As regular readers know I usually try to keep close track of things people are searching for when the find PhilFAQS, the place on line where you learn the FAQS (Frequently Asked Questions) about living in the Philippines. That’s where the title of this post came from. That specific query has been typed and landed here at least 20 times in the past 20 days.
Well I already mentioned it in some detail here, where I talked about medical tourism at the grass roots as a business, but I’ll post in here again to make it easier to find.
I went to a doctor who practices here in Marilao at our local hospital, Nazarenus. The doctor was highly recommended in two ways … first by several other doctors whom I know and second by the fact that he just completed a similar procedure on my mother-in-law’s eye … and mother was ecstatic over the results. (any time you’re contemplating something you might be a little nervous about, always send in the 80 yo lady to test the waters first, .
His name is Alexander C. Santa Maria, M.D and he’s a board certified ophthalmologist (eye M.D.) and has operating privileges in several Metro Manila hospitals, and you can reach one of his offices at area code 44-711-5429. (to call from the US you would use 011-63 (the code for an international call and the country code for the Philippines) in front of this number.)
I first went in for a regular eye exam (about P400) and we talked about the options with the cataracts. The doc wanted me to try a special medication that was supposed to arrest further cataract growth for a month … I tried it, got no satisfaction and went back to the doctor and said, let’s do both eyes.
I had one session in his office that took a while where we measured both eyeballs to see what the biometrics of the cataract lenses should be, That ran a total of P1,000.
I also had to see my regular family doctor, Edgardo P. Guce, FPCP, FPCCP. (44-840-7948), an Internist and Pulmonologist, for routine blood work, chest x-ray and EKG to ‘certify” me as safe for “Dr. Santy” to operate on. These tests and Dr. Guce’s clearance ran about P1400 total.
Then my operation, consisting of Phacoemulsification, or phaco. A small incision is made on the side of the cornea, the clear, dome-shaped surface that covers the front of the eye. Your doctor inserts a tiny probe into the eye. This device emits ultrasound waves that soften and break up the lens so that it can be removed by suction. Most cataract surgery today is done by phacoemulsification, also called “small incision cataract surgery.” (this is the one you want! Recommended) for each eye (we did them two weeks apart) cost under P40,000 (each) (all in). The operations included 4 to 6 weeks of follow-up in office care … I’m scheduled for what might be my last appointment with Dr. Santy this coming Thursday.
So if you have been adding this up, we’re talking about six weeks total time so far and a grand total of a bit over P8,2000. At today’s Pesos/US Dollar rate that works out to under $1,750.00 USD, grand total including incidental eye drops, puto for the office staff (Google is your friend), tricycle rides, etc., but does not include Dr. Santiago’s Christmas gift for this year … the way my eyes feel, I owe him a very nice one.
I have some US estimates that indicate about $8,000 USD is close to a bottom-line price for this work in the US … so I think cost wise I did pretty well. Medical care-wise it would be hard to think of anything that could gave gone better. I wish I had had this work done years ago … it’s literally life changing … and talk about feeling younger