In this interview article we speak with Cathy Pighini and her husband Richard who are American citizens from North Carolina, USA.
Over the past few years Cathy has suffered from significant back pain and stomach pain. She has visited numerous Doctors in the USA who have helped her but “the costs have been staggering.”
Cathy was diagnosed in the USA with a uterine fibroid tumor and after her Doctor recommended abdominal hysterectomy surgery which is one of the most complex gastrointestinal surgeries you can have.
She did “extensive internet research” into her medical problems and all possible solutions which is when she came across www.WeLoveCostaRica.com “while looking for information about Costa Rica.”
Question: How has WeLoveCostaRica.com helped you? “An article about Doctors in Costa Rica prompted me to do further research about having surgery done in Costa Rica.”
Question: Did you investigate the education and training of these medical professionals? Yes! Again using the internet, as well as calling and emailing the Embassy”
Question: How did you assure yourself that the medical staff had the proper skill to take the best possible care of you?
“For quite some time, I have researched Costa Rica in many aspects. Medical care being a primary concern for me. I have read books, internet articles, spoke with others that have been there. After I spoke with Dr. Eduardo (who was recommended by Scott at WeLoveCostaRica) through email and telephone and had studied the information he relayed to me regarding the complete procedure.
Dr. Eduardo made me feel very comfortable when he answered my questions and I put my trust in him and the staff and Hospital CIMA.”
Question: You mentioned to me earlier that your husband who obviously cares for you very much was naturally hesitant about coming to Costa Rica? Why was that? “He felt that Costa Rica was a third world country and in keeping with that feeling had doubts about the quality of medical care and medical expertise as compared to known quantities in the US”
Question: How did he overcome that fear?”He relied on my research and my feelings of comfort having the surgery performed in Costa Rica.”
Question: What were your initial reactions when you actually met with the Costa Rican Doctors, Surgeons and the Dentist? “I was overwhelmed at their courtesy, patience and helpfulness.’
Question: What did you think of their equipment and their facilities? “CIMA Hospital is as good or better than any hospital I have visited in the US and the equipment used, the procedures implemented left me feeling very safe and secure.”
Question: How did you feel they treated you as a ‘human being?’ “Better than any Doctor I have ever seen.”
Question: What was their ‘bedside manner’ like? “The bedside manner of the Doctors and staff made me feel extremely pampered and cared for.They took the time to make me smile and laugh. They made me feel like a friend rather than a patient.
Question: How were you treated by the medical staff pre-operatively, in the Operating Room (before you were put to sleep), and during post-operative care? “They were extremely professional, caring and friendly. One of the nurses in pre-op came to tell me her story and success with the same operation and stayed with me for several minutes to make me feel relaxed and confident.”
Question: Was your post-operative pain/discomfort handled well and quickly? “I was there for three days and never once did I have to call for pain medication. The nursing staff always came in to check on me and ask if I needed or wanted anything. They let me know that I had pain medication at anytime I felt it was needed.
After the second day, my stomach was quite distended and one or two of approximately five nursing staff came in every five minutes to check on me. They even got a physician not connected with my case to come in and check on me because they were so concerned.”
Question: How soon were you up and about and moving around? “I was actually doing a little walking the next day.”
Question: How was the food in the hospital? “As well as having the required nutritional value, I found the food to be extremely tasty.”
Question: How long were you in Costa Rica for and how long were you in hospital? “We arrived in Costa Rica on March 24th and departed April 25th. The surgery was done at about 5pm on April 1st and I left the hospital about 11am on April 4th.”
Question: What happens if you have problems possibly related to the surgery when you return to the US? “In all sincerity, I don’t expect any problems. But, I was given all my records, X-Rays, instructions, reports etc., to give to my physician should the need arise.”
Question: How are you feeling, physically, right now? “Like I could go dancing and today is only April 18th!!!”
Question: You were quoted a variety of prices for the abdominal hysterectomy operation in the USA that were around US$20,000. At the end of the day, how much did you pay for the same operation in Costa Rica? “It was a little under US$3,700 for everything including the Doctor, surgeon, hospital stay, tests and anaesthesiology”
Question: How does that compare with the costs in the USA? “There really is no comparison. Even if I had insurance in the US, the 20% deductible that I would still have to pay is more than what we paid for the entire operation in Costa Rica.”
Question: So how much money did you end up saving? “Depending on which quote we compare it to but we saved between US$16,000 to US$21,000
Question: Now that you have been here what do you think of the medical care that you received and also of Costa Rica? “The medical care rates as well as the top care given in most US hospitals and better than most. We love Costa Rica and are ready to move here.”
Question: And how does your husband feel about everything now? “There would be no hesitation at all to return to Costa Rica for any subsequent or additional medical care.”
Superior Surgery Solutions in Costa Rica.
If you are hoping to have some surgery done by a highly qualified, experienced, English speaking surgeon who will charge you significantly less than what you would expect to pay in the USA, please answer the simple questions below and Dr. Eduardo Loyola – consulting physician with Superior Surgery Solutions – will contact you within the next 24 hours to help you find the best surgeon for you:
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