Sharing a personal story & tips with you all today. This is my Lasek eye surgery journey.
Let me give you some background information first. At a young age I became an avid reader (hello, The Bernstein Bears & Goosebumps). I loved to read so much that I would often read after bedtime (lights out) or under a blanket with a flashlight. Cool, right? Anyway I think this catapulted me into my “glasses wearing stage”. I got my first pair of glasses in the 5th or 6th grade.
Over the years I have always embraced wearing glasses and if I felt the need to look “different” I’d pop in my contacts.
However, enough is enough. I was tired of reaching for my glasses the second I woke up; tired of paying for eye exams, contacts, glasses and everything that came along with it. So in 2008 or so while living in Montgomery, AL I went for a LASIK consultation. Not much to my surprise the cost was *too expensive for my college pockets* out of my budget range.
Fast forward to March 2016, location – South Korea. I’ve always heard that LASIK was much cheaper here, so I decided to bite the bullet and see exactly what my options would be.
I decided to have the LASEK surgery on April 9. The cost of my surgery was 600,000 won. That’s roughly $521. That was my total cost for both eyes. Totally unbelievable, right?
Choosing the Eye Clinic
- I’d recently saw a friend post about their LASIK experience so I reached out via facebook.
- I asked for opinions & personal experiences on eye surgery in Korea in a popular Facebook group (BSSK)
Tip: Do your research. Get multiple opinions. Scour the internet and most importantly go visit for yourself.
- After my due diligence I decided to receive a consultation at BGN Eye Clinic. It’s located in Gangnam, South Korea.
- There is no fee for the consultation.
What to Expect
- You will need to fill out a few forms about yourself and medical history.
- Bring your id card
- You will be escorted to a waiting area and after about 10 minutes your eye exam will be administered by a staff member.
- You will take several different tests to determine your eligibility. Most are machines where you have to stare at a dot or house. At one point I was also given eye drops.
- You will enter a smaller room to take a “typical” exam (i.e. read the numbers)\
- After the exam the staff member will speak to you about your results and options
- I was given about 3 different options at various price points.
- I choose Lasek, because it gave more protection for the eyes and it was in my price range.
- I should also note the I had to take a DNA test before leaving. Yes. A DNA test. Something about making sure that it was okay for me to have the surgery. Yea. Anyway it was 100,000 won. This was taken off the total price.
- Yea, big OH. I had to make my surgery appointment before I left…Now it’s really real. Of course I could change or reschedule at anytime though.
1:30 – Arrival. Check in. More paperwork. Nervous. Wait a bit.
1:50 – Another eye exam
2:00 – Wait
2:05 – Eye Check from the Dr.
2:10 – Wait
2:20 – Pay remainder. Wait.
2:30 – Move to another room. Sign consent form. Consulted about meds to take after surgery.
2:45 – Move to the surgery side of the building.
Once I walk to the other side there is a brief (by that I mean I sat for 2 secs and then they called me back) wait.
Next I was escorted to the pre-op area. I removed my jacket, glasses and shoes. These were placed in a locker. I was then instructed to remove any makeup with a facial wash and water.
Afterwards I met with yet another Dr. for one last eye exam. I was given the ok once more. Then of course we took a picture together .
After our quick photo session I was given eye drops and told not to move. After a few minutes I was led to a dark room to relax (eyes closed) for 5-10 minutes.
Once my relaxation time was over, the nurse escorted me to the surgery room.
SN: At this point I know it’s time…BUT they really aren’t saying “Ok, now we’re going to blah blah blah…then blah blah blah.”
- Inside the room were about 5-6 machines that you have to lay flat on.
- So after taking off my slippers and being positioned on the machine, I’m told to look at the green light.
- The Dr. then proceeds to keep my open with a clamp.
- My eye is then cleansed with water and next the alcohol is applied.
Note: With Lasek, alcohol is applied, then the eye is lasered.
Once the alcohol was applied I was ready for the laser.
- I could smell the burning of my eyeball. Literally.
- It went by really quickly.
- I was so scared. Literally.
Afterwards my eyes were cleansed with water again, and then the nurse said “finished”.
Next we walked to the recovery room where I sat in a dimly lit room (with blanket) for about 15 minutes.
After waiting I was free to go.
At this point it has been about 11 days since surgery.
Quick Points to Note:
- Day of surgery I could immediately see clearly.
- About 45-1hr after surgery my eyes began to hurt.
- The first & second days were the worse as far as pain and sensitivity to light.
- It took about 5 days to be close to normal again.
- I had to (& currently) have to take several different eyes drops.
Lasek has been the most amazing thing I have ever given myself. This has to be one of the most rewarding (birthday) gifts ever. I no longer am constrained by contacts, prescription glasses or not being able to see when I wake up.
If you are contemplating Lasik/Lasek do your research and go for it!
Let me know your thoughts in the comment section below.