How can one confidently determine if airfare and lodging for surgery is considered to be for "personal reasons" or medically necessary? In this situation the surgery is necessary and not elective and the type of surgeon required is not common.
• Lodging expenses (but not meals) while away from home to receive medical care provided by a physician in a hospital or a medical care facility related to a hospital, provided there was no significant element of personal pleasure, recreation, or vacation in the travel. Don't deduct more than $50 a night for each person who meets the requirements in Pub. 502 under Lodging.
travel would probably be deductible in most cases because you have to get to and from the place
one caveat say you live in New York City fly to Chicago to vacation before surgery and then on to treatment is in Los Angeles. I think there could be an issue with at least some of the cost.