Surgeons of Hope’s returned to Costa Rica after a 3-year hiatus because of the pandemic. A medical team from Chicago, led by Dr. Luca Vricella arrived in Costa Rica on February 12, 2023 and performed  corrective surgeries for congenital heart defects on six children at the Hospital Nacional de Niños in San Jose, Costa Rica. The team consisted of one surgeon, one OR nurse, two cardiologists, an anesthesiologist, a perfusionist, and two ICU nurses. They were accompanied by two members of the Surgeons of Hope Foundation.


Coming from different regions of the country, the six girls and boys with had access to highly complex corrective surgeries that they had been waiting for, some for over a year. The team worked in tandem with the local cardiology team, surgeons, and nurses at the Hospital Nacional de Niños. The surgeries were performed by the local surgeons with oversight from the visiting team.


Resident physicians and cardiologists in training also participated in medical discussions. The professionals described the experience as positive, both in terms of the surgical mission, as well as the knowledge they shared on surgery and anesthesia techniques, with faster recovery in the post-surgery period. Here are a few pictures from the successful visit. Surgeons of Hope plans to return in Spring 2023.