years had a very similar experience on one of their extended trips here to Costa Rica. Bruce had long wanted veneers and Ingrid needed a crown. Their work together totaled around $10,000

Back home they would have spent just over $30,000 Now that Ingrid had first hand experience, she recently returned to have some general abdominal surgery, that was not covered by her medical insurance, as it was considered a “pre-existing” condition. Back home in Wisconsin, this surgery would have run close to $40,000 but here in Costa Rica? Just under $9,000

At the moment, all is quiet on the medical front for our family. I have been very fortunate that in the last few years I have been very healthy and have not needed medical attention here in Costa Rica.

Having had the medical experiences with my family, I know when that day comes, I will feel 100% confident in the treatment I will receive. The quality of care, compassion, and attention you receive from the medical industry here in Costa Rica, are on par with any other “developed” country in the world. I should dare say superior.

If you have medical issues that are not covered by insurance in your home country, it would behoove you to check into treatments here in Costa Rica. You won’t be disappointed.

Pura Vida!

You can read Part I of Costa Rica Health Care: Our family’s first hand experience here.

Costa Rica Health Care: Our family’s first hand experience. Part II/II

Article/Property ID Number 3395

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