So yeah, I got ICL surgery in Prague but before I tell you what happened let me give you a bit of backstory as getting to that point was a total of 10 years in the making!
Around 10 years ago I decided I wanted to get rid of my glasses and lasik would be the way to go! And with the cost being quite high I started to look for more affordable alternatives and discovered a concept called: Saturday Lasik in Istanbul. (Arrive Friday, laser on Saturday, fly home on Sunday)
Hence I booked a ticket, flew to Istanbul and it was during the pre-operative exams that it was concluded that I would not really qualify for lasik.
So my weekend in Turkey became a disappointing one as I came with glasses and I left with glasses.
Fast forward a few years and I decided to go get a second opinion in Cologne, Germany! After undergoing all the exams the eye clinic concluded that my cornea was indeed too thin and that lasik/lasek/PRK as a whole was not going to be an option for me. Instead, they told me that I would be a candidate for something that was called: ICL however it would cost 4x as much as the standard lasik procedure.. I passed on the opportunity but again turned to the internet to see if I could get a better deal than what this random German clinic was offering me.
A few months after first hearing about ICL I contacted the organization that provided the ‘’saturday lasik’’ and see if ICL was going to be an option. A day later they came back to me and said that it was indeed an option as a price that was going to be MUCH more affordable than anything I had seen before. (In retrospect this should have been a warning sign)
A few weeks after the initial email I asked my mom if she would join me on a week-long trip to Istanbul and off we went.
To make a very long story short: I arrived back in the same clinic in Istanbul, underwent hours of exams, and was informed that I did not have cataract hence no surgery would be needed……. Meaning: I went to Turkey to undergo ICL lens implant surgery the hospital figured I came for lens replacement surgery…
I am sure you can understand that at this point I decided to stop pursuing any sort of ICL option for years and years to come!
Fast Forward to 2019 whilst living in Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates) I decided to go to my local eye clinic and simply see what my options would be. Together with the clinic, we decided that we should do the full exam and whatever the outcomes were going to be try and claim the surgery through my health insurance.
Also here it was confirmed that ICL would be the only option for me but regretfully my health insurance rejected the claim for reimbursement hence I decided not to have the surgery. (But it did spark my desire to get rid of my glasses)
During one of my Amazon shopping hauls I bought 2 pairs of amazing GANT sunglasses. It was my intention to replace the original lenses with prescription but as I tried to replace the lenses I was shocked by the cost I would have to pay to re lens them.
And it was then that I simply figured: Ok, you can either pay $300 for a pair of lenses or you can invest a bit more and never have to worry about these things again.
Hence I restarted my journey to find an affordable ICL clinic.
It was through a random google search that I found the website of the Czech based medical tourism company: Praga Medica (I was also considering Slovakia, Hungary, Portugal, etc)
With a clear website, amazing reviews, fantastic pricing, and a reply to my message within 24 hours I felt I was onto something.
So after a few email exchanges with my (dedicated) contact: Aneta. I decided to pay a deposit and lock in the dates for what would be my EVO VISIAN ICL Surgery in Prague, Czech Republic.
Praga Medica works with a clinic called DuoVize, which is considered the best eye clinic in the country. Originally when enquiring for ICL surgery it was suggested that I would come to Prague 2x as the lenses had to be custom made & shipped from Switzerland however I was also given the option for express delivery of a surcharge of $175 per lens. (I believe)
So my schedule would look like this:
Monday: 745 AM – Pre Op Exams
Wednesday: Eye 1
Friday: Eye 2
Sunday: Go home
I asked my dad to join me on this trip to Prague and we opted for a comfortable but lengthy 9-hour train ride. (It cost $60 in first-class – hence why we did not fly)
We arrived in Prague on Sunday evening and went straight to our Airbnb located in the awesome district of Prague 2. (I can only recommend this part of town) We made our way to dinner at a nearby restaurant and walked to a local supermarket to stock up on some groceries.
I slept really badly. I had to be at the clinic at 745 AM where I met Aneta from Praga Medica. (She would walk me through all the exams). The first impression was that the clinic is no different than any other clinic I had ever been in. It was bright, modern, everyone spoke great English and there was free coffee. (What more could you want?)
I went through a series of very standard eye exams (if you are wearing glasses you have done all of these before at some point) which ended with me getting eye drops and meeting the doctor for a final examination who then went on to explain to me all the do’s and don’t post-surgery and happily told me that she could order the lenses as I qualified for ICL surgery.
In total, I spend 3 hours at DuoVize where finally I paid the remaining amount, evo visian lenses were ordered with express delivery, and the timings were set for my surgeries and check-ups.
This was the only true ‘’free’’ day I got and we decided to explore the amazing city of Prague! In a few words: absolutely beautiful and amazing! I could totally see myself living here for a few months.
Turns out my right eye is the dominant eye so my left eye was going to be the first one to get the lens implant. Originally my surgery was scheduled for 1040 AM but was then pushed to 1 PM to then eventually be pushed to just after 2 PM. (Listen to my podcast to find out why!)
The first thing you do is change your shoes as you are provided with slippers. Then you change into a fresh pair of clothes before putting everything into a locker where then you can take a seat in 1 of the massage type chairs that are available in the room. (Oh, and you get a relaxation pill… if you want it!)
I made myself comfortable in one of the chairs and noticed that everyone else (around 5 others) was either Irish or British. As a matter of fact, I would state that during all of my days at DuoVize there was a constant flow of British, Irish, German, and Austrian people around me. (I’m sure medical tourism accounts for a solid 50%+ of their business)
But I digress
The eye drops start. Every 10 minutes a nurse comes and asks to open your eye and puts drops in. Depending on how many people are in front of you, at some point you are asked to put on the surgery gown, disinfect your hands, and before you know it it is some for you to walk through the door that reads: Operation. (But then in Czech)
I entered into a hallway where I was asked to sit in front of a door. A few moments later the surgeon came and introduced himself and he went through what he was going to do to my eye: ICL Lens implant on the left eye.
He then opened the door to the surgery room and I was asked to sit on a bright yellow chair. The chair went flat and they started to disinfect my face and covered it with something. (I’m completely blind at this point so I don’t really know)
The surgeon asked me to open my eye and he placed a clamp which makes sure that my eye stays open. (I was worried this would be super uncomfortable but it really wasn’t!) Following where a few minutes of just liters of numbing drops and before you know it the big surgery light was switched on and I was asked to just stare into the light.
Now, out of everything during my entire surgery experience, this was by far the most annoying. (Perhaps a bit uncomfortable but truly, honestly nothing crazy) Which such a bright light above you and without having the option to close your eyes, it just gets annoying.
All this time I know the surgeon was doing something and I keep on noticing the bright lights moving. He also stated at some point: ‘’You will feel some pressure’’ but I didn’t feel anything…
10 Minutes into the entire thing I just heard him say: Surgery Finished, finish up procedure and 2 minutes later I was back into the room with the massage chair…
Was it really that painless, Was it really NOTHING to worry about? → YEP!
As I walked out of the surgery room I was given another pill to swallow and I was able to change back into my original clothes. However, they kept me in the ‘’pre/post’’ surgery room for a solid 45 min before I was send off for 2 more eye exams where my eye pressure was measured and another doctor made sure the lens was perfectly in place.
After a total time of roughly 3 hours, I walked out of the DuoVize clinic together with my dad, hopped in an Uber, and went to the Airbnb where we stayed for an hour or so and then grabbed dinner before I went to bed early.
Up to this point: 0 pain, 0 discomforts → absolutely amazing!
I woke up early, removed the patch for my eye and I could literally read the quote on the wall! Awesome, exciting, and just utterly amazed that this was really possible!
I had to be at the clinic at 1005 AM for the check-up and as I waited in the waiting room it filled up with mainly international patients. (All in different stages and all having different types of eye surgeries)
During the check-up the pressure was measured, I was given a standard ‘’read the lines’ test and again they checked and made sure that the lens was placed perfectly.
So by 1025, I walked out of the building, ready to explore more of Prague with 1 eye done and 1 eye ready for tomorrow’s surgery.
This was pretty much the same procedure as the Wednesday surgery with the exception that this surgery started on time: 1040 am.
What was different is that there where only 2 people in front of me (Irish man and a Czech elderly lady) so after receiving the eye drops and wait the obligatory 45 minutes, things moved along super fast.
Same surgeon, same procedure. I still struggled with the bright light and the fact that now my left eye was done also didn’t help. (I could see more) Also, the surgeon explained and talked a lot more during this operation .. not sure why.
But to give you an idea: I walked into the surgery room at 1122 am and walked out at 1151 AM… a true routine, painless surgery!
The patched up my eye but the patch came off after having it on around 6+ hours…
I could see through both eyes, no pain, no discomfort, almost no halos… SENSATIONAL!
A super early 745 Am check-up and I was literally the first in line. Hence this took only 10 minutes. I met again with the doctor who reconfirms all of the do’s and don’t and gave me another bottle of eye drops.
By 8 AM I was out of the clinic, had a new pair of eyes and we made our way to the Prague farmers markets for breakfast!
Time to say goodbye to this amazing city! We made our way to the airport and flew back home! (No train this time)
All in All, we are now 5 days post-surgery (as I am writing this). I am so grateful to say that until this day there has been no pain, no discomfort, and pretty much 0 haloes.
Life without glasses is amazing, I cannot wait for the month to be over so I can start to exercise and not have my glasses fall off. I look forward to going to the beach and go swimming. I look forward to the rain and walking in it!
If you are considering ICL surgery: Go do it!
If you have any questions: 1 Listen to my podcast as I live journaled each day! And 2- feel free to message me at any time!
Hopefully, you found this post helpful!