Bigger, Brighter World (Amaris Lasik)

Thank you Korea for affordable health. Since living here I’ve had:

  1. My teeth cleaned & fluoride treatment (I had not been to the dentist in years because it’s too damn expensive at home!)
  2.  I actually went to the doctor when I was sick. Weird, right? It cost me $2.00 unlike  my $40.00 co-payment in America.
  3. I’ve been prescribed medicine and I can pick it up for $1.00. Same meds at home cost will over $30.00.
  4. I don’t have any armpit hair. Jealous ladies? Lazer hair removal is amazing & CHEAP!  

& now I have PERFECT vision after dealing with contacts & glasses for years.

I’ve had a few friends in Korea get lasik eye surgery in the last few months and they laugh at me when I run to the bathroom to deal with a contact lost or sticking to my eye. I was over waking up after a night out with contacts making my eye lids turn inside out. Breaking glasses & the expenses to replace them. Contact solution. Ripped contacts. Agonizing dirt in the eye. I was over  it all.  

The Machine. Pretend I'm the guy laying down.

 In the USA lasik eye surgery is a couple thousand dollars. In Korea, it runs around $1,200-1,700! Depending on the type of surgery and your eyes. Of course my eyes are crap and required the expensive surgery. I am not a candidate for lasik surgery at home, because… America doesn’t have the brand new, upgraded, thus amazing, Amaris Lasik Machine.  

The machine is only 6 or 8 months old, and is an upgrade from the old lasik. Not many countries have this new type of lasik, but thankfully for me Technology Obsessed Korea is one of those lucky countries with Amaris. From what I’ve gathered here are some of the improvements:      

  • No more annoying side effects like halos around night lights that so many lasik patients experience for a few months after surgery.
  • Eye surgery lasts 55+years compared to 10-15 years with the older machine.
  • Surgery Time is much shorter.
  • After a few days I can expect my vision to be better than 20/20.
  • The machine also makes lasik available for more people. Example: Me. Apparently, I have thin corneas? & wasn’t a candidate for the older machine. The new machine can manage thinner corneas and allowed me the pain-free surgery vs. other options which involved days of pain and a month recovery.

It took a week from the first time I went in for a consultation until I got my surgery. Surgery Day = I was scared shitless! “Really, a lazer is going to be on my eyeball?!?!” I was probably the worst patient they ever had. After sanitizing my face and covering my body with big blue sheets… I decided to go for this really annoying itch on my nose. (Why does that always happen– right when you’re not suppose to move you manage to get an irritating itch?) The doctors and nurses all yelled “NO!” as I reached up and got it… but, that meant re-sanitizing me. They had to take everything off and start all over. Woops. The surgery itself sucked. I’m so glad I never have to do it again, but truth is… it’s 5 minutes on each eye and that’s it. I was finished. Plus I got to stare at some really trippy lazer lights and I had a front row seat at all the action! (Mainly because I was wide awake.) They numbed my eyes with drops so my eyes couldn’t feel anything. That makes it really WEIRD when I can see them touch my eye, paint something on my eye, and feel different sensations on my eye lid- but not my eyeball. It’s crazy. I couldn’t stop freaking out trying & to blink when they washed my eye with cold water–despite the tool holding my eye lid back. I kept yelling out “Am I okay?!”,  “I can’t see anything! What’s going on?!”,  “OKAY??”  I told you before, I was the worst patient they had. The doctor was definitely thinking, Crazy Foreigner.  

After a solid 12 hours sleep, I woke up pain-free with perfect 20/20. Like nothing had ever happen. I went to the doctors the morning after for a check up. When I finished racing through the letters and numbers of my eye test he looked at me and said,  

“Congratulations. You have perfect vision.”

   FYI: AMARIS is a latin verb for You are Loved.  


UPDATE: I went back to the eye doctor for a second check-up 3 days after the surgery. I amazed the doctors and myself when I read the itty-bitty letters at the very bottom of the eye chart. This time the doctor looked at me and said,  

“Can you really see that?! You have 20/16 vision!”

4 days ago I couldn’t see a person walking towards me & now I’m thinking about a career change and flying fighter jets instead.

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 Want More Information?  

  1. Ulsan Eye Clinic (Good Luck it’s in Korean, but it’s the place I went.)


6 Responses to “Bigger, Brighter World (Amaris Lasik)”
  1. Valerie says:

    Glad you got it done! It’s awesome, right? Congrats on perfect vision!

  2. Vanessa says:

    Can you send me info about laser hair removal, please?

    • Nicky says:

      I can send you information about where I went and prices. It’s great! I would recommend it to anyone that hates the tedious job of shaving. What’s your email?

      • Jessica says:

        Could you please send me information on laser hair removal? Me and two friends who live in Ulsan are dying to get it done but are having trouble locating places! It would be a tremendous help!! My e-mail is

  3. Bo Kim says:

    Hi! I am currently in Korea, and I am also going to do LASIK surgery, and I found your blog, Can I ask how much yours cost? Also, how were you able to find an English speaking hospital? Also, I am really interested in laser hair removal as well, Can I have some information about that? I know it is a lot, but I would really appreciate your help. THANK YOU!

    • Nicky says:

      My surgery was 2 million won, but it all depends on the tpye of machine/surgery you have. I lived in Ulsan so the places I went for lasik and armpit-hair-be-gone were in downtown Ulsan. Where do you live? I’m sure if you tell your co-teacher they already know of places you can go. Good Luck! (& definitely do it, it’s amazing!!!)

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