Flying for Surgery

Are you considering flying from out of state to see Dr. Berger? You can rest easy. Roughly 30% of Dr. Berger’s patients fly to and from Chicago for surgery.

Traveling to Chicago for joint replacement surgery can be intimidating — especially if you’ve never been to the Windy City, but Dr. Berger and his team aim to make the surgical process as seamless as possible.

The most frequently asked question by our out of state patients is in regards to how many trips will need to be taken to Chicago from start to finish. For patients that live more than four hours away by car, here’s what can be expected:

Trip 1: The Initial Consultation

The initial consultation is about 2-2.5 hours in length. We take new xrays of your joint for Dr. Berger’s review, you meet Dr. Berger and he confirms if you are a candidate for his joint replacement surgery. If you are deemed a candidate for the surgery, you have the option to meet with our scheduling team and schedule your surgical date. You leave the appointment with a binder of information, which includes recommended hotels in the area that offer our patients preferred rates.

Trip 2: The Surgery

The surgical trip is a total of about 4-5 days in length. The day prior to surgery we have you meet with an internist at Rush Hospital for medical clearances, you then attend a class run by our nurses, where they discuss the recovery process in detail. Your surgery would be the next day and it would most likely be an outpatient procedure. We have a physical therapist come see you in the hospital and make sure you’re able to climb up and down a small flight of stairs and walk the floor of the hospital. With a cane, you will be discharged and able to return to your hotel room. From there, we have you stay in Chicago for 2-3 days following your surgical date. In that time, we have a physical therapist visit you in your hotel room. Before you head to the airport to fly back home, we have you stop by our office to meet with one of our nurses — we want to make sure you’re feeling well enough to fly home.

Trip 3: The Follow-up Appointment

You will come to see Dr. Berger three weeks following surgery. At the 1.5 hour appointment, he examines your incision and up-to-date xrays to make sure your recovery is going according to plan. As long as all is well, Dr. Berger will want to see you a year later for an annual appointment.

How are you able to fly so soon after surgery?

The answer is simple: with Dr. Berger’s minimally invasive outpatient procedure, you’re risk of developing a blood clot, after surgery, is almost non-existent. Between the amount of mobility you’ll have after surgery and his soft-tissue sparing approach, you can fly almost immediately after surgery without worry.

What about therapy?

Prior to surgery, we assist in setting up in-home physical therapy for the first 10-14 days after surgery, you then transition into outpatient physical therapy, which would also be local to you. We make sure your physical therapist is giving us regular updates throughout your recovery.

Furthermore, Dr. Berger has a very large team, with each teammate possessing a specific role. Anyone in our office can be reached by phone depending on your need, regardless if you live in or out of town.

No matter what, we’re here for you!

For more information, feel free to call our email our New Patient Liaison, Rachel at

P: (312) 432-2557

E: [email protected]