My husband and I both decided to have the Refractive Lens Exchange operation in Prague, because the cost of the same operation in UK would have been impossible for us to afford. I struggled with close up reading, and hubby with distance vision. I chose the Refractive Center Prague because they had good reviews and were very responsive when I sent emails asking questions.
You have to have had a medical check-up stating you are ok to undergo local anaesthetic - we had this done at their partner clinic Next Clinic in Prague because we discovered that our GP was not prepared to do it. When you go to the Next Clinic remember to bring your passport with you, the entrance to the clinic is next to the one that says Next (go figure, maybe that’s why it’s called Next). They did blood and urine tests, an EKG and a cardiologist checks you over. The results are emailed directly to the Refractive Center the next day.
The Refractive Center in Prague is easy to find, a number of trams stop about a block away.
The receptionist didn't speak English but she was laughing and friendly, we were given new masks to wear (everywhere in Prague requires you to wear a mask due to Covid19).
The surgeon Petr came over and said hello, and then various tests ensued. There was the usual peering into lenses while a puff of air is blown into eye, then we each went through to Petr where he explained exactly what would happen regarding the surgery. He conducted more sight tests and asked us about activities, hobbies, the amount of time we spend driving, computer work etc. Then we sat while pupil dilation drops were applied. After about half an hour we went back to Petr’s office where we had to look at an intense bright light, and then sat with eyes closed to recover.
Once Petr has checked all the results and is happy, he gives the go ahead for the operation to take place, which in our case was later that afternoon. He showed us the lenses, in large clear plastic circles with rings around them. That will sit in a dome shape in eye. I think!
All these checks take some time – in our case the entire morning, but it was good to know they were being so thorough.
The hospital where the operation takes place is on the other side of the city, but it’s simple to get there by tram or uber.
When we arrived at the hospital a ray of sunshine in the form of smiling bubbly Jana (Mrs Surgeon) came to fetch us to go upstairs to the preparation room. With much laughter she tells us to relax in the room, it is all ours to use with an en suite in case we need it. She takes our blood pressure and offers us each a calming tablet in case we are nervous. We remove all jewellery and clothes and put on paper scrubs with a lovely hair net hat!
We sat in our lovely blue paper scrubs whilst Jana applied eye drops several times over the next half hour.
Then she took me to surgery, the nurses helped me climb up on the bed and lie down. Petr comes over and gives me a round rubber ring to hold, I tell him I would prefer a doughnut. He and the nurses laugh. The next 5 minutes are spent chatting about favourite foods, then he starts the surgery.
I felt nothing, could just see shapes and at one point tiny bright light speckles on a black background. Then it is all over, not even 10 minutes I don't think. Jana appears again and walks me back to the room where I get dressed and then she leads hubby away for his turn.
The operation was so quick and painless, and we received really excellent treatment. Jana tells me Petr is very experienced, over 20000 operations - so we were in good hands.
We had to wear an eye patch back to the apartment and put eye drops in every hour and wear a new eye patch for sleep to prevent us rubbing our eyes.
The next day we were out and about, as usual, my eye felt a bit uncomfortable like I had something in it. But not enough to bother me. I noticed a colour difference between my old eye and my new eye, green looked blue-ish, and white was really bright. I also found everything a bit blurry with my new eye. But, the big thing for me was I could suddenly read menus, read my phone, all without glasses! That was on the next day. Not totally clear, but I could read. Letters appeared to have a blurred outline around them, like a large 3D shadow.
2 days later we returned for a check-up. More looking at hot air balloons, puffs of air and bright lights. All good - we can ask Petr any questions later that afternoon when we go for the second operation.
The second surgery went as smoothly as the first, again it was really quick and painless. We didn't have any questions, although Jana gave us contact numbers and a card with a barcode on it which when scanned will show exactly what lens we have in our eyes.
After 2 weeks I can read and hubby can drive without glasses, although our near vision is still a bit blurry. I also see halos around bright lights, this should diminish in time. I was wondering when the blurry outline on close-up letters would go away, so I emailed Barbora at the clinic and she assured me it is quite normal as the brain has to adjust to the new lens. It should normalise in 4 to 6 weeks.
Everything is so bright, we have to wear sunglasses!
We're both really pleased we had this done, the difference is incredible. I was very impressed by the treatment and communication from all the staff at Refractive Center Prague, they are very professional and approachable. They are still in touch with me via email, and I feel comfortable knowing they are easily accessible to answer my questions.
I thoroughly recommend the Refractive Center in Prague, they are highly skilled and you are in safe hands.