Konyaaltı Beach at Antalya, Turkiye.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Antalya, Turkiye.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Paris, France on May 1st.

Thursday, November 9, 2023

I didn't plan to end up at the doctor's in Uzbekistan!

Long time readers will remember that we both had refractive lens exchange surgery in Turkiye two and a half years ago. 

But I developed a common condition called posterior capsule opacification in one of my eyes, and I had that repaired in Belfast, Ireland at the beginning of July. At the time, they mentioned that the problem was developing in my other eye as well, but it didn't bother me enough to do anything about it yet.

Besides which, we were in Ireland and it was fairly expensive to have it done. I paid £450 ($768 CAD, $579 USD) to have the one eye done then, because I didn't have much of a choice. 

But over the last couple of months, the other eye had deteriorated to the point where it was starting to bother me. I knew we were going to Thailand at the beginning of December, so I figured we would wait until we get there and it would be an inexpensive place to get that done.

And then yesterday Ruth asked "why don't you see if you can get it done here?" in Tashkent. My first inclination was that I wasn't sure Uzbekistan was the right place to search out this type of procedure. But I looked up "ophthalmologist" on Google Maps and found a new clinic listed that got all five star reviews.

So we figured we would stop in there and see if they could do anything. I wasn't confident, because after all, we're only here for two days!

We set off on the 5 km (3 mile) walk at 10:15am.

Big construction project on the right side of this canal.

Fairly new looking mosque.

Tashkent loves you!

Sponsored by KFC!

It quickly became apparent that Tashkent is a big, modern, growing city and I was starting to feel better about finding a qualified ophthalmologist here. Far different from the western part of the country like Khiva or Bukhara.

Along the way, we passed by what is called "Magic City". We found out later tat the locals call it "Tashkent's Disneyland"!

The main entrance to Magic City.

It costs nothing to get in. It's a bunch of shops and park space and a few attractions. Really nicely done though.

There is a smaller replica of Registran Square in Samarkand.

And central Asia's first aquarium.
The facade of the aquarium is really well done.

There are streets replicating major cities in the world.

And even a magic castle.

Yes, it could easily remind you of Disneyland.

It was pretty quiet at 10:50am, but we can see where it would be busier in the evening.
We may come back tonight when it is all lit up.

Tower Bridge from London. Even with the red phone booth.

Scenery along the way.

Big Uzbekistan flag.

Ruth, and the I Love Uzbekistan sign.

Arrived at the SmileEyes eye clinic.

They spoke a little English at the reception desk, and one of the ophthalmologists happened to be standing at the desk so he overheard me tell the story. He also spoke pretty good English. I asked if they could do the YAG Laser Capsulotomy here, and the answer was "of course".

Then I explained that we were only in town for two days, and the response was "we can do it today".

Then I asked about the price. It was 145,000 SOM for the exam work, and 660,000 SOM for the procedure. Total of 805,000 SOM ($90 CAD, $65 USD).

Holy crap! Sign me up! That's cheaper than what our eye doctor in Turkiye would have charged! And to have it done right away without an appointment is amazing. This is the same procedure my mother needed and it took her almost two years to get it done in Canada's broken system!

The YAG Laser Capsulotomy is a five minute procedure, but there are tests that need to be done before and after, so I expected we would be there for an hour and a half or two. 

They assigned a young girl who spoke English really well who was with me almost the whole time. She and I spoke quite a lot about various things while we were waiting in between. She has a recent masters degree in ophthalmology, and it is her instructor who opened this clinic only three months ago and she came to learn from him. There are five other fully certified ophthalmologists here.

We talked about the medical system here compared to back home. She says the system in Canada and the U.S. is better for the doctors. But she thinks the system here is better for the patients. Here, they do not put physicians on a financial pedestal the way we do. The patient comes first. Seems to make sense to me.

They did some various tests, including an optical ultrasound. I've never had that done before! Then the girl says I need to be checked by a cardiologist before having the procedure. I must have looked surprised, because she says "don't worry, we have one on staff here. Follow me."

And the cardiologist saw me right away. This lady didn't speak much English, but the other girl stayed to translate. She asked me a bunch of health questions, and took my blood pressure. She was surprised that it was fairly high. Although it didn't affect my ability to have the laser procedure done, she was a bit worried about that and said "come back at 9:00am tomorrow morning and we will do some blood tests to make sure there is not some other problem."

So I'm actually going to do that. Might as well get it checked out while I'm here, and it will be inexpensive!

Then the head guy came in and did the laser procedure. 

More tests afterwards, and then we were done. I had to go to a nearby ATM to take out some more cash to pay the bill. It was about 1:30pm by then, so about two hours from start to finish. Amazing!

So nice to have my crisp clear vision back again, and at a much cheaper cost than I was expecting!

It had clouded over outside, and started spitting with rain. The girl at the clinic had suggested we visit a nearby Muslim school that has existed since the 1600's...

Pretty courtyard.

Then we went looking for some lunch. We figured we would have our main meal then, and maybe a snack in the evening.

We found an Arabic restaurant...

It was a nice place!

We each had a glass of lemonade.

I had a saucy, spicey, lamb dish.

And Ruth had some kind of a rice lamb dish.

They were both delicious. Total bill was 229,000 SOM ($25 CAD, $18 USD).

Then we did some more walking.

Yep, it rained a little bit!

We walked over to a big park with a lot of new building construction.

Yes, Tashkent is a very modern city!

Outside the Hilton Hotel.

The Hilton Hotel.

Mounted police and another fancy building.

Scenery along the way.

The Uzbekistan Parliament.

Me, at the National Museum of History.

Interesting building.

Our route back to the hotel took us by the back side of the Magic City.

What a great day. But we can already tell that two days in Tashkent is not enough. We might have to come back through this way. We'll see.

I had a late afternoon nap, and then we went out for a late snack at that some Vietnam restaurant we had been to the first day.

Today, we are off to explore some more. But the first stop is my 9:00am cardiologist appointment.

Great deal on Solimo K-Cup Coffee Pods.

And in Canada...


  1. What a great deal. Uzbekistan has a very low per capita income and that may influence the prices. Again, the food looks fantastic! Have you checked out grocery prices?

    1. Yeah, we the prices even beat those in Mexico and yes, we are sure that would influence the prices.

      We have been in the grocery stores but haven't done a real shop but from what we have seen the prices overall seem pretty decent for the economy here.

  2. What a deal on that laser eye surgery - wow! Hope all's well with the ticker, Kevin.

    1. It was a great deal but also keep in mind that the procedure that Kevin had wasn't the same as a laser correction treatment that many people get done to correct their vision so they don't have to wear glasses for either short or long distance. This was just a quick 5 minute procedure to remove the cloudiness that Kevin got as a side affect from the lens replacement surgery that we had done almost three years ago.


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