Tracy McManamonContact a Case Management Specialist! Call Today at
(877) 549-1212 or Email Us!

Medical Tourism – World Class Physicians & Facilities

Is Gastric Bypass Surgery- Right For You?

Written by: Tracy B. McManamon, 2017

Losing weight can be hard. There are hundreds of diet plans and exercise videos out there that all claim to help you lose large amounts of weight in a very short period of time. Many of us realize that it is impossible to do so and that weight loss requires hard work and dedication.

There are some individuals who despite the very best efforts are unable to lose significant amounts of weight in order to look the best they can be. Doctors now recommend that these individuals who are struggling with being overweight seek gastric bypass surgery as an option to lose weight. Here we take a look at this procedure in a little more detail.

gastric bypass surgery

Click here for your Free Weight Loss Resource Guide

What is gastric bypass surgery?

Gastric bypass surgery is a surgical technique that is aimed towards reducing the size of the stomach so that the quantity of food that is consumed is lowered. By performing the surgery, the amount of calories ingested every day reduces remarkably and, subsequently, the body fat is burnt to supply the body with energy. This results in significant weight loss in a short period of time.

How is gastric bypass performed?

In order to perform gastric bypass surgery, it is essential that all individuals have undergone rigorous diet and exercise routines in an attempt to lose weight first. Realizing that this can be quite difficult to do, some people fail despite the very best efforts.

Gastric bypass is performed under general anesthesia with a laparoscopic approach. In the first stage of bypass surgery, the stomach is accessed through an incision in the abdomen. Through these incisions, small instruments are inserted that help visualizes the stomach and the neighboring structures. The stomach is then divided into a small upper section and a large lower section. The small section now becomes a part of the human digestive tract while the larger section remains as a standby and serves no purpose. The smaller pouch can get filled with only a few morsels of food, as it is about the size of a walnut.

At the lower end of the small pouch is created an opening to which the jejunum (the first part of the small intestine) is attached so that food eaten can pass into the rest of the digestive tract for absorption of nutrients.

The entire surgery can take up to 4 hours to perform.

Is gastric bypass surgery effective?

There is plenty of scientific evidence that confirms that gastric bypass surgery is an effective weight loss procedure. In fact, it is also been shown to reverse Type II diabetes in obese individuals. While weight loss is guaranteed, it is important for individuals to recognize the fact that diet and exercise should still form the big part of their daily routine. Weight loss occurs gradually over a period of time and individuals can expect to lose a great deal of weight within the first few months.

The risks of gastric bypass surgery are small and when performed by experts can have excellent results. Gastric bypass surgery is a safe and effective procedure for weight loss. Expert surgeons in the Caribbean have performed this surgery with fantastic long-term results.

Affordable Travel Insurance – Top 10 Things to Know

Here are the top 10 things you need to know about affordable Travel Insurance.

Written by: Tracy B. McManamon
Travel Insurance

Click Here for a Downloadable Copy of this Post!


If you are traveling outside the United States (even into Mexico or Canada), most insurance carriers will not provide any insurance coverage. Travel Insurance can be the solution to having coverage for medical or in some cases even dental treatments while outside the country in the event you become sick or injured.


With a Travel Insurance policy, a patient can receive medical assistance, pharmaceutical services and in some cases even dental coverage while traveling abroad. Your carrier likely will cover the cost of emergency medical assistance, even for the transportation to the hospital, which can be very costly in a foreign country.


If something tragic happens while traveling abroad, your remains will be sent back to your home and paid for by the Travel Insurance carrier, covering the extremely expensive cost of repatriation.


If something serious happens to you while traveling outside of the country and medical transport to another qualified and skilled hospital, facility, or even back to the States is needed, the Travel Insurance will not only coordinate this with a team of U.S. doctors, but the carrier will even cover the cost. Medical Evacuations can cost up to tens of thousands of dollars. With Travel Insurance, the carrier covers all the cost.


Before any care or treatment is provided, hospitals abroad require payment in advance. Also, because you will be a patient in a hospital there is a daily fee. Travel Insurance will guarantee payment and U.S. doctors will monitor your care and treatments abroad. Wherever you are, English speaking Doctors back in the States will coordinate your care and a team of 24 hour per day representatives will be there to answer you or a covered family members’ questions and provide numerous services for you.


In the event of your trip being cancelled or even interrupted, you could experience a significance financial loss. Trip cancellation protection as a part of your Travel Insurance plan, will cover the loss that might otherwise be devastating. If your trip is cancelled or get’s cut short, you may get reimbursed all or some of your expenses.


In the event that you injure, hurt, or damage other’s property, while traveling, the Personal Liability portion of your Travel Insurance Policy could cover these damages or injuries.


Many, if not all, Travel Insurance policies may provide protection for legal matters that you might become involved in abroad.


Personal items, lost luggage and even lost cash may be covered under a Travel Insurance Policy.


Not all Travel Insurance policies or carriers are the same. Some companies have a better reputation than others. Selecting a well established globally recognized insurance carrier is extremely important. Be sure to READ the conditions, especially the exclusions that apply.

Affordable Total Knee Replacement: Top Tips

Total Knee Replacement: Facts

Total Knee Replacement: Top Tips  

The top tips you need to know about a total knee replacement. It is a type of surgery used to substitute the natural diseased knee joint with an artificial one. Usually, this kind of procedure or treatment is recommended when the knee joint is either weak or non-functional due to a disease.

This treatment option is preferred when medical or physical therapy is no longer effective for the patient. In most cases, the bones forming the knee joint are worn out, causing pain and impairment of movement. It is different from partial knee replacement in terms of surgery cost and recovery period. Patients who are considered for a Total Knee Replacement usually suffer from a chronic bone disease that affects the knee. Some of these diseases include rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, severe bone deformity, and loss of knee joint stability following an injury.

Total Knee Replacement: Top Tips

 It is not a complicated procedure but requires proper follow-up and post-operative physical rehabilitation.

This is normally done through physical therapy, occupational therapy and use of walking aids before full recovery is attained. It is important to undergo the procedure in a medical center that is well equipped with rehabilitation facilities and highly trained professionals. This will ensure a faster knee replacement recovery period.

The normal knee joint is formed by three bones; the thigh bone (femur) and the leg bones (tibia and fibula). Total Knee Replacement: FactsIn the diseases listed above, there is either loss of bone material or cartilage at the point where the joint is formed. Other structures that support the joint such as ligaments and menisci may also be damaged. A Total Knee Replacement aims to remove the diseased parts of the joint surfaces and replace them with artificial custom-made prostheses. The patient is prepared for surgery through undergoing several labs and imaging tests. The results of these test will ascertain whether the patient can handle the surgery process well.

During the surgery, the first step involves exposure of the front of the knee. Once the marl-functioning parts are removed, the implants are put in place. The prostheses come in different makes and they vary in type of material; some are made from metal alloys and some from plastic. They are also custom designed for each patient’s specific needs. A suitable replacement can be found based on the patient’s weight, age, gender and level of everyday activity. All these factors will contribute towards the knee replacement surgery cost, which may vary from one individual to another.

Total Knee Replacement – Medical Tourism

Total Knee Replacement

total knee replacement is an orthopedic procedure where by the joint is replaced with artificial material. During a knee replacement, the end of the femur is removed and is then replaced with a metal shell that is connected to a channeled piece of plastic attached to the tibia. If needed, a plastic “button” is added under the kneecap surface, completing the prosthesis. A ligament known as the posterior cruciate usually stabilizes each side of the knee joint so that the lower leg cannot slide back behind the femur. Depending on the needs of the patient, this ligament may be retained, sacrificed, or substituted for a polyethylene post.

Who Should Consider a Total Knee Replacement?

Those whose knee joints have been severely damaged by trauma, progressive arthritis, or diseases of the joint should consider undergoing a total knee replacement. These conditions can cause decreased daily function, stiffness as well as increasing pain. The most common condition resulting in knee replacements in the U.S. is osteoarthritis. Before choosing to undertake this procedure, patients should be aware of the risks as well of the benefits when making their decision.

What Should You Expect from Your Knee Replacement?

90% of patients who have undergone this procedure have reported a drastic reduction in knee pain as well as enhanced mobility. This procedure however cannot return your knee to its pre-arthritic condition. Realistic actions post-surgery include swimming, unlimited walking; light hiking, driving, ballroom dancing and low impact sports. Because normal wear and tear on the artificial joint can be exacerbated, surgeons recommend that you stay away from high impact sports such as jumping, jogging and running.

Benefits of Undergoing Knee Replacement with Medical Tourism

In the United States the average cost of a total knee replacement is $49,500 and with changing insurance regulations going into effect, many will not be approved for this procedure. However, medical tourism solves all of these problems. The average cost of a knee replacement in locations such as Europe and the Caribbean is 75%  less than in the U.S. and with the rapidly growing health industry and influx of American trained surgeons, waiting times are at a minimum.  Even with the costs of traveling and accommodations, thousands have experienced drastic cost savings by choosing medical tourism.

For a free quote contact International Med Retreat at (877)549-1212

Meet Our Costa Rica Doctors

Costa Rica Doctors

Dr. Jacobo Zafrani – Bariatric

Dr.Zafrani - Costa Rica DoctorsMeet one our Costa Rica doctors! Dr. Zafrani is an experienced Bariatric surgeon who has performed over 3,500 Bariatric procedures in his medical career, and performs 300 on an annual basis. Dr. Zafrani graduated in 1996 from UACA University as a general practitioner, and after a successful career as a general practitioner, he went on to continue his medical training and graduated in 2008 as a general surgeon from the University of Costa Rica.


Some of his additional studies have included:

  • Sleeve Gastrectomy training with Dr. Garnier (known as the Father of Sleeve Gastrectomy) at Cornell University in New York, 2005.
  • Basic training and course work in laparoscopic surgery procedures, Cendeis.
  • Advanced training and course work in laparoscopic surgery procedures, UNNE, Corrientes, Argentina.Training and course work in laparoscopic colorectal surgery, UNNE, Corrientes, Argentina.
  • Training and course work in gastric banding (Inhamed), Panama.
  • Training and course work in gastric sleeve procedures, NY USA.
  • VAC, Panama.
  • Post graduate training in bariatric surgery, ALACE 2006.
  • Coordinated the first training seminar for advanced laparoscopic surgery procedures in San José, Costa Rica.
  • Masters of Minimally Invasive Bariatric Surgery, USA, 2008.
  • Speaker for 1st national congress in Guayaquil, 2008.
  • Trainer in CIELTA for general surgery courses.
  • Trainer in ATLS in Costa Rica.
  • Minifellowship in gastric bypass and metabolic surgery in Sao Paolo, Brazil, 2010
  • Course in SILS surgery, 2010.
  • Speaker for first meeting of laparoscopic surgery, Ecuador, 2007.
  • Speaker for the 3th residents national congress in Salvador, 2008.
  • Speaker for the National Congress in Costa Rica, 2010.
  • Speaker for the Clinical Journeys in Omni Hospital, Ecuador, 2010.
  • Speaker for the Medical Journeys of Clinica Biblica Hospital, 2011.
  • Speaker for the Latin American chapter of IFSO meeting, 2011.
  • Speaker for the IFSO meeting in hamburg, Germany, 2011.

Dr. Zafrani is also the representative of the Costa Rican chapter for the International Federation for Obesity Surgery and is the founder of the first training center for minimally invasive surgery in Central and South America. Even though Dr. Zafrani practices in Costa Rica, he was born in the United States and so speaks fluent English and Spanish.