For many years I have had a curious interest in laser eye surgery. It has always been subdued due to time or money but this week I had a bit of time due to holidays and Korea has one of the best price points. I have had a few friends who had the surgery in Korea and was recommended to a clinic in Busan called BalgeunSeSang Eye Clinic also known as iLove Eye Center. I figured I had nothing to lose so I booked an appointment.
It is a state of the art facility boasting over 160,000 surgeries in the last year. You arrive for your appointment and are met with a questionnaire. How many eyes do you have? and other standard eye related questions. It is a very comfortable atmosphere with gentle music playing, comfortable chairs, computers to use, water, tea and coffee to drink while you wait.
A short 15 minute wait and you are on your way to complete a barrage of tests. Their website claims that they perform 50 examinations on your eyes before you are ready to be approved for surgery. They have all sorts of whirring, blinking, hissing, steaming contraptions that test not only your eyes but also your courage.
The one test that I think I failed was the eye wetness test. They put a strip of paper in your eyes for 5 minutes and the wetness of your eyes is based on how far the water has traveled. I say I failed because the nurse that took the papers out let out a startled, "Oh" when she saw the results. "Pretty dry, eh?" Said I. Yes was the reply.
Upon your completion you are taken in to a small office with a nurse to discuss the results with you as well as your eligibility and the cost that would come along with it. I say nurse but I am unsure of the qualifications required to preform the job. They were very polite, but they were also very polished. The whole time I was with my nurse it seemed like she was trying to sell me on Lasik. I tried to press about my dry eyes but she down played the risks and insisted that I would be a perfect candidate.
From there I was taken to another office to get my eyes looked at by a doctor, again I am unsure of his qualifications. He told me that he recommended the surgery. I asked him about my dry eyes and he confirmed that my eyes were dry but brushed it aside saying that it should be no problem.
I was quoted the price of 1,400,000 won($1,200) for both eyes, which is cheaper than doing one eye in Canada. The price was right but seeing as the biggest complaint about Lasik surgery is that it results in dry eyes I want to go to a doctor that is not getting paid based on my response to find out the true condition of my eyes before irreversibly altering them.
All in all it is a very interesting experience to participate in; you are very well taken care of and they boast a very high customer satisfaction rate. You pay nothing until the day of the surgery, so for those who are curious if they qualify all you have to lose is the two hours that the examination takes.