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Patient Travel Guide

Visa • Medical Records • Post-Op Care • Stay Duration • Other Arrangements

Our Patients

Our patients come from diverse backgrounds and nationalities.  Some of our patients are from out of state, out of town, and even out of the country!  They  have entrusted the care of their vision with Dr. Richardson who feels humbled that he has been chosen by so many wonderful people to share in their joy as they experienced their renewal of vision.

We strive to make your trip or medical travel, not only “worth-it” but also comfortable, easy and truly enjoyable! We know that undergoing eye surgery alone can be a daunting experience. Add travel to a foreign land and it can be quite stressful. We’ll do our best to reduce your anxiety. We are here to assist you every step of the way. 

Why Patients Travel To See Dr. David Richardson

To undergo a Canaloplasty glaucoma treatment

Dr. Richardson is among an elite group of ophthalmologists in the country performing the highly specialized canaloplasty procedure for glaucoma and he is also regarded as one of the leading canaloplasty surgeons in the world. That is why patients have traveled half way around the world to have canaloplasty by Dr. Richardson.

For complicated cases

Dr. Richardson’s careful pre-operative analysis, meticulous attention to surgical detail, highly skilled surgical maneuver and excellent bedside manners have made him the “doctor of choice” of patients who have had failed procedure and/or eye surgeries performed by other surgeons.

Pre-Arranging Your Arrival

We Strive to Make Your Medical Travel Comfortable

To ensure the most positive outcome, prior to your medical travel, make sure to communicate and discuss your condition with Dr. David Richardson who will let you know if coming to his office is the best option for you. At the same time, pre-arranging your arrival would ensure safe, easy and comfortable travel on your part.  You may contact Dr. David Richardson via our Contact Form or via  email at PatientExperience@david-richardson-md.com. We also have a free online assessment to see if you qualify for canaloplasty here.

To place an international call, dial : your country exit code + 1 + 626 289 7856 (for more help, visit http://www.howtocallabroad.com)

Once Dr. Richardson agrees that undergoing a procedure is the best option for you, start to prepare yourself and process necessary travel documents and requirements.  If you are employed, take this time to notify your employer and file the appropriate leave.  As usual, traveling entails expenses.  Assess your financial capability and raise funds, if necessary, for your operation. Once everything is set from your end, give us a call or send us an email so we can do all the neccessary preparation and send you further instructions. Below, we have listed down general guide for your medical travel.

Medical Record Information

To ensure the most positive outcome, prior to your medical travel, make sure to communicate and discuss your condition with Dr. David Richardson who will let you know if coming to his office is the best option for you. At the same time, pre-arranging your arrival would ensure safe, easy and comfortable travel on your part.  You may contact Dr. David Richardson via our Contact Form or via  email at PatientExperience@david-richardson-md.com. We also have a free online assessment to see if you qualify for canaloplasty here.

To place an international call, dial : your country exit code + 1 + 626 289 7856 (for more help, visit http://www.howtocallabroad.com)

Once Dr. Richardson agrees that undergoing a procedure is the best option for you, start to prepare yourself and process necessary travel documents and requirements.  If you are employed, take this time to notify your employer and file the appropriate leave.  As usual, traveling entails expenses.  Assess your financial capability and raise funds, if necessary, for your operation. Once everything is set from your end, give us a call or send us an email so we can do all the neccessary preparation and send you further instructions. Below, we have listed down general guide for your medical travel.

Post Op Care

All eye surgeries including cataract surgery are same-day surgery or day surgery that does not require an overnight hospital stay. The next hours and day after your surgery are crucial stages of the recovery process. This is the time when you will need the most care from your family, relatives or friends to assist you around the room/house while your eyes are healing and drive you for your post op visit to Dr. Richardson.

If you have any questions, concerns, pain, or loss of vision, call your surgeon. Even if it’s 3 a.m., call your surgeon.”I am available around-the-clock for my patients, and it is never a “bother” for me to answer their questions. “– Dr. Richardson

There are, of course, other options such as transferring to a post op care facility or arranging for a homecare service where a skilled nurse or aide will provide various assistance and care in your own house or room.

Stay Duration

With regard to duration of anticipated stay in the United States, that depends upon whether an ophthalmologist local to you is willing to take over your post-operative care.

Not all surgeons are willing to take over the care of someone who had surgery done by another surgeon.  If you are able to find a local ophthalmologist willing to do so then I recommend that you stay in California for at least a week after surgery (longer if you are able). During that time I’d check your eye multiple times.

If the eye is healing as expected one week after surgery it is generally OK to travel back home so long as you have found a local ophthalmologist who is willing to take over your care.

Unlike with trabeculectomy, the canaloplasty post-operative visit schedule tends to be rather predictable after the first week.  After that I generally want the eye checked about 2-4 weeks, and then 2-3 months after surgery.  If the IOP is not sufficiently low at that time then a laser procedure (called goniopuncture) may be performed around that time to achieve a further reduction in intraocular pressure.

Visa

If you live outside the US, you will most likely need a Tourism and Visit (B-2) visa for “Travel for Medical Treatment” to legally enter the US.  Each country has specific documentary requirements for visa approval. But, common requirements are:

  • Evidence, purpose and length of your trip;
  • Estimate of the likely cost and evidence of your ability to pay all costs of the trip.
  • Your intent to depart the U.S. after your trip

Check with the US embassy, consulate or diplomatic mission in your country for details.

If, however you are a citizen or national of Visa Waiver Program (VWP)-participant country (currently there are 37 countries participating), a tourist and visitor visa is not required.

Transportation Arrangements / Flights

Entry to California is via Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). This is the 6th busiest airport in the world and third in the US offering flights to nearly 75 air carriers.  Our office is located at 2020 Huntington Drive San Marino, CA 91108.  We are around 30 miles or  1 hour away from LAX airport.

Check with your regular travel agency if they have flight + hotel packages available which are, most of the time, more inexpensive compared to reserving separately.  For budgeting purposes, you may check http://www.expedia.com or similar airline fare compare sites for approximate air ticket prices.

Download this Smart Traveler Tips provided by LAX for a hassle-free travel.

Insurance

Check with your employer if you have a group life or travel insurance coverage. If you do not have an existing coverage, we recommend that you get one! It is not mandatory to get a travel insurance but it’s worth considering.  Having one will provide you financial protection and peace of mind should unexpected events occur while you’re on travel, such as:

  • Your flight has been cancelled;
  • your baggage and personal belongings are lost;
  • your passport and wallet are stolen  and you need emergency cash and a replacement passport; and
  • you need hospitalization or emergency medical.

Here’s recommended by Frommer.com: http://www.frommers.com/articles/6438.html.

Transportation

There are many modes of ground transportation operating at LAX and choosing the best transportation can be a challenge but we can help!

The best option would be to arrange for an airport pickup with your hotel, if that is available.

Other options available are:

  1. take a taxi
  2. take a shuttle/sedan transfer and
  3. take Uber.

Uber is an app-based transportation network. You will need to download the Uber app on your smartphone and register. You may claim your first free ride from Dr. Richardson (up to $30) by signing up here or use the code davidr2439 upon registration. Once you have signed up, you simply enter your pickup and drop-off locations to get a fare quote for your trip.

Commuting or taking Public Transportation (public buses and light rail) may be exciting but note that it will require several minutes of walking and quite a few bus transfers.  Assess first if you are fit and ready for this. You can get transportation direction athttp://maps.google.com.

For all available transportations from LAX, go to http://www.lawa.org

What To Bring With You
FOR YOUR EYES
  • Sunglasses, preferably with UV protection;
  • glasses or contact lenses if you wear them;
  • medications, including vitamins; let us know whether you’re on any medications;
  • eyedrops if you use them.
DOCUMENTS
  • Medical record. Secure a copy from your eye doctor;
  • a picture ID (driver’s license or other ID);
  • travel insurance card/paper;
  • filled up forms included in our welcome packet;
  • any pre-op medical clearance requested by Dr. Richardson. Your internist or family physician will need to clear you for surgery. You may need a blood test, EKG, and physical exam. These assessments typically must be completed at least one week — but not more than one month — prior to surgery;
  • a list of your prescription medications;
  • phone book/calling cards of people to call and their phone numbers;
  • a notepad or journal and pen or pencil;
  • contact number of our office;
  • contact number  where you have arranged accommodation, transfer, etc.
TECHNOLOGY
  • Your Ipod, MP3 player with your  favorite music.  You can request Dr. Richardson to play your favorite music during surgery!
  • Video camera, camera, and extra batteries.  You might find it irresistible to take souvenir photos or vidoes of all the wonderful sights you’ll see with your renewed vision!
  • Your cell phone and charger or, if you’ll be using a public phone, a prepaid phone card.  Make sure the roaming function of your phone is activated.
OTHER ITEMS
  • A picture of someone or something you love, anything you find reassuring.
  • Comfortable shoes and a few changes of comfortable clothes suitable for the weather
  • Money (cash), ATM card and/or travelers cheque
  • Toiletries. Hotels and inns usually provide soap, shampoo, and lotion, but you might prefer your own.
  • Makeup.  Although you will not be allowed to wear makeup a few days after surgery, you will most likely use it before and several days after surgery
  • Aromatherapy items, if you have a favorite scent that relaxes you

Have a question?

Please don't hesitate to ask us. We will get back to you shortly.

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If you need a place to stay, this accommodation guide will help you…

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