Diabetic macular edema is when the retina of the eye swells as a result of diabetes. It occurs when fluid from the blood vessels leaks inside the macula or the center of the retina causing blurring in the middle or the side of the vision. The condition tends to get worse over time, so patients may eventually find it hard to focus their eyes clearly.
Diabetic macular edema is now being treated using advanced laser treatments, which unfortunately are not yet available in many countries in the world. For this reason, many patients consider medical tourism where they go abroad for various treatments. One of the best and most trusted destinations is Southeast Asia, which is especially popular for some medical specialties, including ophthalmology and long-term diabetes care.
Many of the region’s skilled doctors who specialise in these fields were trained and have practiced abroad before going back to their countries to serve at local hospitals or start their own practices. This means that they are capable of performing the same treatments offered by doctors in the US and Europe.
The top countries for medical tourism in Southeast Asia are Singapore, Thailand, and Malaysia. These countries lead the pack because they invest greatly in their medical tourism industries and in bringing the latest technologies in healthcare to their hospitals.
Many of the hospitals in these countries are fully equipped with the latest laser technologies used in ophthalmology allowing them to treat both focal and diffuse types of macular edema. Most hospitals also offer treatment of leaking aneurysms inside the macula and grid laser treatment that resolves diffused leakage from thickened retinal walls.
Although patients can receive high-quality and advanced treatment in Southeast Asia, the region’s hospitals charge low prices for their services. This explains the major cost savings that patients enjoy when they choose Southeast Asia over the US or UK. Even when associated fees are included, such as airfare and accommodation, patients who travel to Singapore, Thailand or Malaysia for treatment are still able to save up to 50%-70% of their total medical cost.