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Recent (well, maybe pre-Covid) cataract surgery in Thailand ?


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I'm stuck in Australia for a while and on a lengthy (18 months!) public waiting list for cataract surgery - likely i'll have relocated to Thailand before my turn comes up so maybe i'll need to get the job done privately in Thailand.

 

Can see plenty of online teaser ads from Thai clinics stating 'from $x' and 'as low as $y' and the like.

 

More interested to hear from anyone who has had this op done in Thailand recently ... particularly in Bangkok, Changmai or Uttaradit ... and of course what the actual costs were.

 

I'll be paying for everything myself - no insurance since it's obviously pre-existing.

 

Of course if your cataract surgery didn't work out too well and you can't read this ... thanks for trying anyway.

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Yes there is a multi focal option.  However the vast majority of ophthalmologists do not recommend it.  It is a challenge to get the prescription correct and if the lens is not perfectly centered it c

Around 50k an eye for cataract only, some people go for Supersight etc so more expensive

Private hospitals in Bangkok, about 80k per eye; less in upcountry private hospitals. No wait at all, can schedule right away.   Government hospitals about 20K per eye. There may be a wait l

12 hours ago, LosLobo said:

Have you considered going private in Australia?

 

What does private cataract surgery cost? - OKKO Eye Specialist Centre

Thanks, yes indeed.

 

My current consultant (who I have a great deal of confidence in) quoted ‘about’ A$3,500 (B90,000) privately and a wait of less than a month.
 

Naturally, if time was of the essence I’d move quickly regardless of cost but my case is hardly urgent, first detected 12 months ago and not progressing too badly since.

 

Just trying to get a feel for the private Oz/Thai price differential here. 

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12 hours ago, ivor bigun said:

I am under govt hospitals my quote 25k ,but long waiting list if not super urgent ,because of covid. 1 yr minimum

Thanks can I clarify that you’re an expat in Thailand and in a Thai government queue? If so that’s a novel approach to me.

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15 hours ago, scubascuba3 said:

Around 50k an eye for cataract only, some people go for Supersight etc so more expensive

Hi and thanks - can I ask if that 50k is your personal and relatively recent experience ?

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1 hour ago, BananaGuy said:

Thanks can I clarify that you’re an expat in Thailand and in a Thai government queue? If so that’s a novel approach to me.

I live in Thailand and am under the queen Sirakit hospital in Satahip, i have eye tests every 6 months have had a cataract in one eye for 6 yrs ,,after one year you should not be considering an operation as they are not far advanced and cataracts return ,and while not being an "expert" i obviously know far more than you .

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1 hour ago, BananaGuy said:

Thanks can I clarify that you’re an expat in Thailand and in a Thai government queue? If so that’s a novel approach to me.

 

31 minutes ago, ivor bigun said:

I live in Thailand and am under the queen Sirakit hospital in Satahip, i have eye tests every 6 months have had a cataract in one eye for 6 yrs ,,after one year you should not be considering an operation as they are not far advanced and cataracts return ,and while not being an "expert" i obviously know far more than you .

Time for another eye exam?

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I actually visited Bumrungrad a few days ago for this and was quoted ~110k per eye.  This is for a lens that will correct extreme near-sightedness and astigmatism.  I'm not sure how that impacts the price.

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I had cataract lens replacement surgery a month ago in Chiang Mai.  SriPhat Hosp OPD Ophthamology Clinic, Dr Atitaya, a sharp young CMU med school grad. She also works at Bangkok Hosp in Chiang Mai.  The cost was about 47,000 baht total, (monofocal IOL, multifocal is 80,000).  There was no waiting time, I scheduled the surgery for one week after my initial exam. 

Its an easy, painless, out-patient surgery with local anesthetic only, that takes less than a half hour. Dressing is removed the next day and there is a noticable improvement in vision immediately. There is some recovery and adjustment time, a month later I have mild double vision that is supposed to clear with time.  I plan to schedule the second eye with the same doctor. 

 

I really like Rutnin Eye Hospital in Bangkok and Dr Jutarat there, but the quote was much more. 

Rutnin:

The estimated cost of the cataract surgery only as follows:

 

1)            Monofocal lens is approximately THB 80,000-90,000* per eye

2)            Toric lens (for astigmatism) is approximately THB 110,000-120,000* per eye

3)            Multifocal lens is approximately THB 120,000 – 130,000* per eye

 

The estimated cost of a preoperative examination is THB3,000-5,000*.

The cost of RT-PCR for COVID-19 is THB3,000*.

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2 hours ago, BananaGuy said:

Hi and thanks - can I ask if that 50k is your personal and relatively recent experience ?

A friend had it done at BPH, plus i recall a facebook thread where a few people quoted similar figures

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Got mine done in Chennai with plastic lenses in a private hospital when I lived in India about 3 years ago. Top guy, excellent private hospital, less than 50K baht for both eyes. Why so costly in Thailand?

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My first appointment was at a private hospital ,was quoted 52 k this was years ago ,and was told i needed it done in a weeks time ,was quite supprised as it was not that bad so went to a govt hospital (the doctor there is from a private hospital in Pattaya) had an appointment for 2 months later ,had all the tests 900 baht  was told i had no need for an operation for a long time ,also told i had eye pressure(not picked up at the private hospital) this can lead to gloucoma  so i now take drops ,pressure normal ,years later my cataract is starting to be annoying ,but not enough so for the govt hospital to operate yet (backlog due to covid) ,but a private hospital will do it straight away ,for a far larger charge .

ps i have a pink card ,seems to keep  prices down at my govt heart hospital.

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Private hospitals in Bangkok, about 80k per eye; less in upcountry private hospitals. No wait at all, can schedule right away.

 

Government hospitals about 20K per eye. There may be a wait list, and bets to have a Thai speaker come with you to navigate the red tape etc. It is possible some govt hospitals are not doing elective surgery at present due to COCVID.

 

Both prices are assuming standard lens implant. If other lens type, cost is much more.

 

Also costs are for the op, initial consultation and follow up visits will be additional. COVID test will also be mandatory.

 

 

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5 hours ago, ivor bigun said:

I live in Thailand and am under the queen Sirakit hospital in Satahip, i have eye tests every 6 months have had a cataract in one eye for 6 yrs ,,after one year you should not be considering an operation as they are not far advanced and cataracts return ,and while not being an "expert" i obviously know far more than you .

Thanks for that ‘contribution’. I happen to be lucky enough to live near, and be examined by one of the most respected and credentialled eye surgeons in Australia … she recommends surgery for a cataract detected a year ago and is comfortable for that surgery to wait another 18 months should I choose.

 

With the greatest of respect, your advice is simply bonkers.

 

But again, thank you for taking the time to respond.

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1 hour ago, Sheryl said:

Private hospitals in Bangkok, about 80k per eye; less in upcountry private hospitals. No wait at all, can schedule right away.

 

Government hospitals about 20K per eye. There may be a wait list, and bets to have a Thai speaker come with you to navigate the red tape etc. It is possible some govt hospitals are not doing elective surgery at present due to COCVID.

 

Both prices are assuming standard lens implant. If other lens type, cost is much more.

 

Also costs are for the op, initial consultation and follow up visits will be additional. COVID test will also be mandatory.

 

 

Thanks Sheryl that’s very helpful … bit surprised that private price is ballpark to the Oz price (circa 90k) but there you go … guess it’s cheaper in the long run than attempting the job myself!

 
I’m a bit hazy about the Thai public/private systems with respect to expats … I’d assumed that as a non-permanent resident I’d have no access to the public system at all. Have I got that right?

 

As I said, I’m still in Oz but would expect to be on a marriage extension next year living full-time in Thailand and non-resident in Oz except for holidays. Can’t ever see myself jumping through the PR hoops.

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2 hours ago, ivor bigun said:

My first appointment was at a private hospital ,was quoted 52 k this was years ago ,and was told i needed it done in a weeks time ,was quite supprised as it was not that bad so went to a govt hospital (the doctor there is from a private hospital in Pattaya) had an appointment for 2 months later ,had all the tests 900 baht  was told i had no need for an operation for a long time ,also told i had eye pressure(not picked up at the private hospital) this can lead to gloucoma  so i now take drops ,pressure normal ,years later my cataract is starting to be annoying ,but not enough so for the govt hospital to operate yet (backlog due to covid) ,but a private hospital will do it straight away ,for a far larger charge .

ps i have a pink card ,seems to keep  prices down at my govt heart hospital.

Thanks for that … obviously I’m on a learning curve here … the ‘pink card’ is novel to me.
 

Can I photoshop one? Guess not.

 

My plan is to be in Thailand on a marriage extension next year but with a snowball’s chance of attaining PR status … will the presumably desirable pink card be available to the likes of me?

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4 hours ago, drtreelove said:

I had cataract lens replacement surgery a month ago in Chiang Mai.  SriPhat Hosp OPD Ophthamology Clinic, Dr Atitaya, a sharp young CMU med school grad. She also works at Bangkok Hosp in Chiang Mai.  The cost was about 47,000 baht total, (monofocal IOL, multifocal is 80,000).  There was no waiting time, I scheduled the surgery for one week after my initial exam. 

Its an easy, painless, out-patient surgery with local anesthetic only, that takes less than a half hour. Dressing is removed the next day and there is a noticable improvement in vision immediately. There is some recovery and adjustment time, a month later I have mild double vision that is supposed to clear with time.  I plan to schedule the second eye with the same doctor. 

 

I really like Rutnin Eye Hospital in Bangkok and Dr Jutarat there, but the quote was much more. 

Rutnin:

The estimated cost of the cataract surgery only as follows:

 

1)            Monofocal lens is approximately THB 80,000-90,000* per eye

2)            Toric lens (for astigmatism) is approximately THB 110,000-120,000* per eye

3)            Multifocal lens is approximately THB 120,000 – 130,000* per eye

 

The estimated cost of a preoperative examination is THB3,000-5,000*.

The cost of RT-PCR for COVID-19 is THB3,000*.

Very helpful (and depressing) thanks for that.
 

I learn by the hour here … didn’t even realise there was a ‘multifocal’ option in the cataract world. 
 

Anyhow … this ‘real world’ info is invaluable. As I said in the OP, easy to get ‘teaser’ prices but nothing beats first-hand accounts. Thanks again.

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1 minute ago, BananaGuy said:

Very helpful (and depressing) thanks for that.
 

I learn by the hour here … didn’t even realise there was a ‘multifocal’ option in the cataract world. 
 

Anyhow … this ‘real world’ info is invaluable. As I said in the OP, easy to get ‘teaser’ prices but nothing beats first-hand accounts. Thanks again.

Oops sorry … to be clear the ‘depressing’ comment related to the second quote you got … not the one that you went with! Glad it worked out for you!

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5 hours ago, pseudorabies said:

I actually visited Bumrungrad a few days ago for this and was quoted ~110k per eye.  This is for a lens that will correct extreme near-sightedness and astigmatism.  I'm not sure how that impacts the price.

Thanks for that … I’m not sure either but from other responses a ‘custom’ lens seems to increase price from 50% to 100% … so a similar differential to fixed focus and multifocal glasses it seems!

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5 hours ago, bbko said:

 

Time for another eye exam?

Time for a seeing eye dog is my guess … why anyone would deliberately choose to live with the condition escapes me.

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25 minutes ago, BananaGuy said:

Thanks Sheryl that’s very helpful … bit surprised that private price is ballpark to the Oz price (circa 90k) but there you go … guess it’s cheaper in the long run than attempting the job myself!

 
I’m a bit hazy about the Thai public/private systems with respect to expats … I’d assumed that as a non-permanent resident I’d have no access to the public system at all. Have I got that right?

 

As I said, I’m still in Oz but would expect to be on a marriage extension next year living full-time in Thailand and non-resident in Oz except for holidays. Can’t ever see myself jumping through the PR hoops.

If you are here on a marriage extension yes you can use the govt hospitals,the doctors are the same as in the private hospitals,( they have to do time in govt hospitals weekly) the difference is that where in the private hospital you walk in no waiting in govt hospitals its busier and longer waits.

But they are far far far cheaper,believe me ,i have spent time in both,

Ps add another far to those first three.

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24 minutes ago, BananaGuy said:

Yes, as I described in the OP. Thanks.

Not described in the OP, and you have already responded to my post. Maybe get a check up for Alzheimer's too. 🙂

Best of luck with your procedure when you have it. Cataract surgery is a walk in the park.

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Just find a gov hospital that does the job, I got both mine done in an Army hozzy about 20 minutes away from home.

 

All in cost 18k an eye, that's including one night in the hozzy both times, which I didn't like, but the sight results did bring a smile after years of frustration... 😊

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2 hours ago, BananaGuy said:

I’m a bit hazy about the Thai public/private systems with respect to expats … I’d assumed that as a non-permanent resident I’d have no access to the public system at all. Have I got that right?

 

 

 

Foreigners -- all, regardless of visa status --  have full access to any government hospital, but unlike Thais  have to pay full price (which is still usually about 1/4 that of a private hospital).

 

There are some drawbacks: lots of red tape, little or no English speaking except by the doctors (and even those, in upcountry hospitals, not always the doctors), long waits, lack of amenities etc. But medical quality is usually OK.

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2 hours ago, BananaGuy said:

My plan is to be in Thailand on a marriage extension next year but with a snowball’s chance of attaining PR status … will the presumably desirable pink card be available to the likes of me?

 

Yes, any foreigner with long stay visa can get one. Actually the pink card is easy, the difficulty is that you must first get a yellow tabian baan (housebook).  How difficult that is depends on the amputr and also on your living situation as the holder of the blue tabian ban must go with you to apply for it (no problem at all if living in a house owned by wife or gf, but can be quite difficult if renting and landlord uncooperative or lives out of town).

 

Once yo uare issued a yellow tabian baan, getting the pink card tales literally minutes.

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13 hours ago, LosLobo said:

Not described in the OP, and you have already responded to my post. Maybe get a check up for Alzheimer's too. 🙂

Best of luck with your procedure when you have it. Cataract surgery is a walk in the park.

haha yes you are correct, i realised after posting that i'd crossed conversations ... Altzheimer's is on the list if only i could remember where i'd put the list ... thanks for the information and the best wishes, i've no fear at all of the procedure - squillions of successful operations globally with very low failure rate - it's handing over the money that will hurt and leave a lingering pain!

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