Eye Laser Surgery Around the World: Travel Bloggers & Their Experiences

by | 12/04/18 | Others, Uncategorized | 5 comments

I knew that one day I would do eye laser surgery. I had never liked my glasses and, most of all, myself with glasses.

That’s why, this year, I finally made an appointment to get the surgery done. Check out my blog post about it:

Barbaralicious Goes Eye Laser Surgery!

Barbara happy Bali

Melanie und Thomas von Reisen-Fotografie

Patrick from German Backpacker: LASIK in Turkey!

I always knew that at some point I will get my eyes lasered. I was wearing lenses most of the time, but especially when traveling, it was very annoying and sometimes even difficult to keep them clean when I was for example camping or when I stayed in hostels. But I always felt like it would be super expensive to get it done! At some point, I did more research and realized that the exactly same surgeries which are offered in Germany for a high price are also offered in Istanbul for a small fraction of the it. Istanbul has actually some of the best eye clinics of the world, so my fear of getting such an important surgery done somewhere abroad quickly vanished after reading all the positive experiences and reviews. I got in touch with a German agency called „sehhilfe-weg.de“, who organized the surgeries in Istanbul. They even offer a complete package including flight booking, accommodation and airport pickup. But since I’m a frequent traveler and always on a budget, I only paid for the surgery (around 600€) and organized cheap flights and a bed in a hostel by myself. On the day of the surgery, I got welcomed at the clinic by a German speaking assistant and after some checks, it was time for the LASIK surgery. The feeling was certainly uncomfortable, but the whole procedure only took a few minutes and I was done! I got some big glasses for protection and was allowed to go back to my hostel, while seeing very blurry. I rested in my dark room for a few hours waiting for my sight to return, which only took until evening. I still had a weird feeling in my eyes (as if I was wearing my lenses for too long), but on the next day everything was better and I returned to the clinic for a quick after-check. I was so happy to finally see clearly again and used the few extra days I had in Istanbul for sightseeing, before returning back home. I had to use eye drops for a few weeks and sometimes felt that my eyes were very dry (especially when sitting in front of a monitor too long), but these small issues vanished soon after. I never regretted my decision to get my laser surgery done in Istanbul – great value, great result, and even in combination with traveling to an exciting city!

About Patrick and German Backpacker

Hi, I’m Patrick, a travel blogger from Germany focusing on adventure and backpacking travels around the world! I blog on German Backpacker!

Nina from Where in the world is Nina: LASEK in South Korea!

I’ve made quite a few awesome decisions in my life but I have to say, laser eye surgery might have been the best. I’ve been a four-eyed freak most of my life starting when I was about 9 years old. After years of traveling and not being super confident doing certain things (opening eyes under water, surfing, diving….etc) I was finally fed up and decided to get LASEK!
I decided on LASEK (as opposed to LASIK) because it’s the most popular surgery in South Korea. They have moved away from LASIK as the flap in the eye (eww I know) was the cause of 90% of the issues after the surgery. Also, if something traumatic were to happen (like getting a surfboard to the eye, or a kids finger) those with the flap would have more trauma than I would, because I don’t have a flap. For LASEK they just ‘shaved” down my eyes ball a bit… still gross, I know.
Why South Korea? In short—better technology, doctors, and a far cheaper than the USA!
The results? Freaking fabulous. In fact, I’m in Morocco surfing like a pro right now!
Cost: $1400 including everything and a lifetime guarantee.
Oliver von Weltreiseforum.com

About Nina and Where in the world is Nina?

Nina Ragusa blogs at Where in the World is Nina and has a life mission of living and working on all continents. She takes you around the world with her sassy yet informative writing and gives the low down on how to work abroad to travel more.

Monika und Petar von TravelWorldOnline

Jackie from Life of Doing: LASIK and PRK in California!

Who wants to deal with glasses, hard contact lenses, and multiple cleaning solutions during exercising and traveling? My husband and I registered for the Tokyo Marathon, and we decided to have laser eye surgery before our marathon in January 2015. We went to three different clinics in San Jose, California for quotes and surgery qualification. Prices varied from $3500 to $5300 USD per person for both eyes.

After many considerations, we went with Scott Hyver Professionals, located in Santa Clara, California. We felt comfortable with the Dr. Hyver’s team, customer service, and the lifetime surgery touch-up if needed. Several friends had their procedures done with Dr. Hyver and had positive results. I paid $4900 for my laser surgery, while my husband paid over $5000. Due to my thinner cornea on my left eye, I had the PRK (photorefractive keratectomy) surgery which removes the outer shape of the cornea for the correction. Dr. Hyver was the only doctor to recommend PRK to me. My right eye had the Lasik surgery, and my husband did the Lasik surgery as well.

On the day of the surgery, everything went smoothly. I was originally nervous as eyesight is something you shouldn’t mess with. The surgery team asked if I wanted to hold a stress ball which I declined. After the numbing drops and hearing the laser sounds, the surgery was done in less than 10 minutes. It was amazing to wake up to clear vision the next morning. Healing process took two weeks for my PRK left eye while my Lasik eye healed in a few days. We had dry eyes during our healing process, but that was natural. The procedure was a life-changing moment and would recommend it to anyone!

About Jackie and Life of Doing

Jackie Szeto is an avid world-traveler, wanderer, and blogger on Life Of Doing. She loves to spend time outdoors either hiking, biking, or walking around town. Otherwise, she is planning her next adventure or weekend trip. Jackie is originally from the Bay Area California, and currently lives in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam with her husband, Justin. Follow the adventure on Instagram.  


Sarah from ASocialNomad: LASIK in England!

I wore glasses from the age of 4 when I had surgery to correct a squint in my left eye.  I’ve always had astigmatism and suffered through hard contacts lenses, which I believe to be a unique form of torture.   However, it wasn’t until my 29th year that I decided to have surgery.  That’s way back in the year 2000, I finally had enough money to splurge. 

I went for Lasik at a surgery in Reading, Berkshire, England, which was close to where I was living at the time.  I selected them because of the location, and they also had a good reputation for dealing with difficult issues.  I have very thin corneas, so there weren’t many surgeries willing to undertake my surgery. 

I took the plunge, spending GBP £1,000 per eye and having them both done at the same time.  I think the worst part was the week of wearing the clunky big protective glasses afterwards!  I didn’t experience any pain and was glasses and contact lens free for the first time in my life.  Well, the first time that I could see what I was doing anyway!  The only regret I ever had was that I didn’t get it done sooner!


About Sarah and ASocialNomad

Sarah Carter & Nigel Dockerty write about Gen X Travel with a Y Attitude at https://asocialnomad.com.  They like to travel slow, eat and drink local.  You’ll find them in museums, on wine tours, hiking trails and exploring temples.  Or, you can catch up with them on InstagramFacebook and Twitter.

Thomas von TürkeiReiseblog

Sofie from WonderfulWanderings: ReLEx-Smile in Belgium!

I’d been wanting to get my eyes lasered for a few years already when I finally made the decision at the beginning of 2017 when yet another person I knew told me about how great it had been for them. Initially, I wanted to get LASIK, but during my research, I found a procedure that’s even newer and better in the sense that it has an even higher success and lower complication percentage than LASIK: ReLEx-Smile.

There happened to be a doctor specialized in this procedure working from a clinic – Mediclinic – just a 15-minute drive from where I live. I didn’t hesitate and made an appointment to get my eyes tested and find out whether I was eligible for the procedure. I was!

I went back to get it done a few weeks later and can honestly say it’s one of the best things I ever had done. The procedure itself took literally just a few minutes and I could already see again straight after. I did have to let my eyes rest for a few days so that they could stabilize – jumping right back behind the laptop the next day wasn’t a great idea – and I also had to use some drops to help them heal and keep them moist.

The day after the surgery I needed to go back for a check-up, and then again two weeks later, six weeks later and six months later.

At the moment, my eyes are better than 100%. I don’t know how that’s possible, but apparently, it is. My eyesight is literally better than a fighter jet pilot right now and it has changed how I travel so much.

No more taking extra lenses with me. No more taking lens fluid and lens containers. No more lugging my glasses around. No more suffering from dry eyes after a long day because I kept my lenses in for too long. If there’s one thing I regret, it’s that I didn’t have it done sooner.

About Sofie and Wonderful Wanderings

Belgium-based Sofie helps people plan worry-free trips by providing them with detailed travel itineraries based on her own travels as well as practical travel information and how-tos. And if you really don’t like to research or simply don’t have the time, she’ll create a custom itinerary for you. She’s driven by an urge to explore and a cup of green tea (or two). Check out Wonderful Wanderings.

Sonja from Migrating Miss: LASIK in Australia!

I had wanted to get laser eye surgery ever since my Mum got it when I was 16 years old. To watch her go from using contacts and glasses to nothing at all was like a miracle, and I wanted it for myself too! However, since it’s best to wait until your eyes have stopped changing and mine never really seemed to slow down, it wasn’t until I was 25 and living in Australia that I finally decided to look more into it. To be honest, what spurred me on was the thought that I might not be eligible at all, and I didn’t want to be holding out hope for something I couldn’t have! In Australia, laser eye clinics often offer a free consultation to check your eligibility and give you your options. I went backpacking in Vietnam for three weeks and after the hassle of dealing with contacts in less than ideal conditions, I decided it was time to and have a consultation. When I found out I was eligible and the great interest-free payment plans on offer, I went ahead with it! I had LASIK eye surgery with Laser Sight in Brisbane, Australia, and it cost $5000AU for a lifetime guarantee, which means I can have touch-ups or go back again should I need to. A few months after my laser eye surgery I embarked on a longer backpacking trip through South East Asia, and not having to worry about glasses or contacts while travelling in random places and doing tons of adventure activities was amazing, and has continued to be ever since!

Thomas von Pixelschmitt

About Sonja and Migrating Miss

Sonja is originally from New Zealand but is now based in Scotland, although she’s frequently travelling in Europe and further abroad. When not discovering new places, she can be found working on her blog, Migrating Miss, in a café with a coffee and cake at her side. 

Corinna Laimer von Aussteigen Bitte

Jessica from Notes of Nomads: LASIK in Japan!

A couple of years ago, I tried to get Lasik done at a well-known clinic in Tokyo. I chose this particular clinic because a friend had been there before and was happy with the results.

I researched all the procedures they had, which ranged from 154,000 to 300,000 yen (roughly US$1450 to $2840) and I decided to go with their most modern and expensive procedure – the Amaris Z-Lasik. I would also be able to get a discount of several hundred dollars thanks to a referral coupon my friend gave me.

Their one-day package is the most encouraged and cheapest option. This means that you do all your tests and have the surgery on the same day. At first, I thought this was a convenient option, but I quickly learned that it’s not the best when things don’t go as planned.

It turned out that I have thin corneas and was told that I’m not an ideal candidate for Lasik. They also said that my nose is too big for the machine (I get the first reasoning but not the second!).

I was told I’d have to go with the older Intralase option and also get a second surgery known as cross-linking. Together it would be an additional $US660.

I hadn’t heard of this second procedure before and they were really pushy about me getting it done. I only had 5 minutes to Google it in the waiting room before I had to confirm my procedure. My gut was telling me not to do it, so I didn’t.

Although it was disappointing, I’m glad that I didn’t go through with it (at least not at this clinic). It’s one thing to not be an ideal candidate and needing to look at other options, but it really felt like they were trying to sell me on a procedure that I wasn’t comfortable with just to make some extra cash.

They got irritated when I asked questions, changed their story about various things that just didn’t seem to add up, and I couldn’t meet the doctor who would be performing the surgery. When I left, they tried to coax me back by offering to “do me a deal” and recommending cheaper options that they previously said were not ideal for me. In any case, it felt far from reputable.

I’m not against looking into Lasik again elsewhere (I know lots of people who have had great experiences in many parts of the world), but I think a clinic that does the initial screening on a separate day is much better for me. I’d like to be able to have all my questions answered, feel comfortable with the procedure and meet the doctor performing it.

About Jessica and Notes of Nomads

Jessica Korteman is an Australian travel writer, currently based in Tokyo, Japan. You’ll most often find her on her blog, Notes of Nomads  delving into culture and expat life, and how to create a lifestyle full of new experiences.

Jenny from 22places: LASIK in Istanbul!

In 2015, I decided to go for an eye laser surgery at the Eye STAR LASIK Institute in Istanbul. When I tell people about it, I usually get the following reaction: “Wow, are you crazy?”. But the quality of the hospitals in Istanbul is at least as good as in Germany. The advantage: It is a lot cheaper and you can combine it with a visit to Istanbul. The price was just one of the reasons why I decided to go to Istanbul for the operation. The crucial factor was that a friend of mine had laser surgery there two years earlier after a Turkish colleague recommended the clinic. So there were two people who were very happy with the clinic. That’s why the decision was not really hard for me. In addition, the hospital had great reviews online, the contact person was super nice and I just had a good feeling. I got my surgery appointment in Istanbul just 2 months after taking the decision. By the way, that’s also a good tip for people who are not sure whether to get the surgery done or not: Just take the decision and don’t push it along. Yes or no? And when you have decided, make an appointment directly. I didn’t regret my decision – not even for a second. The experience on site was very good, the lasering and everything around was less than 15 minutes, I had no pain and see 100 percent on both eyes. We spent a whole week in the beautiful metropolis, of which the surgery took only 1.5 days. On the day after the surgery, we could already do sightseeing! I would do it again anytime and can highly recommend laser surgeries in that clinic to everyone.
Florian Blümm von Flocblog

About Jenny and 22places

Jenny and Basti are bloggers, travel photographers and founders of the successful 22places online photography course. They live and work location independent and wander around this wonderful planet with their cameras all year round! Their goal: to find the 22 most beautiful places in the world.

On their blog 22places, they share their best photo tips, teach you photography in their online photo course and give detailed travel tips on the destinations they visit.


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