Costa Rica’s economy thirty years ago was based on agriculture, nowadays the main source of income for the country is tourism.

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This comes as no surprise as Costa Rica has 6% of the biodiversity of the planet, two distinctive coastal lines, an immense array of dramatically different ecosystems very close to one another and a stable political environment.

Other important contributing factors have been the education system. Costa Rica has a literacy rate of over 94% and an excellent health system.

Costa Rica’s health care system has been ranked 23rd by the WHO (the World Health Organization) which is the same level as many ‘developed’ industrial countries.

Costa Rica Plastic Surgeon Dr. Oscar.

To watch this short video with Dr. Oscar, please click on the small white triangular Play button below and allow a few seconds for the video to begin.

Plastic surgery is one of the medical specialties which has enjoyed enormous growth, not only in its re-constructive chapter but also in cosmetic surgery. Surgical and non-surgical procedures have increased year after year.

Reasons to Consider Plastic Surgery

Plastic surgery is an option for many who want to enhance the shape of their bodies, render their nose or eyelids, or bring a better appearance to other areas of themselves. Not being happy with the way you look is something that a patient does not have to accept for their entire lives, and modern medicine has more options than ever to change problem areas that may make one feel insecure.

Sometimes drastic accidents can make one need plastic surgery. Mishaps in the workplace, falling down on the ice, bites from animals, burns, and sporting accidents can all leave marks on the body that the patient will want to make disappear as much as possible.

Birth defects and birthmarks such as cleft lips, issues like ear deformities, and skeletal imperfections can cause a patient very noticeable emotional barriers, and make one feel not at ease with themselves. Reconstructive breast surgery is common among women who have had the need to undergo a mastectomy.

If a patient has been successful in losing a huge amount of weight very quickly, they will be dealing with excess skin that proves very stubborn to shrink. Removing the skin is one way to positively render the appearance of the damage that was caused by the wear and tear of being overweight in the past.

Types of Plastic Surgery Available in Costa Rica

There are various surgeries available to the patient here, and many come for the benefit of much lower cost. Even though some may be a bit nervous to pack up and head to a foreign place to have plastic surgery done, this is a very developed nation, with the reputation of having incredibly able doctors and staff.

With the addition over recent years of contemporary laser technology, the ability for the surgeons here has been stepped up quite a bit, and many traveling to get work done are taking notice.

The most popular surgical procedures are lipoplasty (liposuction), eyelid surgery, breast augmentation, nose surgery and the facelift. The most popular non-surgical procedures are Botox injections, chemical peel, skin fillers, micro-dermoabrasion and laser hair removal.

It is estimated that 8.5 million procedures were performed last year. Women tend to have the majority of the procedures (7:1) over men.

The age distribution of these cosmetic procedures is broken down as follows: 44% are aged 35 – 55 years, 25% are aged 56 – 65 years and 22% are aged 19 – 34 years.

Here are some of the procedures that you can undergo during a stay while in Costa Rica:

Breast Implants: These are used to surgically alter the size, shape, and enhance the feel of a woman’s breasts. Women who are unhappy with the way they look currently, or are cancer survivors may opt to have implants to help them feel more confident, and appear in their desired fashion.

Liposuction: This is a procedure that removes fat from the body, and can drastically change its appearance and shape. The areas operated on can include the thighs, buttocks, abdomen, and the backs of arms. It is the most common plastic surgery procedure in the United States, and people from many walks of life such as performers and those who are in the public eye desire to undergo this procedure.

Rhinoplasty: This is the procedure commonly known as a “nose job”, and helps remove any visible birth defects, or change the angle between the nose and mouth. During this procedure, the plastic surgeon creates a more proportionate nose by separating the soft tissues and nasal skin from the framework of the nasal passage, and then uses tissue glue to assure proper placement and healing.

Tummy Tuck: This is a very popular procedure that many turn to who have not been able to achieve the flatness and/or weight loss in their stomach through diet and exercise. Also waging a surgical fight on the effects of aging and multiple pregnancies, the tummy tuck remains a very popular request for those coming to Costa Rica for plastic surgery.

Eyelid Surgery: This is a very popular choice for those that are looking for a youthful appearance, and removes or tightens skin around the eyes. Some patients also are looking to have this done to put in place a crease where one is missing, and this is a pretty simple procedure that the patient can recover from in around a week.

Costa Rica has firmly established itself as a well-known destination for plastic surgery due to the quality of its specialists, excellent level of its health care and reasonable costs.

According to the Costa Rica Ministry of Tourism in the last set of statistics, ‘health tourism’ represents 6-8 % of the total number of tourists coming to the country. This group is composed of two activities in the health sciences: dentistry and plastic surgery.

It would be my guess that this 6-8% estimate is probably on the low-end, after all, how many people actually confess to visiting Costa Rica for a face-lift?

After finishing their basic medical education, many Costa Rican physicians have studied in some of the best known plastic surgery schools throughout the world: In the United States, Mexico, Brazil and Europe.

When they return to Costa Rica, they establish their practices and keep their skills up to date with ‘state of the art’ surgical techniques and trends, through medical literature and attending the important world congresses of their specialty.

The Quality of Hospitals for Plastic Surgery in Costa Rica

Probably the most popular destination for plastic surgery in Costa Rica is the Rosenstock-Lieberman Center for Cosmetic Plastic Surgery in San Jose. It has been in operation since 1982, and offers services ranging from tummy tucks to liposuction and thigh lifts. The procedures here are done on an ambulatory basis, and so staying at a nearby hotel or retreat for recovery is highly recommended.

One reason why many frequent this location is that the head surgeons are members of the American Society of Aesthetics Plastic Surgeons, and the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery. This gives much-added weight to the claim that the doctors are skilled and trained for the task at hand here, and that one doesn’t have to have a pre-conceived notion about operations being primitive in the least. The Chicago Tribune themselves wrote a story on how cost-effective and results-driven surgeons that do tummy-tucks are here, and many in search of help paid close attention.

Another location that most reputable surgeons and specialist tend to work closely with is the modern hospital in Costa Rica – Hospital CIMA which ensures patients will receive the same excellent treatment that they would be accustomed to in the United States or in Europe.

Hospital CIMA San Jose is equipped with the most modern technology available and is affiliated with the well known Baylor College of Medicine in Dallas, Texas. This provided patients with the highest standard of attention.

With the personalized attention that a well qualified plastic surgeon will give you in addition to the security and peace of mind that only a world-class hospital provides, all this adds up to a unique and comforting package of professional services for people coming to Costa Rica seeking high quality cosmetic surgery.

How about the Levels of Safety with Plastic Surgery in Costa Rica?

Plastic surgery is the type of procedure that one will be more likely to get done if a family member has done, and even after encouragement and referrals, many are worried about how safe it is to get this kind of work done. With any surgery, there is risk of infection, and for something like breast implants, it carries a higher risk then a nose job.

Testimonials on the web say that overall procedures such as liposuction on the sides have a pretty minimal amount of pain, and patients here that have undergone procedures on local anesthetic have gotten through the process just fine. For all of the modern elements and over-sterile environment that it seems these facilities may lack, the extra consultation time with doctors is what many who come here love, and makes them feel even safer.

When it comes right down to it, many of the elements of hospitals and plastic surgery centers in the States that are selling points are incredibly cosmetic. The amount of money that is put into the structure of a building and extras simply cannot make up for the amount of attention you get, and that is one of the traits that makes these facilities in Costa Rica safe.

The Patient’s driving Desire to Keep Cost Down

Many people who are looking into getting plastic surgery done are not the exact customer type that one would expect. The different types of patients that need plastic surgery are not all from very wealthy families that can afford to pay any price to look and feel better.

During the 1980’s, many patients realized that plastic surgery procedures were pretty safe, and you can end up with a very desirable outcome. As costs skyrocketed and America’s plastic surgeons charged fees that seemed to be rising every year, many began to look for other ways to remedy their cosmetic issues, and not spend so much money.

Costa Rica is one of the most cost-effective and still well-equipped locations to have plastic surgery procedures done. Especially over the last decade, patients in the United States have been stressed out about procedures not being covered by insurance, cost of prescription drugs, and an overall lack of dignity and sense of care when they see a specialist. In Costa Rica, you may feel a few twinges of discomfort when you arrive and it seems unfamiliar, but as you meet your surgeon and become settled in, you’ll realize that there has been much development here in the medical sector lately.

For every reason that one wants to have plastic surgery in a lower-cost location, there are always folks that say “You get what you pay for”. One thing that really governs the way that business is done in the United States is malpractice insurance, and the nonexistence of this in Costa Rica is one of the key factors that are keeping costs so low.

Lower labor costs and a lower cost of living in Costa Rica have made Costa Rica plastic surgery costs significantly lower than in the United States or in any other country where the outrageous costs of insurance against frivolous lawsuits are literally forcing physicians out of business.

Just as in any other country, it is important to do your homework and choose a qualified, well trained, experienced and caring plastic surgeon. Working with an inexperienced surgeon in any country could result in some horrific problems.

To be safe, you may wish to only interview plastic surgeons that are affiliated with the biggest and best hospitals such as Hospital CIMA just outside San Jose.

You will feel comfortable knowing that these medical professionals have been previously checked by the hospital. There is also the Professional College of Physicians (Colegio de Medicos y Cirujanos de Costa Rica), which can provide accurate information in regards to the credentials of each individual.

Coming Costa Rica to experience a plastic surgery at a lower cost will surely ease the pressure on the pocketbook, and you will leave Costa Rica feeling more confident, presentable, and healthy.


Dr. Oscar received his undergraduate degree of general medicine from The University of Costa Rica. He studied General Surgery in the same university and during his last year, he fulfilled the position of Chief of Residents and Interns and later worked as General Surgeon before continuing his studies.

His Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Specialization was done in the Jalisco Institute of Plastic Surgery in Mexico, under the direct supervision of world renowned Plastic Surgeon Dr. José Guerrero-Santos, and graduated with one of the best grades of his generation.


Costa Rica Dra. Gabriela Solano Video.


To watch this short video with Dra. Gabriela Solano (a fully trained Doctor) who works closely with Dr. Oscar, please click on the small white triangular Play button below and allow a few seconds for the video to begin.

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There are 6 comments:

  • Rosalie Monteiro at 1:39 pm

    Hello, I am coming to Costa Rica for Dental Implants. Since I am coming I wanted to find out about eye lid surgery, mostly I have excess skin under my eyes that I would like to remove or lift. I am 55 years old and in great health. What are your thoughts about having eye lid surgery while getting dental implants?

  • sal. altimari at 10:27 pm

    I am 72 years old in near perfect condition.and need work on my face to bring a more youthful picture. I am not looking for miracles.just a more alive look.. I am planning on coming on july 26 to get all information (cost.time of recoup.and what to expect? Thank You Sal Altimari em PH 561 452 3339

  • Terry at 11:58 pm

    Please provide information on the typical cost of tummy tuck surgery on a fit 65 year old.

  • Effie Psaradellis at 5:14 pm

    Hello, I will be coming to Costa Rica this October of 2019. I will be staying in Jaco beach I would like to have some consults for eyelid surgery and tummy tuck. May I have a suggestion for a good clinic or hospital to meet with. Thank you.

  • Bonnie DeFrancesco at 5:38 pm

    I’m coming to Costa Rica October 20th 2019 for a dental crown over a implant and would also like to have my old breast implants removed and new ones put in along with a lift done while I’m there. Is this possible and a good idea to have done? I will be staying in Jaco and need to know the cost and recovery time? I’m 70 years old and in excellent shape. Thank you,

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