Traveling for Hernia Surgery
Although more and more patients are finding affordable medical care outside their home towns, it does require planning to get it done. Here are some tips that we’ve learned from our patients.
Travel By Car
If you’re within 400 miles, traveling by car is probably the easiest and most cost-effective way to get here. By making the trip with a companion, it is possible to drive home directly after surgery. In fact, most of our patients who are within six to eight hours away will do just that. The advantage is that you only have to stay in a hotel one night, and you can sleep in your own bed the evening after surgery. Since we use a long acting local anesthetic, patients do not usually have too much pain the day of surgery and the ride is generally well tolerated.
If you’re coming here by yourself, you’ll have to go back to the hotel the night after surgery. Most patients feel comfortable the next day to drive, though some have had to wait an additional day. Remember to alert our staff if you’re coming by yourself so that we can arrange for the Visiting Angels to help you after surgery.
Travel by Air
For our patients from further away (and we see many folks from California, Texas, etc.), airline travel is the best option. There are three major airports within 45 minutes of our office: Baltimore Washington International (BWI), Reagan National Airport (DCA), and Dulles International Airport (IAD). Usually BWI and Dulles have the cheapest flights, but they are a bit further away than National Airport.
If you arrive on a Wednesday morning, you will need to go directly to our office for your appointment with Dr. Kravitz. If you’re flying into National Airport, you can take the Metro to the Grosvenor-Strathmore stop on the Red Line. Our office is about a mile away, which is an inexpensive cab ride.
If you’re flying into BWI or Dulles (or National as well), you’ll need to take a cab or arrange transportation with a shuttle (Supershuttle.com or http://www.theairportshuttle.com/) service, which can be a bit cheaper.
Once you arrive
You will be examined by Dr. Kravitz on a Wednesday. After your office visit, most patients go to their hotel to check in (if they haven’t done so already). Some patients have taken advantage of our location to take the Metro downtown and walk around the sights in Washington DC. For those patients without cars, the hotels are an inexpensive (less than $20) cab ride away.
On Thursday, you will need to go to the Montgomery Surgery Center, which is quite close to most of the hotels. We will advise you of what time you need to be there.
The hotel closest to the Montgomery Surgery Center is the Comfort Inn. Many of our patients have used this hotel, and have given it high reviews. It offers a complimentary hot breakfast and free shuttle service. When you book, ask for the AAA rate, as sometimes this is the lowest.
Another hotel close by is the Red Roof Inn.
Of course, going online and shopping for better deals is always an option!
Most patients head home directly after surgery or the day after. If you are traveling by yourself, we will arrange for Visiting Angels to help you back to your hotel room. We have found that many of the patients who have come here by air have gone home the next day, some have waited two days, and a few have even flown home (if you have a companion) the very same day.
What our patients have told us
Our patients tell us that even with the travel expenses, their surgery is much less expensive than if they had it done in their home town. Because of the big different in cost, the surgery that they need is available, affordable, high quality, and is worth traveling for. They also report that our surgical nurses treat them wonderfully– we would certainly agree with that!
So although the thought of traveling hundreds (or thousands) of miles for hernia surgery may seem a little unusual, our patients tell us that the trip was absolutely worth it!!