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materialsman

Cataract/super Sight Surgery

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Cataract/Super Sight Surgery – My Experience

Background

I am now 56 years old and have suffered from myopia, or short sightedness to use the common name for many decades, I had an operation on my right ‘lazy’ eye as a young boy but without success, so it was glasses for me all through my school days, ‘specky twat’ indeed. I make no bones about it, it did affect my confidence with then opposite sex during my teen years, nothing worse than going into the pub on a crisp Autumn/Winter’s evening and your glasses steaming up leaving you blind, so it was a godsend at 18 when I was able to buy my first set of contact lenses which did wonders for my self-confidence. So, for the last 38 years I have worn a succession of different styles of contact lenses, hard, gas permeable, soft, and in recent years disposable lenses, my current prescription is -4.50 for my left eye and -4.75 for my right eye.

About 5 years ago a good friend and regular Sunday drinking partner had ‘Super Sight’ surgery at the Bangkok Pattaya Hospital and has been pushing me for years to have the same operation done, but frankly I found the idea of having holes drilled in my eyes and plastic lenses inserted terrifying and always found an excuse not to go through with it. However, the last two to three years my eyes, even with contact lenses in seemed to be deteriorating and using the computer, reading anything, and even when driving especially at night I was becoming more and more dependent on reading glasses, so at the end of September I had two weeks annual leave booked at work and booked myself a ‘consultation’ for the princely sum of 3,000 Baht at the Super Sight Surgery at BPH.

Consultation

It’s all a very slick operation at the new improved Bangkok Pattaya Hosptal, the Super Sight surgery is up on the second floor of the new Wing, turn right at the top of the escalator. I should mention at this point that I was advised not to wear any contact lenses for three days prior to the consultation and no food or drink for 12 hours previous as well . The surgeon, Doctor Somchai Trakoolshokesatian is a very charming Thai man trained in both Belgium and Germany and has operated out of the BPH since 1996 and has carried out more than 3,000+ such operations and gives you a very thorough examination and is happy to discuss any points with you, if he feels you are unsuitable for the treatment he will tell you so. You also have the nurse checking your vision on the standard eye chart to work out your requirements.

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After letting me know my suitability, we discussed how the operation would be carried out, 95% of people are conscious during the operation under a local anesthetic, but I doubted my ability to lie still without moving my eyes for up to the hour the procedure my take so it was decided I should have the operation done under a general anesthetic, which jacked the price up somewhat due to the additional medical services that would require.

The lens replacement itself is an Intraocular lens, a multi-focal lens that is inserted through the eyeball behind the eye itself, for years I mistakenly thought it was placed over the eye like a normal contact lens. In normal cataract surgery, it is the same procedure as Super Sight, but the lens is mono-focal not multi-focal so glasses or reading glasses would still be required.

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I should mention that the price for the standard operation is 200,000 Baht, the multi –focal lenses themselves cost 40,000+ Baht, but with the extra care required for the general anesthesia the total price payable was now 300,000 Baht, which is an awful lot of ‘beer tokens’.

So, moving on, the date was set for the operation as Wednesday 22nd October, my choice as there is a pretty much compulsory one night stay in the hospital included in the price and I wanted to take advantage of the public holiday on the 23rd so I only required to take one day off of work, I was given a pack of three different eye drops which I had to use from the 20th and told to refrain from using my contact lenses for one week prior to the 22nd.

The Day Cometh

So, after a nice relaxing shower and hair wash, had to cut the hair the previous evening as I am aware you will not be able to wash it again for at least a week, a 7 a.m. start accompanied by my wife (to hold my hand) and first thing to happen was a chest X-Ray to make sure there was nothing wrong with my heart that may cause my demise during the operation (see Bangkok Plastic Surgery story this very week) then it was up to the luxury room to await the surgery which was scheduled for 12:30 in the afternoon. During this period I also had blood and urine samples taken and an EKG performed as well as having a saline drip in my arm, and blood pressure checks every half hour or so, all of this to check that I could withstand the general anesthetic, also had a visit from the anesthetist to explain the risks again and get me to sign a disclaimer! He told me that if I woke up and the first person I saw was him, then there was a problem, if I didn’t see him, all was okay. Nervous? You betcha! Also every twenty minutes or so a nurse puts more eye drops in, quite stinging, but the stinging effect goes away just in time for her to come again and add some more pain!

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Operation and Post-Op.

So, just after midday I am put on a wheelchair and pushed down to the operating theatre where I see the good Doctor and his team waiting for me, chatting and reassuring me, then the gas, and taking deep breaths and then……………………………………………………………………….

I come to, eyes are blurry as hell and a little painful and I am wearing very some very untrendy thick black goggles, the good news is I see no sign of the anesthetist and very shortly Doctor Somchai comes over to me and assures me that the procedure went well and I am left on the gurney for a time to recover, dying for a pee though, so one of the nurses brings over a pot which wasn’t easy to use in my position, and frankly I spilt most of it over the bed much to the nurses part amusement and part chagrin.

After that I am wheeled back to my room for recovery where my wife is waiting patiently, I note that the time is now around 3 p.m. still wanting a piss I try and walk to the bathroom, but my calves hurt like hell, and I have to waddle like a duck to get there much to ‘her indoors’ amusement. After 30 minutes or so the nurse came in and took all the stuff for the drip out of my arm, some relief, I hate those things, and again with the blood pressure checks. At this juncture my left eye was pretty clear, but still having a problem with my right eye which is worrying me and causing my blood pressure to rise considerably, so I am given a few tablets to calm me down. Of course I am still wearing the goggles, you are supposed to sleep in them overnight to avoid you rubbing your eyes either accidentally or on purpose, and after the sedatives my pressure stated to reduce back to normal, well, normal for me anyway. I try to get some sleep but it’s not easy with the blood pressure checks and the nurse putting more drops in to aid recovery but eventually I drop off for 40 winks.

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Next Day

At 7:30 a.m. the next morning the orderly comes in to the room and it’s time for the surgeon, the good Doctor Somchai to check progress, I am asked if I need the wheelchair, but I’m a stubborn bastard and decide I can walk, painful though it is. So he’s checking my eyes, I tell him my right eye I causing some grief and he spots that I have a scratch on the lens of my eye that is causing the pain that he puts down to my touching the eye, personally I put it down to someone scratching it during the operation, but I am assured the pain is only temporary and not to worry too much. After this and a few more eye tests it’s back with the nurse and the eye charts again, and despite the pain in my right eye, I am extremely impressed by the fact that according to the charts I now have 20/20 vision for probably the first time in my life. Back upstairs to the room and I change back into my street clothes, still wearing the goggles though, and around 10;30 I am handed a bag of medicines, some eye drops, some sleeping tablets, large cotton buds and some gauze eye patches and a list of do’s and don’ts’ s to get me through the next weeks.

DO’s

Use the prescribed eye drops as instructed

Wear sunglasses outdoors

Use moderation in your activities

Wash your eyelids gently with eye cleaning solution

Wash your hands carefully

Let the water hit your back in the shower, not your face

DON’T’S

Do not touch or rub your eyes until one month

Do not get water or soap (or rain) in your eye

Do not put make up or creams or lotions around the eye

Do not swim, lift weights or engage in contact sports for one month

Do not put your head down below your waist when bending over

After that it’s off to the payment counter (of course) and I am a free man, of course the wife is driving but it feels good to get home.

Up Until Today (Monday 27th)

So, for the rest of Thursday I am just relaxing on my lovely sofa at home, following instructions, and on the Friday morning I return to work, driving myself to my own amazement, it’s early morning and there is a slight ‘halo’ effect around the car and motorcycle headlights, I was told to expect this, in fact it may or may not ever go away, but it is no worse than when my eyes were tired wearing contact lenses and I would get pretty much the same effect. In hindsight maybe I should not have gone to work on the Friday and Saturday, my body ached from the effects of the anesthesia, any coughs would reverberate through my body and my legs still felt a little tired. On Saturday afternoon I drove down to Rayong to see both my son and ex-wife and they were absolutely amazed to see me, her mother had had a cataract operation a couple of years back, and she had to stay in a darkened room and could hardly walk for a whole two weeks! In the early evening I drove from Rayong to my Condo in Ban Chang, bit of a test as it was pouring with rain and that couple with the halo effect of the headlights made it ‘challenging’ but I just had to get on with it. Had a lovely meal on the beach with my wife and her best friend, right eye feeling much better now.

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Sunday afternoon I walked down to the Triangle and indulged in a cider or too (against Doctors orders, lol) and my eyes are getting better every day, but I made an error when sleeping last night and managed to poke my thumb into my left eye which wasn’t too clever, anyway I don’t think I did too much damage, and I have the first follow up appointment with Doctor Somchai on Wednesday morning at which point hopefully I will be told the healing process is complete and I can wash my bloody hair again, it’s irritating not being able to do so.

So there you have it, 50 years of myopia to 20/20 vision overnight, no more glasses, reading glasses or contact lenses for me, so wish me luck, and anyone considering having the same operation and has any feelings of apprehension (understandably so) I would say go for it, it really is a life changer, only downside I have found so far, is the girls in the Bars seem much less attractive, before they all looked lovely in a hazy, blurry way, now I see them clearly, warts and all!

p.s. Anyone wanting a breakdown on the money side, please PM me, I don’t want to put the details on here, any other questions I’ll be happy to respond to here.

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Very detailed report.

Must admit I thought the operation was a little cheap at 3000 baht but soon had my 'eyes opened' when I saw the real cost. Still a great read for anybody thinking about taking the plunge

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They told my mother who had her eye done last month not to go on a bus either because of the vibration

Strange, they told me no contact sports for a month, so I guess that meant sex too, but I told them that with my current wife that wouldn't present a problem!

I'm unhappy with your post on glasses, now having spent all that money to get perfect sight, I find myself having to buy a pair of clear lens glases so I can hide the bags and look more intelligent!

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Guest Carp Trader

Strange, they told me no contact sports for a month, so I guess that meant sex too, but I told them that with my current wife that wouldn't present a problem!

I'm unhappy with your post on glasses, now having spent all that money to get perfect sight, I find myself having to buy a pair of clear lens glases so I can hide the bags and look more intelligent!

I wear glasses to pretend I can read, bought a book once , green it was,

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Well, just back from the BPH, both the Doctor and myself are pleased with the excellent progress, should be able to wash my hair tomorrow morning, and phase out the drops over the next few weeks, next appointment 20/11/14, but I expect that to be nothing more than a cursory examination.

Incidentally, I asked the good Doctor was the operation easiest under a Local or General Anasthetic? His answer, General because he is totally in charge, there is always the chance of the patient having a panic attack during the operation under the Local, and moving the head, increasing the chances of damage to the eyes by the surgery, but 95% of patients still have it done under a Local, mainly because of the cost saving, but also because of the increased risks of your body reacting badly to the General Anasthetic..

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I am glad this thread popped up again. I was talking to MM about this a few days ago. It is interesting. I am finding I am having more and more trouble with my eyes. It worries me considerably.

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I am glad this thread popped up again. I was talking to MM about this a few days ago. It is interesting. I am finding I am having more and more trouble with my eyes. It worries me considerably.

Nearly one year on now, and I can virtually forget I've had the operation done, I have to go in for one final check in September for the one year check-up, still the best thing I've done in my life, or certainly up there in the top two with my son, I dillied and dallied about having it done for a good year or two, a good friend of mine had it done five years back and was pushing me to do the same, now I wish I'd have done it sooner.

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Nearly one year on now, and I can virtually forget I've had the operation done, I have to go in for one final check in September for the one year check-up, still the best thing I've done in my life, or certainly up there in the top two with my son, I dillied and dallied about having it done for a good year or two, a good friend of mine had it done five years back and was pushing me to do the same, now I wish I'd have done it sooner.

No doubt all the check ups are an ongoing cost and not part of the (large) payment to have your eyes done?

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No doubt all the check ups are an ongoing cost and not part of the (large) payment to have your eyes done?

No, all inclusive, never paid one Baht more for all the check-ups since.

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How about the halo effect MM, does it still exist ?

It is still there ever so slightly, even my friend who has had the surgery long time ago still has very minimal halo effect at night, it's all mental as much as anything, you have to train your brain too to accept the new sight, the surgeon stresses that point all the time, so yes, it's still there a little but not to the extent that it distracts me now driving at night, in the early days the hardest thing for me was crossing Pattaya's roads at night due to the halo effect, particuarly judging distances of the car lights, thankfully that is no longer a problem.

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