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What was it like to have a Cataract operation in Thailand


webfact

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I have had both eyes done here in Chiang Mai at the main government hospital in the city.  The doctor that many of my Thai friends consider to be the best in Chiang Mai did both surgeries a few years apart.  Both were out-patient procedures.  I went to the hospital in the morning and was back home by noon.  Total cost for each surgery was less than 50,000 baht.  Although I did have to get new glasses after each operation, my vision is now improved to the point that I could read without glasses if I wanted.  However, I rarely do that simply to avoid straining my eyes.  I have worn glasses most of my life, so it feels natural to wear them.  I had absolutely no complications with either of the surgeries.  Many of my Thai friends are doctors and all of them tell me to avoid the over-priced private hospitals,

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14 minutes ago, CM Dad said:

I have had both eyes done here in Chiang Mai at the main government hospital in the city.  The doctor that many of my Thai friends consider to be the best in Chiang Mai did both surgeries a few years apart.  Both were out-patient procedures.  I went to the hospital in the morning and was back home by noon.  Total cost for each surgery was less than 50,000 baht.  Although I did have to get new glasses after each operation, my vision is now improved to the point that I could read without glasses if I wanted.  However, I rarely do that simply to avoid straining my eyes.  I have worn glasses most of my life, so it feels natural to wear them.  I had absolutely no complications with either of the surgeries.  Many of my Thai friends are doctors and all of them tell me to avoid the over-priced private hospitals,

I had my cataract operation in Chiang Mai just over a month ago at Sripat Hospital, the doctor quoted me 47,000 bhat each eye, the bill came to 44,700 which I found quite refreshing ????. Excellent service and follow up, thoroughly recommend this hospital. My doctor told me I could get it cheaper in Chiang Mai but the quality of lens are not the same

Edited by Expat68
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I had both eyes same day--replacement lens (which would have been the same op as Cat )  lens flown in from Texas--- well into the 70s now top vision over 10 years ago , never needed glasses even for small print. Had it done in Pattaya--the operation was simple about 30 minutes an eye, mostly done by computer-- their only worry is you may get an infection in the first 24 hours---so that comes with a night in hospital.

 

Woke up with the doctor at the end of my Bed waving my specs around as saying..." wellics---wellicks  (relics) your never need these again" . So far he's 100% correct.

 

** you have to be over 50 to have the opp (unless its changed in those years.)

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Just remember cataracts are very common and in most cases there is no need to remove if not causing real world issues.  This is one area where the patient makes the decision to remove.  That said it is a very common and safe operation in its basic form and for awhile (your brain deadens it) everything will be much more vibrant.  But do your research on plus/minus of lens types and the equipment/people making the measurements for replacement lens.  Private hospitals are often not that expensive so would not rule them out without asking prices.  Government hospitals would be even less expensive (but remember the lens will cost a bit).

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5 minutes ago, Henryford said:

Health insurance doesn't cover eyes !!  Another reason to avoid these scams.

I actually have a U.S., Medicare supplement policy that covered the cost of both eye lens replacement so coverage evidently varies.

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2 hours ago, Bowring said:

This is how cataract operations happen in any decent eye clinic

No it is not. In a decent eye hospital the procedure would be quicker, more comfortable and less post op discomfort, and significantly cheaper.

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23 minutes ago, lopburi3 said:

Just remember cataracts are very common and in most cases there is no need to remove if not causing real world issues.  This is one area where the patient makes the decision to remove.  That said it is a very common and safe operation in its basic form and for awhile (your brain deadens it) everything will be much more vibrant.  But do your research on plus/minus of lens types and the equipment/people making the measurements for replacement lens.  Private hospitals are often not that expensive so would not rule them out without asking prices.  Government hospitals would be even less expensive (but remember the lens will cost a bit).

The older you get the less effective the operation. My DiL's grandfather, about same age as me, had his done on the NHS and post op they took his driving licence away. A serious blow as his wife had MS. Another friend of  mine had his done a bit younger and is still driving at 88.

 

As for cost,  I was quoted 6K, 9K or 13K for monofocal and about double that for variofocal, I opted for the 13K and total came to 18K/eye.

I wore variofocal glasses for decades and they are notoriously problematic, the rhetoric sounds good but a bit of a risk having them put in your eye, you can always go back to the shop with glasses.

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Eye test at the Eye/ear Hospital 12 years ago = have cataract in both eyes, Dr said only have the Opp if they cause a problem.  then went every 6 months to the Eye Hospital at the Red Cross, the Dr said the same...

 

Now they are getting worse, but in my 70's is it worth having done ?  with Covid still about will wait for 6 months or so...

 

At that time the estimate was 10.000 baht per eye [Opp] + around 15.000 per eye for the lenses .. guess prices have gone up ?  worn glasses since a kid

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41 minutes ago, wwest5829 said:

actually have a U.S., Medicare supplement policy that covered the cost of both eye lens replacement so coverage evidently varies.

Does the medicare supplement cover in Thailand? 

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I too have been investigating Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE) which is for age related declining vision, be it near or far sightedness.   This package from Bumrungrad Hospital in Bangkok (one of the top hospitals there) might be of interest to some.   Locally for me (Phuket) I believe that Bangkok Hospital here has a similar package which I will investigate.

 

https://www.bumrungrad.com/en/packages/relex-smile

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15 minutes ago, Onerak said:

Does the medicare supplement cover in Thailand? 

I am not sure if the supplemental private insurance is a Medicare Advantage or Medicare Medigap policy. It is provided as a retirement benefit. It covers up to $5000 per year for care outside the US.

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19 minutes ago, superal said:

Had my left eye done in the UK but never had an injection , only a series of eye drops  . Post op I was given a plastic eye shield cover ( to wear when in bed ) that was taped to my cheek and forehead . It was to protect my eye from me inadvertently rubbing it when sleeping . I was also told no washing hair or water in the eye for 1 week and no air flights for 2 weeks . 6 eye drops a day . Also operation is apparently one of the commonest and straight forward operations performed globally however it still make sense to do a search on the hospital and surgeon IMO . Finally I have been told that cataract operations can cost as little as 22,000 baht in a Thai government hospital with the surgeon being a well qualified Ophthalmologist .  The cataract operation will give you your youthful sight back and improve the quality of your life . 

Agreed

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3 hours ago, Kildonan said:

You can get these "floaters" removed by laser. Had that done, now gone. 

Not sure that procedure is without risks.

 

An ophthalmologist aims a special laser at the floaters in the vitreous, which may break them up and make them less noticeable. Some people who have this treatment report improved vision; others notice little or no difference. Risks of laser therapy include damage to your retina if the laser is aimed incorrectly

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