Travel and packing tips | Rio Bravo Reversal

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.

Travel Tips:

Transportation: Remember to make all your shuttle arrangements in advance. See the shuttle page for details.

Proper ID– a passport/passport card /OR/ a valid US drivers license AND your birth certificate (certified- no copies/scans will be accepted). 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):

  • a small pillow to hold against your incision post op
  • loose clothing to wear home
  • extra pain meds in case you need them (Tylenol PM, Gas-X, etc) ASK THE DOCTOR BEFORE TAKING ANY MEDICATIONS
  • loose fitting/slip on shoes – your feet may swell and you will not be able to bend and tie shoes right after surgery

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 to avoid issues like blood clots.

Driving Tips

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, all jewelry (on any part of your body) should be removed.   If you have questions or issues, please contact us.

As with any hospital anywhere, we cannot be responsible for items lost or left in your room or unattended. All unnecessary valuables (jewelry, electronics, etc) should be left at home. Do not leave cash or valuables in your room or your vehicle during your travels, and please be especially careful at airports.

Packing Tips:

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 – 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 with directions. Patients must get the doctor’s permission before you eat or drink anything. 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.

Souvenirs can be purchased in town or one of the other small towns nearby before or after your surgery. You can ask our shuttle driver to take you. There are fees for extra shuttling – but they are minimal.

Sightseeing/vacationing: Talk to Jose (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.

Valuables:  We do strongly encourage that you NOT bring your valuables with you (jewelry, electronics, etc) that you will need to leave in the room.  Our staff is excellent but hospitals have people coming and going all the time.  We cannot monitor the movements of every individual.  If you do have something valuable you need to bring (phone, etc) please be sure to give it to the doctors before your surgery.   The doctor will assist patients traveling alone with their purses, etc during surgery.