Temporary brigade trips to deliver international surgical care are increasingly common. Many brigade programs have begun to collect and publish data on outcomes and complications but few have examined their own patient education practices. We utilized evidence-based methods and interviews with patients to develop improved patient education materials for Operation Walk Boston (OpWalk Boston), a total joint replacement surgical brigade in the Dominican Republic. Existing OpWalk Boston patient education materials required an 8th grade reading level and lacked suitability based on principles of educational theory. The re-designed materials required 5th grade reading skills or less and had superior suitability. Pilot testing with patients from the target population suggested that the materials were appealing and appropriate. Patient education may play an important role in optimizing outcomes in the setting of surgical brigades where resources and access to follow-up care are limited. More research is needed to bring attention to the importance of patient education during brigades, and programs should work with patients to develop educational materials which are suitable and effective.