Ever since I can remember, I've had terrible vision. Astigmatism that I eventually grew out of, horrible distance vision, strangely shaped contacts. I've been wearing some form of corrective eye wear since I was 8. For those keeping track at home, that's 18 years of living with glasses and contacts.
I knew when I came to Korea that I would be faced with the best opportunity to get laser correction for my eyes. I knew it would be cheap, efficient, and easy.
So I started my research after a year of living here, looking for the best options that also spoke English.
After a couple months of looking around online, reading reviews, and looking at picture after picture after picture, I decided on Dream Eye Center in Gangnam. And let me tell you, I'm so glad I did.
What follows is a review of the first part of my LASEK surgery: the consultation.
The instant I walked into the Dream Eye Center, located on the fourteenth floor of Mijin Plaza in Gangnam, I knew that I was in good hands. My heart beat slowed a bit and, although I was still nervous, I felt more confident in my decision.
But let's back up. Before this, I had gone through the extraordinarily easy process of setting up an appointment. I posted onto their online call back list with what I was looking to do. Within a day, I was called and my appointment was confirmed. They told me every detail I needed to know, from how to get to the office to how long to not wear contacts.
The best part was that they confirmed everything via a text message as well. The receptionist spoke excellent English and was more than happy to answer my questions.
And then, when I needed to reschedule suddenly (because there was no way I was missing the first baseball game of the season), it wasn't a hassle at all. They rescheduled me, sent a confirmation text, and everything was ready to go.
Now, back to the appointment.
I was taken care of by a lovely woman named JungLim. She was sweet and kind and everything you would expect a nurse to be. Her English was great.
She took me from machine to machine, running test after to test to make sure I was a good candidate for the surgery. The best part? She explained each and everything to me. She even showed me the maps of my eye, explaining that my eye was actually really normal.
My vision? Normal. My cornea? Thick. My epithelial cells? Healthy.
She walked me through every step and answered every question I had. The process was efficient, but I didn't feel rushed in the slightest. In fact, I felt like they were handling my concerns with sincerity and caring.
The nurse joked with me, was super friendly, and had all of the tests completed in the course of about an hour and fifteen minutes.
Next, I met my doctor. He was kind, very straight forward, and honest. He told me I would be a great choice for LASEK and LASIK, and when I explained why I wanted LASEK (which is the more painful option), he agreed with my decision.
A basic side note: when LASIK is performed, they cut a portion of your cornea and open it like a flap. They use a laser to correct your vision, and then close the flap. The problem is that if there is ever any trauma to your face (say from a car accident or a punch to the face), there is a potential for your scar to reopen and for your vision to regress.
LASEK is when they dissolve or completely remove that portion of cornea and it grows back entirely, eliminating the risk of the wound reopening and causing damage.
After meeting with the doctor, I met with my official representative for the remainder of my two hour appointment. Susan discussed the pros and cons of LASEK, told me about their system (as state of the art as you'd come to expect from a country obsessed with technology), and explained the process. She informed me of the different steps, what recovery would be like, and the price.
She also explained to me that because I was such an excellent candidate, I will be getting all laser LASEK. This means there is no dissolving of the cornea, the laser will zap it away, and then another will correct my vision, and I'll be done.
Everything was so straight forward and handled with such care.
My LASEK is scheduled for July 29th, so that I will be able to recover over the course of my summer vacation.
I'm truly looking forward to my surgery, and to finally getting away from contacts and glasses. At least until I'm 50 and will need reading glasses.
Dream Eye Center was everything I expected and then more. The level of service is unparalleled, and I can't believe how comfortable they made me feel, considering my eyes will be zapped by lasers.
If you're in Korea, and you're looking to have LASIK or LASEK, definitely look into the Dream Eye Center. I can't imagine a better experience. And if you have any questions, drop me a line in the comments or on the contact page and I'll do my best to answer.
:) Talk to you again soon!
In the interest of ethics and honesty, I was offered a small discount for making a blog post about my experience. My opinions were, however, completely honest and were not influenced by the offer.
Writer, Photographer, Dream-Seeker