Interisland Travel and Out-of-State Patients

Travel to Honolulu, Hawaii for Your Hip or Knee Surgery

Interisland Travel and Out-of-State Patients2022-10-09T10:55:42-10:00

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Preoperative workup:

Before you travel to Honolulu, have your images and records sent to our facility to be reviewed by our fellowship-trained hip and knee surgeon. We need to evaluate x-rays of your hips or knees before scheduling your visit. We can arrange these to be taken at a facility that is convenient to you.

We will then schedule a discussion over video to see if you would be a candidate for surgery or consider other nonoperative options. You do not need to decide if you are going to pursue surgery at this point.

If you elect to proceed with an in-person visit and surgery, we will need you to travel.

Hawaiian Islands

Preop Visit

We advise patients from Neighbor Islands to undergo an in-person evaluation to schedule surgery. This will provide the smoothest preparation for your surgery, as face-to-face visits provide the best experience.

You may schedule your visit with us at a time that is convenient for you. Many insurance companies will cover the cost of your travel. You may need to obtain this authorization via your primary care physician for travel.

There are no COVID-19 related entry requirements for domestic travelers. Travelers arriving in Hawai‘i directly from an international airport must still comply with U.S. federal requirements. Visit the Safe Travels website to learn more.

Before Surgery

You will attend a virtual preoperative course where your surgery and expectations will be addressed. Any questions not discussed during your visit can be addressed here.

Your preoperative medications will be sent to a pharmacy of your convenience. Please pick these up before surgery.

COVID-19 Precautions

You may need to check the updated travel requirements via the state website and our office. You will need to obtain a COVID-19 test 72 hours before the date of your surgery. This test may be done at any Diagnostic Clinic Labs or Clinical Laboratories in Hawaii. We have testing available at DLS services at Queen’s Medical Center.

Surgery Day

You will arrive at the hospital or surgery center and be escorted to the preoperative area. The preoperative nurses will prep you for surgery. Dr. Morton will then visit you and answer any last-minute questions. The anesthesiologist will introduce themselves and perform any necessary preoperative anesthetic procedure.

If you would like a first-start case, you will be required to fly in the day before.


You will work with a physical therapist to determine your ability to return safely home. You may decide to return home that day. Many of our neighbor island patients prefer to stay overnight and leave the next day. We have many available hotel options available as well.

Patients who are from out-of-state, we recommend that they stay at least 1 week prior to returning home. This will enable you to have a postop check prior to your return home. You will be more mobile at this point and less likely to develop a blood clot. You will need to get up frequently while on the plane and perform foot pump exercises. Ideally, you are able to stay a week or longer.

Two weeks after surgery, you will have your first postoperative visit scheduled. We always prefer in-person visits. We do have telehealth services available for your convenience if necessary.

We generally follow-up with patients every 6 weeks as necessary until you have completed most of your postoperative recovery. For hip and knee replacements, we like to review postoperative surveillance x-rays on an annual basis to confirm that your hip or knee replacement is functioning well.

View of Honolulu City

Travel to Honolulu

There are three airlines that service Hawaii interisland: Hawaiian Airlines, Southwest Airlines, and Mokulele Airlines. If you require increased legroom as most patients with hip or knee replacements, Hawaiian Airlines may provide you with more space and an easier commute.

Hawaiian Airlines Logo

Where to Stay

Discounts are available with Outrigger Hotels. Please use the links below for more information.

Travel to The Clinic

You may rent a car from the airport from most of the major car rental companies. Alternatively, Uber and Lift provide rideshare options that may be more convenient. Traditional Taxi services are also available.

Dr. Morton is located at the Physicians Office Building 1, Suite 808 at the Queen’s Medical Center. Take the Lusitana exit from Vineyard Avenue. You can enter the parking structure from the ramp or the driveway on the right-side of Lusitana Street. There a bridge from the parking structure on the third or fifth floor that will take you from the parking structure to the Physicians Office Building. Take the elevator to the 8th floor and Suite 808 is located in front of the elevators. I share my office space with Plastic Surgeon Dr. Vincent Nip.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it possible for me to obtain a copy of my operative report and x-rays?2022-10-08T21:21:43-10:00

We will provide these documents to you for your records and for any local orthopedic surgeon involved in your care.

Should I arrange for a local orthopedic surgeon to do the follow-up of my joint replacement?2022-10-08T21:19:58-10:00

It is best to have an orthopedic surgeon local to you who would be available to examine you and communicate with us, should the need arise. Follow-up care can be difficult to find someone willing to do for a patient they did not operate on initially; we will assist you as much as possible.

When can I travel out-of-state after surgery?2021-08-01T08:30:29-10:00

Long-distance travel should usually be avoided until at least after your initial post-operative visit with your surgeon. The concern with long-distance travel is the possibility of the development of a blood clot, or missing a postoperative complication.

Once you are on a long trip, Dr. Morton recommends that you get up to stretch or walk at least once per hour during a long trip.  Taking 81mg of aspirin daily is a useful adjunct. Dr. Morton recommends starting aspirin 2 days before your trip, and 2 days after your trip to avoid blood clots. You may want to talk with your primary care physician if you have a history of stomach ulcers, allergies, blood clots, or bleeding disorders. Usually, patients will desire an aisle seat or a lay-flat seat for long distances during their initial recovery.

What if I have a medical problem after surgery?2022-10-08T21:16:02-10:00

Call (808)439-6201.

You may leave a message for me using this method. If your problem is more urgent, you may let them know you are having a medical urgency and you would like to talk with Dr. Morton. They will then connect you with me. If you are unable to reach me through this method and have a medical emergency, please go to Queen’s Medical Center’s emergency department. You may also dial 911 if you require an ambulance and are unable to transport yourself.

If you have already returned home, you should still attempt to reach me through this method. You may need to go to your nearest emergency department. All hospitals within Hawaii have transfer agreements with The Queen’s Medical Center when necessary.