Obesity isn’t just an uncomfortable and potentially-embarrassing physical issue; it’s a very serious health matter and can be life-threatening. For some people, rigorous exercise and a nutritious diet are not enough to lose the necessary weight required to be considered healthy and at an acceptable BMI (Body Mass Index – a measure of height in relation to weight). Severe obesity is a chronic condition that isn’t easily treated with diet and exercise alone. Bariatric surgeries are operations on the stomach and/or intestines that help patients with extreme obesity to lose weight. These surgeries are options for people who cannot lose weight by other means or who suffer from serious health problems related to obesity. For many people, these life-changing therapies are too expensive in the USA and Canada or they are not covered at all by insurance. In the USA, bariatric procedures, on average, cost from $20,000 to $25,000; medical insurance coverage varies by state and insurance provider. Thankfully though, there is another option. Bariatric surgeries are available in Costa Rica, and when compared to equivalent procedures performed in North America, the savings can be up to from 50% to 70% over prices in the USA and Canada. Even if you have insurance, you may find that Costa Rica offers more affordable options.
Is bariatric (weight loss) surgery for you?
Losing weight isn’t just about looking better; it is about feeling better, being healthy, living an enjoyable life, and avoiding the serious health consequences of carrying around too much weight. There is mounting evidence demonstrating that overweight people have an increased risk of developing serious health problems, such as: cardiac disease, stroke, diabetes, various types of cancer, gout (joint pain caused by excess uric acid), gallbladder disease, osteoarthritis (wearing away of the joints), and sleep apnea (interrupted breathing during sleep). Bariatric surgery is a life-changing procedure that not only results in weight loss and a change in looks, it also affects how a patient lives, eats and socializes for the rest of his/her life. While bariatric surgery can assist with weight loss, it is important to understand that a complete lifestyle change is needed to successfully sustain a healthy weight. For that reason, when looking for a bariatric surgeon, you should really be looking for a team of professionals who can guide and support you in your weight loss journey.
Relevant questions: Are you:
- Unlikely to lose weight or keep it off long-term using other methods?
- Well informed about the surgery and treatment effects?
- Aware of the risks and benefits of surgery?
- Ready to lose weight and improve your health?
- Aware of how life may change after the surgery? (For example, patients need to adjust to side effects, such as the need to chew food well and the loss of ability to eat large meals.)
- Aware of the limits on food choices?
- Committed to lifelong healthy eating and physical activity, medical follow-up, and the need to take extra vitamins and minerals?
Bariatric (Weight Loss) Surgeries available in Costa Rica
- Gastric Bypass Surgery
- Lap Band Surgery
- Gastric Sleeve Surgery
- Gastric Plication Surgery
- Biliopancreatic Bypass (with and without a duodenal switch)
As with all medical procedures, bariatric surgery should be thoroughly discussed with your doctor to decide which, if any, of these procedures is right for you.
If you are interested in bariatric weight loss surgery in Costa Rica, please fill out the “Help Me Find a Doctor” form. A participating medical specialist will contact you about bariatric surgeries available in Costa Rica.