Travel and packing tips:
Though it is our wish to offer as many possible suggestions and helpful tips as we can, travel arrangements are the responsibility of the patient. We will help in any way we can, but because of the wide variety of ways to travel, and each family's needs being unique, we are not able to manage your travel plans for you.
TRANSPORTATION: Remember to make all your shuttle arrangements in advance. See the shuttle page for details.
PROPER ID - a passport/passport card /OR/ at minimum a valid US drivers license AND your birth certificate (certified- no copies/scans will be accepted) in addition to proof of application. Be prepared to show your documents on return to the US. Email for more details.
MEALS: DO NOT EAT OR DRINK anything for at least 10 hours prior to your surgery. If you have already done so, please let Dr. Levi or Dr. Perez know before your surgery. This could be a life or death issue during surgery. You can have 1/2 cup black coffee during the day, if you cannot tolerate numerous hours without eating/drinking but you must let the doctor know. If you have medical issues, please email so we can assist you with your eating plan.
PAIN - items to consider (not mandatory):
AIR TRAVEL: Request a wheelchair at the airport. Many airports are huge, and they will be happy to provide assistance from gate to gate. They will also allow special boarding for post op patients & possibly other amenities. Let them know at that time that you purchase your ticket that you will be post op and require assistance on your return flight.
CAR TRAVEL: It is imperative that you read the driving instructions on the 'location' page for details about taking your own car. You must stop and stretch your legs every couple of hours going home, and break your long trip down into a few hours per day of driving.
TAXES/INSURANCE - Keep all travel receipts. Mileage, travel expenses, and medical bills can often be used as a tax deductions - or used for reimbursement from your insurance company.
PREP FOR SURGERY - we will send you a notice appx 1-2 weeks prior to surgery
with full instructions - but please note that all finger/toenails must be
100% natural. Also, no jewelry (on any part of your body) can be worn
during surgery. NO EXCEPTIONS.
Bedding: Blankets and pillows ARE provided for your guest (just ask if you need something). Most rooms are equipped with a sleeping couch. There is room for 1 guest to sleep comfortably in your room.
Toiletries: Bring your own toiletries (shampoo, razor, toothbrushes, toothpaste, etc). You will need to shower before we release you. Towels are provided along with bath rags - but if there is anything not in your room, just ask.
Medications: If you are on prescription medications, bring them with you. They must be in original prescription bottle with your name on it.
Food - The hospital will provide food for the patient and one guest at no cost. Additional guests can purchase meals (usually less than $3 per meal). You may want to bring snack foods for travel and your room for your guest. All water provided to the patient and guest is bottled water - no need to bring your own. There are places in town to eat, and someone on our staff will assist you with directions. Vending machines are available for your guest - patients get the doctor's permission before you eat or drink anything. Pesos are required for the machines - you may be able to change your coins for pesos at the hospital - ask someone to assist you. Language barriers may make eating out difficult for some, but many have found it an enjoyable adventure, so ask for assistance from our staff if needed.
Entertainment/Wifi - Most rooms have a tv/dvd combo. You may want to bring something for your guest to watch while you sleep. We do have cable and a few English channels; most are in Spanish with English subtitles. Any other materials needed for your guest to pass the time will need to be brought with you (magazines, books, cards etc). You should purchase these in advance, there is not a gift shop at the hospital. We do have wireless internet in the lobby and in most patient rooms so you can bring your laptop as well.
Make Memories - bring your camera, and take plenty of pictures!
Camcorders are also welcome, even in surgery. If your spouse is not with you in the OR, one of the nurses MAY
(if we are not too busy) be able to take pics for you.
Sightseeing/vacationing: Talk to Armin (shuttle driver) about places to visit in or near Rio Bravo. On the US side of the border, South Padre Island is a wonderful place to visit. See the links/sitemap page for more info on South Padre Island and many other travel related tips.
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