Thursday, August 9, 2012

Average Stay for WISE Patients

WISE would like to thank Jenny from Houston, Texas for submitting the following question:

"What is the average length of stay in Costa Rica for medical tourists and what kind of care is provided?"

The average number of days that a WISE patient stays in country AFTER being released from the hospital or ambulatory out-patient center is 8 days. Most of the 60+ procedures that WISE covers require the patient to stay in the hospital overnight for one night for observation, before being released to their recovery center. Other, more invasive procedures, such as total hip replacements, total knee replacements, gastric bypass, and others require 2-3 nights in the hospital for observation before being released to the recovery center. Also, WISE suggests that patients arrive in Costa Rica at least one day before their scheduled procedure, if at all possible, to make sure that the patient does not feel rushed. When you combine the average of an 8 day stay in the recovery center with arriving at least 1 day prior to surgery and 1-3 nights in the hospital, the total days that an average patient stays in Costa Rica is 10-13. 

Some minor procedures and treatments such as non-invasive dental work and botox only require a patient to stay for a few days in Costa Rica, while other procedures such as a total mouth restoration that needs to be performed over several meetings with the dental specialist will take 3 or more weeks.

The main concerns for all procedures and treatments for all WISE patients are safety and ensuring a great result. This is the basis for the length of stay for all procedures.

To answer the second part of the question about the care provided in the recovery centers...

Because each patient and each procedure is different, there is different care needed for each. All WISE recovery centers have a full-time registered nurse to care for each and every patient. In addition there are personalized meals provided; if someone is a vegetarian, no problem! If someone prefers nothing but meat, no problem! Everything is personalized. Also, WISE doctors and surgeons make trips to the recovery centers to check on their patients when needed or requested, because ensuring that their patients have every thing they need to recover quickly and comfortably is very important to them. Personalized and specialized care is what makes the experience perfect for every WISE patient.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The Do's and Don'ts for every WISE Patient

·         Do plan ahead.

The farther in advance you plan, the easier it is to schedule your trip for the most conducive dates, obtain financing if needed or requested, and to receive the lowest airfares. If possible, begin planning 8 – 10 weeks prior to the date which you wish to arrive in beautiful Costa Rica; if this is not possible, no need to worry, WISE has close professional relationships with all of their providers, doctors, recovery centers, and tourism counterparts and will be sure to get you the best amenities at the lowest possible price.

·         Do be sure about your diagnosis and treatment needs.

WISE will help you coordinate and assess your diagnosis and treatment needs with your local doctor and with the doctor who will be performing your procedure in Costa Rica. Being sure of what procedure you need to have done is vital not only to obtaining an accurate quote, and planning the details of your trip, it is also very important to ensure the best possible outcome for your health. For example: If a prospective patient requests a total knee replacement procedure and they are only in need of a partial knee replacement, the quote, treatment plan, and procedure will be quite different. Certainty of what diagnosis and treatment needs are best for a patient can be obtained with diagnostic testing such as an MRI, CT Scan or X-Ray.

·         Do research the physician that will be performing your procedure.

WISE only works with world renowned doctors and surgeons who carry the highest accreditation and who have performed procedures in their given specialty hundreds if not thousands of times. However, to ensure that the highest level of comfort is achieved, WISE encourages all their patients for all procedures, no matter how big or small, to speak with their doctor in Costa Rica directly before ever coming down to Costa Rica. WISE coordinates all phone calls for their patients with their doctors to make certain that all questions are answered to the patient’s satisfaction.

·         Do consider traveling with a companion.

Traveling with a friend or family member to Costa Rica for your healthcare needs can be very helpful and enjoyable. Having someone that is close to you travel with you will help in sharing the experience in Costa Rica. Also, if your procedure is more invasive, a travel companion can be very helpful in assisting with getting through the airport, when departing for and returning from Costa Rica.

·         Don’t plan your trip too tightly.

Arriving a day earlier than your first scheduled doctors visit in Costa Rica will allow you to settle into your room at your recovery center, eat a wonderful meal, relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery before you. Many WISE patients arrive two or three days early in order to enjoy some of the many things to do while in the country such as: zip lining, canopy tours of the rainforest, beach days, tours at any of the 4 active volcanos, white water rafting, fishing, snorkeling, and much more.

·         Do alert your bank and credit card company.

Informing your bank and credit card company (or companies) of the dates and destination of your travel plans will ensure that your card(s) are not declined or rejected, if you should want to use them for anything while in Costa Rica. The contact information to inform your companies of travel is listed on the back of most credit or debit cards.

·         Do learn about your destination.

WISE has compiled a lot of interesting information about Costa Rica to make learning about this beautiful country very simplistic; this information can be found under the “Why Costa Rica” tab on the WISE website (

·         Do inform your local doctors before you leave.

WISE will coordinate any necessary follow up care for you with either your family doctor that you choose or a US doctor that works within the WISE network; each patient is given a choice for how they wish to proceed for follow up care and everything is in place and scheduled before they even board the plane to beautiful Costa Rica.

·         Do set aside some of your medical travel savings for a vacation.

You and your companion deserve some time off to just relax! If you are unable to take some leisure time during your stay in Costa Rica, then set aside a couple days for some time off once you return home; this helps tremendously in the healing process before returning to work.

·         Do keep your receipts from your trip.

At tax time, your medical trip may very well be tax deductible. In brief, if you’re itemizing your deductions in the US, and if qualifying medical treatment and related expenses amount to more than 7.5% of adjusted gross income, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) allows US citizens to deduct the remainder of those expenses, whether they were incurred in San Jose, California, or San Jose, Costa Rica. For this reason, WISE provides an itemized receipt for their patients to use at tax time.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Study on Type 2 Diabetes CURE

World Institute of Surgical Excellence is now conducting a study on a surgery that CURES type 2 diabetes; there is a limit of 20 participants. Details are as follows:

The treatment has proven excellent results on Type 2 Diabetes patients.

Around a 90% complete remission of diabetes, this means 5 years with stabilized measurements.

The remaining 10% are now on an extremely low dose of blood sugar medication.

There are a few specifications on who´s candidate:
  • 16 to 60 years old
  • Less than 10 years passed since diagnosis
  • Less than 10 year medication protocol
  • BMI under 35
  • *Peptide C and Glycated hemoglobin results
*These tests are going to be confirmed in Costa Rica.

**If you don´t qualify on some of these items, there are several options for you.

The Type 2 Diabetes Treatment consists on a modification of the Gastric Bypass procedure.

The main differences are:

  • The doctor makes a bigger stomach cavity or “pouch”. Since it’s planned for non-obese patients, having a bigger pouch helps them maintain a healthy weight.

  • He also bypasses a few less inches of the small intestine. The part of the small intestine that is bypassed helps stimulate the pancreas insulin production and reduces the hormone that keeps the insulin from activating into the blood stream.

You´ll stay in Costa Rica 9 days and your schedule is:

Day 1: Arrival. There will be a transportation waiting for you at the Airport to take you to the Recovery Center.

Day 2: Pre-Ops and Surgery. This requires a 12 hour fasting period.

Day 3: Afternoon discharge , you´ll have everything set up to go back to the beautiful recovery center, with 24/7 nurse supervision.

Day 4-7: Recovery.

Day 8: Post Op Appointment with the surgeon.

Day 9: Fly home…as a non-diabetic.

Visit us at or email us directly at . You may also watch this brief video with WISE Surgeon, Dr. Zafrani himself:

Friday, April 6, 2012

Expert Questions Direction of American Healthcare

Despite a history of strength and stature in America, the hospital institution is in the midst of massive and disruptive change. Such change will be so transformational that by 2020 one in three hospitals will close or reorganize into an entirely different type of health care service provider. Several significant forces and factors are driving this inevitable and historical shift.

First, America must bring down its crippling health care costs. The average American worker costs their employer $12,000 annually for health care benefits and this figure is increasing more than 10 percent every year. U.S. businesses cannot compete in a globally competitive market place at this level of spending. Federal and state budgets are getting crushed by the costs of health care entitlement programs, such as Medicare and Medicaid. Given this cost problem, hospitals are vulnerable as they are generally regarded as the most expensive part of the delivery system for health care in America.

Second, statistically speaking hospitals are just about the most dangerous places to be in the United States. Three times as many people die every year due to medical errors in hospitals as die on our highways — 100,000 deaths compared to 34,000. The Journal of the American Medical Association reports that nearly 100,000 people die annually in hospitals from medical errors. Of this group, 80,000 die from hospital acquired infections, many of which can be prevented. Given the above number of admissions (in the U.S.) that means that 1 out of every 370 people admitted to a hospital dies due to medical errors.

Check out the rest of the article:

This is much of the reason that Americans are looking abroad to Costa Rica for their healthcare needs.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Now Hiring

WISE is hiring for the U.S. positions of:

  • Regional Managing Partner
  • Executive Consultant 
  • Journalist / Broadcast Correspondent
For detailed information about these U.S. positions, please visit the WISE USA Careers site at:

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Study shows aesthetic beauty is very important to women in US and Europe

 ...Participants provided feedback about the personal gains achieved through the use of aesthetic procedures. About three out of five respondents agreed that they experienced a positive life change after undergoing a facial injectable treatment, and two out of three women would recommend them to a friend. In general, these women reported that their goals in receiving facial injectable treatments were natural-looking, long-lasting results.
In the United States, at a time when the economy is still slow to bounce back and rates of unemployment are still significantly high, some results of the Face Value Beauty Survey may seem surprising. Women in these European countries ranked aesthetic beauty treatments as important enough that they were willing to do without certain other luxuries — as well as necessities — in order to receive these procedures..See the full study here.