I had known for sometime I had a cataract in my right eye. This thread had gotten me thinking about it and it had become a bit more noticeable recently. I had a cataract repair for the left eye in 2000 so I knew what the procedure involves. Various reports here and elsewhere made me think I did not want it done at BHP, especially the thought they would even consider doing it without local anesthesia. That wasn't going to happen.
Instead, I made an appointment at Rutnin Eye Hospital in Bangkok. Made the appointment with Dr. Roy Chumdermpadetsuk on the basis of a recommendation on Thai Visa that he had trained in the U.S. and was fluent in English. Otherwise, I probably would have made the appointment with the cutest female doctor.
They have a modern building. There is a snack bar in one corner of the first floor, but they aren't attempting to look like a hotel lobby or a shopping mall. No surprise they want to see your passport first time and then prep a patient ID card. The ID card has their address in Thai which helps with the taxi on subsequent visits.
There were several diagnostic tests, one of which was an HIV test. There didn't seem to be as much shining very bright lights in my eye as I remembered from 15 years ago. Dr. Roy said, yeah, you have a cataract and he could fix it. He didn't say anything about a multifocal replacement lens. I almost asked about it but decided that if he wasn't suggesting it, I, perhaps, shouldn't raise the issue. Without my asking, he said it would be with a local anesthetic. He offered the option of doing it in patient, but I didn't see any reason for that. He told me at that point, the cost would be 60 to 65 thousand baht.
So, last week, headed for Bangkok the day before and checked into the Royal President. Went to the hospital. While they wait until you are done and send you to the cashier for payment at the end for other visits, they wanted payment in advance for the big ticket item. They had a portable credit card machine and got my signature before I went to the prep area. Doing it out patient, I got to keep my pants on, which is a plus. They planted me in a reclining easy chair for quite a while. One benefit you would not get in farangland was that a matronly lady came by and provided a foot massage.
Nothing too extraordinary about the procedure. The shot for the local stung a bit, but nothing that bad. The staff had taped a shield over my left eye. With the right eye numb, that meant I really wan't seeing much of anything. I'm a bit claustrophobic and while I was nowhere near a panic attack, I wan't happy. I asked the nurses if they could take the shield off the left eye and of course the answer was no. When the doctor came back, I asked him and he said yes without hesitation. I knew he was working on me, but I had less sensation of what point he was at than I remember from the left eye surgery. I don't think moving the eyeball was even a possibility due to the anesthesia. BTW They had charged my credit card for 65,000 baht. Before I left, they gave me back 2,000+ plus in cash. No idea what was in play about the cost.
Of course, they taped a bandage and a shield over the right eye. Unlike the U.S., they didn't seem to have any great concerns about me going to the front door and catching a taxi back to the hotel. Other than dealing with the world with one eye, it wasn't an issue for me either. First time, I had ever had an evening meal at the Royal President as wondering down Soi 15 with no depth perception didn't seem like a great idea.
Went back the next day and had the bandage removed. Everything seemed to be in order. I stayed a third night as I had not been certain how I would feel. That was unnecessary. I could have handled the trip back without difficulty.
Went back yesterday, six days after the surgery. Things had come along nicely. He will want to see me again in a month, but that is hardly a surprise.
I will still need contacts or glasses to drive and I'm a bit happier with a contact in the left eye. However, I can function for most purposes with no removable corrective lenses. It's the first time I can say that in something more than 50 years.
I am reasonably hopeful of getting a significant share of the costs paid by my U.S. insurance. Getting the material for the claim scanned and the form prepared will be the next project.
Edited by nkped, 17 September 2015 - 09:27 AM.