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Having Your Retina Reattached, Bangkok Pattaya Hospital


oneday

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Yesterday I suffered a vitreous collapse in my right eye so today I was going to a hospital to make sure the retina was OK.  This condition is quite common in people age 50 and over.  I had this happen in my left eye about 5 years ago, just before moving to Thailand.  I am 60 years old now.

 

The symptoms are very distinct.  You get small bright flashes of light in your peripheral vision and you can even make it happen if you shake your head.  The flashes in my eye started above and flashed in a semi-circle around to the right of my eye.  These flashes usually go away in a week or less.  This is what I was told and they did with me.

 

You will also immediately notice floaters or small black spots or black pieces of what look like string and they can even be animated.  Mine were more animated this time around.  When you have a collapse you need to get to an eye specialist as soon as possible to make sure your retina is OK.

 

So what is a vitreous collapse?  Here’s a good explanation I found:

 

 “Vitreous humor is a clear, thin jelly forming about 80% of your eye. It's the substance that "inflates" your eye and maintains its spherical shape. It is contained by the hyaloid membrane. As one ages the vitreous can start to liquify and the hyaloid membrane can tear. This is what collapsed in your eye. Where the vitreous was once immobilized by the hyaloid, it is now moving more. The vitreous sort of sloshes against your retina, excites the retinal nerves, giving you the impression of flashes of light. Sometimes this process can cause retinal tears or detachments. It is more of a threat to near-sighted people (myopia) because their eyeballs are lengthened, leading to uneven stress on the retina.”

 

The floaters come from debris that use to be held against the top of your eye socket out of your line of vision.  When the sack collapses this debris now comes into your line of vision and you see them as floaters.  It’s annoying, but over time some of them settle down out of your vision.  Each person is different.  After 5 years I still had a couple in my left eye, but now I’ll have to wait another 5 years for some of these new ones to settle down.  The doctor I first went to said there is nothing you can do about them or maybe more to the point the risk of trying to do something is not worth the reward.

 

So this morning I picked up my dog, stuffed him in the car along with all the paraphernalia we needed for both of us and proceeded to the hospital.  We got to Queen Sirikit hospital in Sattahip in good order; I believe it was just before 8am. I was greeted nicely and taken care of quickly at the front desk on the first floor.  I went up to the same place I’d had my ear looked at thinking it was an eye, ear and nose clinic, but it wasn’t.  The eye clinic was all by itself next door.  I walked in and found out everyone seeing one of the two doctors had an appointment so I was going to be the very last person seen.  I also wasn’t even close to the first person to get there.  The nurse would not call me on my phone when my turn was up nor could she give me even a rough approximate time when I’d be seen.  I decided that with my dog in the car I wasn’t going to hang around all day.

 

I left Sattahip and headed back to Pattaya to go to Pattaya International Hospital.  At home I called and they would not have a doctor until tomorrow so I called Bangkok Pattaya Hospital.  They have many eye doctors listed on their website.  An appointment was made for me at 10am.  It’s going to cost, but I need that peace of mind that the retina is OK and I might as well check both eyes for any cataracts.  I’ve been getting some periodic blurry sight in my left eye.

 

When I got to Bangkok Pattaya hospital they first gave me some standard tests I didn’t ask for or need.  When they took my blood pressure it was 145/93 and that shook me a little.  I’ve not seen it that high in a long, long time.  The nurse stupidly said it was OK…well not in my book and not in my doctor’s book back in the USA.  She had no business making that statement.  I know what my BP should be and I’ll now start monitoring it.

 

After these standard tests I sat back down and was soon called in to see the doctor.  She examined my eyes, for no good reason I could tell, because then she sent me back out to wait while I got drops placed in my eyes four times over the next 40 minutes to dilate my eyes for a better examination.  Forty minutes later I went in and they had me lay down on a padded table, then the lights were turned off and the doctor examined me again.  She calmly stated I did have a tear in my right retina, which was not what I wanted to hear.

 

I asked what will happen and when.  She said we can do this today in about 30 minutes with a machine that looks similar to those machines you put your face in for a glaucoma test.  She also said this procedure corrects the problem 80% of the time.  Otherwise, it’s a bigger operation.  So I went back out to sit down and received drops twice more for pain; a bit of a surprise to me.

 

Soon I was escorted into a small room where the laser was.  Of course the doctor told me that when she started to keep my eye still as she fired the laser…you bet doc.  I remember having Lazik surgery to correct my vision, but this wasn’t anything like that.  Lazik is computer controlled and relatively quick with no feeling.

 

She placed some kind of circular optical metal piece on my eye.  I figured this was some kind of magnifying glass.  They placed a cream on the end that touched the eye. The procedure took what seemed like 30 minutes, but was probably only 3-4 minutes before she finished. According to her, when I asked, she had fired the laser 130 times to reattach the retina and mind you, this was for a small tear.  About five times I felt an uncomfortable pinching pain in the back of the eye-socket.  Immediately after finishing I could see through my right eye like looking through a heavily darkened piece of glass, but this quickly cleared up, then everything looked violet, but this also cleared up quickly.

 

After all of this I was given a paper with my follow-up appointment in a week and then I was escorted down to the cashier on the first floor where I coughed up 7070B.  Even though this is expensive compared to what it would have cost in a government hospital, it was easy money to spend for my eyesight and it was certainly way cheaper and infinitely quicker than in the US or a government hospital here.  At least my US insurance will cover more than half the cost on this one.  At today’s conversion on 7070B that would be $228 of which I’m responsible for the first $100.

 

I returned home on my bike through blinding light, due to my pupils being dilated, It was either that or hire two motorcycle taxi drivers to get me and my bike home...what the heck, I'm a cheap SOB and have no sense...I just wanted to be home now.

Anyone who cannot cope with mathematics is not fully human. At best he is a tolerable sub-human who has learned to wear shoes, bathe, and not make messes in the house.

 

Robert Heinlein

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Had a full detachment happen to me in Chiang Mai but I was blind by the time I got to a specialist who explained everything very well. I decided to hop on the first plane back to Sydney and had it done here. Totally detached for at least 5 days. Happy with that decision as it worked out pretty well. Cost about $10k all up and obviously well worth it. I was quoted $3k in Chiang Mai.

 

Good luck. I hope it all works out.

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 When they took my blood pressure it was 145/93 and that shook me a little.  I’ve not seen it that high in a long, long time.  

 

I remember having Lazik surgery to correct my vision, but this wasn’t anything like that.  Lazik is computer controlled and relatively quick with no feeling.

 

  At least my US insurance will cover more than half the cost on this one.  

 

I returned home on my bike through blinding light, due to my pupils being dilated, It was either that or hire two motorcycle taxi drivers to get me and my bike home...what the heck...I just wanted to be home now.

 

Do you think your high blood pressure was caused by anxiety over your eye problem? My blood pressure is far higher in a doctor or dentist's office than it is at home. 

 

How happy are you with the results of your lazik surgery? 

 

US health insurance that has coverage abroad? Mind sharing what company offers that? 

 

No cheap eye protection provided by the hospital? The last two times I've had my eyes dilated I was given this, just a coiled strip of darkened clear plastic that when uncoiled, grips one's head and works as temporary sun glasses.

 

Very interesting story. Thank you and best wishes. :)

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Do you think your high blood pressure was caused by anxiety over your eye problem? My blood pressure is far higher in a doctor or dentist's office than it is at home. 

 

How happy are you with the results of your lazik surgery? 

 

US health insurance that has coverage abroad? Mind sharing what company offers that? 

 

No cheap eye protection provided by the hospital? The last two times I've had my eyes dilated I was given this, just a coiled strip of darkened clear plastic that when uncoiled, grips one's head and works as temporary sun glasses.

 

Very interesting story. Thank you and best wishes. :)

 

The high BP may have been due to anxiety, but normally it's around 120/80 which is perfect.  The 145/93 is really high for me.  I'll have to do some checking over the next couple days and see how it is.

 

I had Lazik in 2000.  One eye was almost 20/20 and the other about 20/40 which was all they could hope for in those days.  I was extremely happy.  Now I'm sure they've developed better methods with much better results.  Over the intervening years my eyesight has worsened very, very slowly.  I could probably use another procedure in one eye at some point.

 

Some friends of mine just had the new complete lens replacement at Bangkok Pattaya for a cool 100,000 for each eye.  This procedure seems to cause side affects in the far vision for up to 6 months before things settle down.  Their near vision was perfect out of the gate.  I think I'd do Lazik again..

 

Blue Cross/Blue Shield is Expat friendly.  They translate anything needing translated from any country and they convert the cost into $US for the exchange rate of the day of your procedure.  You can fill out the claim form and upload it online as well as the receipt and any other supporting documents.  The reimbursement can be wired direct to your US or Foreign bank account.

 

That would be the one area where Bangkok Pattaya hospital would get a failing grade IMO.  They gave me nothing for the dilated pupils and they should have; even if I was taking a taxi home they should have provided something.

Anyone who cannot cope with mathematics is not fully human. At best he is a tolerable sub-human who has learned to wear shoes, bathe, and not make messes in the house.

 

Robert Heinlein

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Had a full detachment happen to me in Chiang Mai but I was blind by the time I got to a specialist who explained everything very well. I decided to hop on the first plane back to Sydney and had it done here. Totally detached for at least 5 days. Happy with that decision as it worked out pretty well. Cost about $10k all up and obviously well worth it. I was quoted $3k in Chiang Mai.

 

Good luck. I hope it all works out.

 

That had to have been damn scary.

 

It was scary enough for me just having a laser shot into my eye 130 times messing with my retina.  You just pray the doctor really knows what she is doing and has lots of experience.

 

Yeah, you pay whatever it takes to keep or get your eyesight back.  Congratulations on your successful surgery.

Anyone who cannot cope with mathematics is not fully human. At best he is a tolerable sub-human who has learned to wear shoes, bathe, and not make messes in the house.

 

Robert Heinlein

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What I understand, a detached retina has to be reattached ASAP for best results. After a few days the success rates dramatically decreases. This happened to a friend of mine. He's almost totally blind in one eye because he couldn't get medical help for a few days.

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If it hadn't been for the experience and knowledge I'd gained 5 years ago when my left eye collapsed I might not have rushed to get an eye appointment yesterday.  Here's hoping the laser treatment worked well.  I'll find out next Wednesday on my followup exam.

 

This morning all is back to normal except for a new set of floaters that are more numerous and distracting than I had in my left eye.  Oh well, it can be endured and over time it will hopefully get better.  Certainly, a far sight better than being blind.

Anyone who cannot cope with mathematics is not fully human. At best he is a tolerable sub-human who has learned to wear shoes, bathe, and not make messes in the house.

 

Robert Heinlein

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My mother who I now care for is 92, over 30 years ago she had a double detachment, thank goodness surgery has moved on as she is totally blind in one eye and the other has 40% execution which is deteriorating yearly ,myopia is rife in our family, sight can be a precious thing. I was impressed by a blind guy I met in Pattaya who told me all these Thai girls are beautiful, well they feel that way to me, I don't get to find out in the UK.

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My mother who I now care for is 92, over 30 years ago she had a double detachment, thank goodness surgery has moved on as she is totally blind in one eye and the other has 40% execution which is deteriorating yearly ,myopia is rife in our family, sight can be a precious thing. I was impressed by a blind guy I met in Pattaya who told me all these Thai girls are beautiful, well they feel that way to me, I don't get to find out in the UK.

 

Very sorry to hear about your mother.  Life would change drastically for me and I assume most people with that much loss of sight.  Thank goodness all I have to deal with are annoying floaters for now.  And thank goodness for lasers, a non-invasive and quick way to reattach the retina.

Anyone who cannot cope with mathematics is not fully human. At best he is a tolerable sub-human who has learned to wear shoes, bathe, and not make messes in the house.

 

Robert Heinlein

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Interesting report and thanks for sharing, I would suggest you got off lightly with the bill as particularly BKK Pattaya are renowned for piling up the bill, they are a business before they are a hospital and at just over 7k baht sounds a bargain for such an important part of your anatomy.

Good luck with it all.

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Interesting report and thanks for sharing, I would suggest you got off lightly with the bill as particularly BKK Pattaya are renowned for piling up the bill, they are a business before they are a hospital and at just over 7k baht sounds a bargain for such an important part of your anatomy.

Good luck with it all.

 

Actually, I agree with you.  I was a bit surprised it was only 7070B given the delicacy and skill needed to perform this procedure.  It was probably due to how little time it all took.  And for once I had no medication prescribed.  Oh, how they love to prescribe medicine in bulk.

Anyone who cannot cope with mathematics is not fully human. At best he is a tolerable sub-human who has learned to wear shoes, bathe, and not make messes in the house.

 

Robert Heinlein

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