Meet Our Partner in Costa Rica

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Meet Our Partner in Costa Rica

The Spatz3 Adjustable Gastric Balloon is used in more than 30 countries worldwide, including Costa Rica, Australia, Italy, France, the United Kingdom and Spain. In each country, Spatz Medical pairs with local doctors and clinics in order to ensure that patients who choose the Spatz3 Adjustable Gastric Balloon have the best possible care before, during and after their procedures.

In Costa Rica, our partner is the GastroInline practice of Dr. Jorge Vargas, which is housed in the San Rafael Clinical Hospital. The hospital is located in Guanacaste, one of the most beautiful tourist destinations in all of Costa Rica. The clinic offers an interdisciplinary approach, with close follow up from the nutritionist, psychologist, and gastroenterologist on staff before, during and after the placement of the balloon. There is also a certified physical trainer with specialized training in the management of obesity available for those patients who are interested.

What makes the GastroInline clinic extra special is its expertise in medical tourism. Approximately 20% of their gastric balloon patients are from the US or Canada. This is especially welcome news for people from the US, since the use of gastric balloons has not yet been approved by the FDA for use in the United States.

The cost for private patients from outside Costa Rica, including those from the US, is $3900, which includes the balloon’s insertion and removal, eight visits with Dr. Vargas himself, eight visits with the nutritionist and six visits with the psychologist. For more information about medical tourism in Costa Rica, click here.

Dr. Vargas has a fine command of English. He told Spatz Medical that he decided to start using the Spatz3 Adjustable Gastric Balloon after hearing a lecture at the United European Gastroenterology Week in Vienna, Austria. According to Dr. Vargas, “the presentation showed very promising results with the use of this type of balloon.”

Dr. Vargas graduated with honors from the Universidad de Costa Rica, the third most prestigious medical school in Latin America. He completed a fellowship in advanced therapeutic endoscopy with Professor Costamagna in Rome, Italy.  Today, Dr. Vargas performs complex endoscopic procedures on a regular basis.

According to Dr. Vargas, the Spatz3 balloon, is “an excellent method as a kick start for moving into a healthy lifestyle. It offers a minimally invasive, low risk way of losing excess weight.” Dr. Vargas emphasizes the importance of the patient’s willingness to change his lifestyle in order to have sustained success.

If you’re considering having a gastric balloon procedure in Costa Rica, or if you’re a US citizen looking for a clinic that has lots of experience with medical tourism, contact Dr. Vargas’ GastroInline clinic to get all your questions answered.


Author: Rebeca Espinoza

Rebeca Espinoza writes about health, fitness and weight loss for Spatz Medical, makers of the Spatz3 Adjustable Gastric Balloon.  You can find her on Google+ or at



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