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LASIK Time in Korea – The Surgery
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See at last!! - Our LASIK experience was a complete success! The day of the surgery was a bit nerve-wracking. From the moment we walked into the clinic we were met with the usual smiles and friendly greetings that we had experienced on our consultation day.
There are some really great staff members there, and the treatment you receive is wonderful. We settled up our bill with them right after we arrived and in total we paid ₩3,000,000 ($2800.00 CAD) for both of our surgeries.
We decided to go with the Wavefront guided Amaris 750S option. After a quick wait, we met up with Dr Kim and he discussed our surgeries with us. He stated that my laser time would be around 9 seconds on my right eye and 7 seconds on my left; Matts would be around 20 seconds on each eye. For comparisons sake, my sight prior to LASIK was -2.25 (R) and -1.75 (L) which was minor compared to Matts which is around 5.50 in both eyes.

We were then put in the pre-surgery waiting room and enjoyed the massage chairs while we looked out the window at the awesome view. We were wondering what it would be like to come back in here after the surgery and see without wearing our glasses. It was hard to comprehend what that could be like in that moment, but we were extremely excited to experience it.

We decided Id go first and within a few more minutes one of the nurses came in to help me put a medical smock on as well as a hair cover. They walked me over to the Air Shower, which basically shoots high pressure air at you and after that I was ready to enter the surgery room. I laid down on the bed and one of the nurses whod been helping us during our consultation told me she was going to hold both of my hands; I was happy about this and took her up on the offer. Once Dr Kim came in it was a smooth transition into the surgery.

I was so happy with Dr Kim during the procedure. He was very reassuring and definitely helped me relax throughout the entire process. He explained what was happening every step of the way and it was a great relief to know all was going as it should. The experience itself is so weird. I have to say that its pretty much like watching a mini movie through your own personal headset playing a weird light show.

First you see a red dot, then the anesthetic eyedrops are put in your eyes which looks like youre looking at the red dot from underwater. Then comes the speculum which holds your eye open - This isnt near as uncomfortable as you think. I kept thinking of the Clockwork Orange scene, but in reality its not bad at all and you can barely feel it. The Dr makes little marks on your eye with a surgical pen. Then comes what we named the mini zamboni portion of the event. This little contraption is actually making the tiniest slits on your outer tissue so that it can be peeled back and ready to have the laser applied.
When this tissue is peeled back it is probably the strangest feeling of the entire surgery. Its not painful, but its like watching a page turn from semi-clear to blurry. Once this happens youre ready for the laser show. You can hear a faint sparking, such as you would imagine lasers sounding. You can see a change in the way the red light looks but other than this you are no more uncomfortable than at any other point during the LASIK process.

Once that is finished, youre on to the next eye. Its really much more simple than what I was imagining it to be like, and far less uncomfortable for that matter. Even during the actual procedure, it was more bothersome to think about what was happening than the actual experience itself.

Once both eyes were finished he pulled off the protective facial mask and this may actually be the most painful point of the experience. Its kind of like tearing a strong face-sized piece of tape off of your face. A quick glimpse in a nearby mirror put my mind at ease. I sighed with relief at being able to see without glasses and at seeing my eyebrows were still intact.

I was escorted back to the waiting room and placed in a massage chair. They brought in the most delicious milk tea and told me to relax. Only minutes after the surgery I could see, not perfectly, but I could see. Looking out the window at the beautiful view, I was beginning to realize that I was seeing things on my own for the first time. My sight became sharper by the minute and I was able to read words from quite the distance about 10 mintues after the surgery was done. Major success!!

Matt went into surgery after me and had an equally successful experience. We were both amazed at the results, and wondering why it took us so long to get it done. Mere moments after it was done, we were already happy with the results.

We saw Dr Kim again prior to going home; he checked our eyes and applied more drops. He said all looked good and to come back and see him again the next day. The nurses explained our eye drop regime to us which included 3 drops a day of two different antibacterial eye drops and a bottle of artificial tears to be used whenever we experience dryness. We were told to rest and to follow the post-operative care hand-out wed been given. Right before we made our exit we stopped by the glasses box on the reception desk, and proceeded to drop both of our glasses into it. Cue the cheers! That was a great feeling.

We opted to have the complimentary driver service take us home, which was great. The man who drove us home was friendly and very courteous. The van they use is roomy, comfortable and incredibly clean. Within 15 minutes we were home and still in awe of our newfound vision.

On the day of surgery I would describe my vision as being the same as if you slept in your contacts for a couple days, and you can see pretty clearly but with a definite haze on the sides of your eyes. Matts vision was slightly worse, but he had double the laser time, so that was to be expected.

It was so odd to see things, I kept thinking I had contacts in - Or, I would think that I needed to take my contacts out. I woke up in the middle of the night and it startled me that I could see our apartment in the dark, and make out sharp details.

The next day we went back to the clinic for our checkups. We waited briefly while Dr Kim finished up another LASIK procedure then joined him in his office to discuss our progress. After checking our eyes we were told to look at the eye chart and low and behold I was able to see 20/15; Matt was able to see 20/20.

The day following our surgery I would describe my vision as being similiar to when you sleep in your contacts overnight. It felt much more clear than the day of surgery, but still a bit cloudy.

Its been officially 3 days after surgery and our sight is continuously improving. Were able to read well and see things from afar with an amazing amount of detail.

We were extremely happy with the procedure, care and investment at the Sojunghan Nun Ophthalmology Clinic. If youre looking for a superb LASIK experience, look no further than Dr Kim and his staff of friendly professionals. We give it four – 20/20 – eyeballs out of four!