Getting an eye surgery during our round the world trip? What a weird idea! Well as it so happens, I did get my eyes fixed thanks to laser surgery. For a closer look, and a detailed budget, stay tuned on Tatup!
This question seems to be the most common reaction when the subject is brought up. I felt a post was in order.
In this new era of Trumps and walls, what on earth would possess anyone to have their eyes prodded in the country best known for its Tequila and guacamole?
During our stay in Mexico (March 2016), and only after taking enough Spanish lessons to be able to communicate, I found the website for an eye surgery clinic, located in Guadalajara.
The obvious reason for this whole experience is the cost. In France, the surgery (for both eyes) costs from 1800 to 2500€.
For the same price, you can take the trip to Mexico and get the surgery.
For a long time, I toyed with the whole idea, wondering if it didn’t go against my convictions of being the healthiest possible, with as little surgeries as possible. Without even addressing the location, this was my first case of conscience, if you will.
With that being said, every single person wearing glasses knows how flawed these are. Steam, dirty glasses, the weight on your nose, a reduced field of view, discomfort when it comes to sports or straight up removing them for any water activity...and don’t get me started on photography!
From a security standpoint, eye surgery is a 20 years old practice, with very efficient results. Nonetheless, and despite very low odds, the risk factor does exist. Be it in France, or anywhere else.
To learn more about the risks, I browsed the very well documented forum, created by a french optometrist. (link)
In short, the clinic offers two types of surgery. The femtosecond, offering the best results at the cost of a longer recovery period. And then you have the classic, well known Lasik, the swifter option. Depending on the medical equipment, it can be the same last generation that’s nowadays widespread across Europe.
lTheir website is a great starting point, very clear and thorough once you have a good grasp of the Spanish language.
If thir Facebook page, proudly showing 28000 likes and 580 positive ratings, does seem convincing, it’s their fast e-mail answer that did it for me.
Competence and technique
Their surgeons have studied in either the USA or Mexico, and benefit from the last or penultimate Lasik equipment.. I still had my doubts, until I set foot in the spotless clinic.
My follow-up appointment with Doctora Fabiola de Orta dissipated my -And Delphine’s- reluctance even further: her confidence and good spirits were contagious.
Fabiola has some notions of the french language, thanks to a past collaboration with the "Alliance Française" (French Alliance) in Mexico. We kept in touch long after the surgery was performed.
As I’ve stated previously, money is the deciding factor, and not only for eye surgery; the quality/price ratio is preposterous compared to the USA, so it’s not uncommon for foreigners to get dental care, plastic surgery, or just all around health care in Mexico. This is a 122M market per year in Mexico.
Photogrph of the fully dilated iris for examination.
In Mexico, you will need 25€ per person, per day.
You can get a plane ticket for a bit less than 800€ per person, with a layover in Madrid for example, so you might even plan a visit on the way.
The best way to do this is to probably spend 20 days in Mexico: 15 of these will be spent visiting the country, and leave the last 5 for your surgery. You might want to buy a cancellation insurance for the plane ticket, in case you need a second operation, which very rarely occurs. For information, the surgery for both eyes costs between 593 and 821€ depending on the exchange rate - and the offer of the moment - .
Planning your surgery at the start of the trip would be a mistake since you wouldn’t be able to enjoy diving.swimming in the cenotes...
and you would have to pass up on becoming a luchadores champion :
Total for someone leaving from France, staying in Mexico for 20 days, all inclusive 1980€ (Plane ticket both ways + accommodation + meals + 1 internal plane ticket + the eye surgery and various transportation tickets, travelling in ’adventure mode’, staying at small guest houses and using public transportations.)
As far as I’m concerned, this was a life changing experience. This was not a heavy surgery, and I’m very happy to have taken that leap of faith. So am I advising you to do the same? Well, it’s hard to tell. I was there for my trip and saw an opportunity.
If you are planning to visit Mexico anyways, you might as well consider keeping an eye out for it (hey, give me a break, there was barely any pun in this one!). It’s a breathtakingly beautiful country, full of history, culture, and cuisine, populated by warm and kind people.
I’m still skeptical on flying there from Europe just for that. Still an interesting thought.
Cenote Dos Ojos, in Tulum - Yucatan - Mexico
A «Cenote» is a natural pit, or sinkhole, resulting from the collapse of limestone bedrock that exposes groundwater underneath.
«Dos Ojos» = «Two Eyes» en espagnol