• Real Story – One-Stop Medical Service Experience

        • 03/15/2024

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        • Ophthalmology

        • Medical Korea

  • Small Incision Lenticule Extraction (SMILE) is a popular choice among laser vision correction surgeries. Erdenebat Dorjderem from Mongolia, had struggled with poor eyesight, which made daily activities inconvenient, so he decided to undergo vision correction surgery in Korea. Learn if Mr. Dorjderem found his medical tour in Korea satisfying.

    DORJDEREM

    01. Choosing Korea for Vision Correction Surgery

    Was there a particular reason for you to choose Korea for medical tour?

    I was aware that many foreign patients visit Korea for vision correction surgery and that it has become a common procedure in Korea. The surgery is expensive in general, but in Korea, it's cheaper than any other countries. In addition, the professional medical system and advanced technology were key factors in my decision to choose Korea.

    Small Incision Lenticule Extraction Surgery
    How was your actual experience with medical service in Korea?

    In Korea, the medical staff is proactive in providing explanations and care, anticipating our needs before we even ask for them. Even though my visit to the hospital was not arranged through an agency, I had nothing to ask or request on my own, from registration to the medical process and aftercare. They even communicated in Mongolian. Beyond a simple interpretation, they carefully served the entire process. In Mongolia, patients have to do everything by themselves and even after making an appointment, a visit to the hospital is time consuming because there’s always a long wait line. A proper understanding of patient’s needs lead to the top-notch service, creating a positive image of medical tourism in Korea.

    Medical Tourism in Korea with Highest Service

    02. Review of SMILE Surgery

    What was the process of SMILE surgery?

    First, I was given a short health questionnaire and a few simple evaluations to see if I could undergo vision correction surgery. From all various options, I opted for SMILE surgery, with positive test results allowing me to proceed to surgery after 30 minutes. It was quite surprising to have surgery on the same day of testing, but I was more amazed at the operation time. It took about 15 minutes. I just had to keep my eyes open for 15 minutes, and then it was over. Right after the surgery, my vision was a bit blurry, but I was able to return to my daily life the very next day. No pain and seeing better, as if I was reborn.

    Pre-operative Evaluation of the SMILE Surgery
    How was the recovery of vision over the period?

    I had surgery around noon, and by the evening of the same day, I felt my vision recover. I could clearly see a sign board outside, and had a video call with my parents; it was truly amazing. The recovery of vision was almost within half a day, if not, within a day. However, due to other factors such as seeing light steaks, it probably took at least a week for a complete recovery.

    One of the common side effects, dry eye syndrome
    Share your current condition and the side effects you’ve experienced after the SMILE surgery.

    I experienced no side effects other than the common ones like light streaks and dry eyes, which were easily known before the surgery. I experienced those symptoms only for the first 2-3 days. After that, they improved, and now I hardly feel any discomfort.

    Despite the positive experiences, was there anything about Korea Medical Tourism that you found needs to improve?

    To receive a treatment in Korea, a patient needs to apply for a visa at the Embassy of the Republic of Korea. Once you submit the documents, you need to wait for more than 2 months. In my case, I already had a multiple-entry visa, so I could easily visit and return from Korea, but my friends had to wait a long time.

    03. Korea in My Heart

    Have you ever visited Korea not for a medical purpose but for traveling?

    I had visited Wonju and Chuncheon in Gangwon State. In Wonju, I visited Museum SAN, and in Chuncheon, I visited LEGOLAND. Museum SAN was great because it has both outdoor and indoor spaces, offering a variety of cultural programs along with beautiful natural scenery. It was a good place to visit with children. LEGOLAND in Chucheon offered amusement rides and is full of Lego sculptures that kept the kids entertained for hours.

    Museum SAN Surrounded by Nature and Art LEGOLAND Korea
    Did you visit any place after the operation?

    The hospital was located in Seoul, so I explored famous tourist spots in Seoul, such as COEX, Myeongdong, Gyeongbokgung Palace, and Yeouido Hangang Park. The subway system was well developed, so it was easy to get around. Every place was memorable, with each tourist spot having its own unique atmosphere. Among the places, Yeouido Hangang Park was most memorable for me. A large river cutting through the city was impressive, and many restaurants along the river, as well as activities such as biking and skateboarding, added to its charm.

    Yeouido Hangang Park
    Do you plan to visit Korea or like to visit again? If yes, what would you like to do?

    I would like to visit Busan and Yangyang. I have heard that both places have beaches but offer very different atmospheres. Mongolia doesn’t have sea, so I would love to see the ocean.

    Busan Gwangalli Beach Yangyang Hajodae Scenic Point

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