Read 474 times

  • bb459
  • Veteran

    • 129

    • March 02, 2019, 06:19:42 pm
    • South Korea
More specifically...I've never been put to sleep before for medical or dental procedures or anything.
Also the procedure will be at a hospital in a small town.  I don't speak Korean, the very kind nurses and doctors at the hospital here don't speak English.
I'm feeling apprehensive about it. Just cause it's my first time, being alone and the language barrier.

Anyone have experience with this? Or recommend me taking an extra day off to travel to Seoul to try and have it done at an International/English clinic?

Helpful, caring, thoughtful feedback appreciated.
Thanks in advance.


  • leaponover
  • Expert Waygook

    • 555

    • March 05, 2012, 12:08:16 pm
    • Iksan, S. Korea
Re: Has anyone been put to sleep for a medical procedure while here?
« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2019, 03:12:52 pm »
More specifically...I've never been put to sleep before for medical or dental procedures or anything.
Also the procedure will be at a hospital in a small town.  I don't speak Korean, the very kind nurses and doctors at the hospital here don't speak English.
I'm feeling apprehensive about it. Just cause it's my first time, being alone and the language barrier.

Anyone have experience with this? Or recommend me taking an extra day off to travel to Seoul to try and have it done at an International/English clinic?

Helpful, caring, thoughtful feedback appreciated.
Thanks in advance.


Something like that you should definitely have a co-teacher there with you.  The waiver you have to sign may not even be in English, not to mention there are usually options on what anastehoathelkajgioejw (ain't going to take time to the look up the spelling) you can pick. 

I only have one singular experience.  A friend here tore several muscles in his ankle playing soccer and needed surgery.  We went to visit him the night before and even though his coteacher had been there several times, that night he needed to sign a waiver and was asked questions about his knockout of choice as they had different side effects.  Luckily my wife was there to explain everything to him and he felt better.

My two cents....coteacher / boss / sponsor duties.  They should know they need to be there for that and should be willing to do it.


  • zola
  • The Legend

    • 2874

    • September 30, 2012, 06:56:11 am
    • Korea
Re: Has anyone been put to sleep for a medical procedure while here?
« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2019, 03:19:54 pm »
I have for an endoscopy, twice. Once in Seoul and once in a mid sized city. There isn't much you need to do. They put an IV line in, you lay down and they inject the sleeping drug, you wake up however many minutes/hours later. Does the doctor really speak zero English? That's quite unusual. Is there a Korean speaker you can take along with you as a helper?

Anesthesia always comes with a risk. As everyone reacts to it in different ways. I would say I'd want to be in a hospital, where if there was a complication they would be equipped to deal with it better.  Most clinics here are not so equipped.
It also depends on the procedure. If it is something routine that they have a lot of experience with, then I'd be less inclined to go up to Seoul.
Kpip! - Martin 2018


  • T.J.
  • Veteran

    • 159

    • June 09, 2011, 11:07:16 am
    • 서울 은평구 연신내
Re: Has anyone been put to sleep for a medical procedure while here?
« Reply #3 on: October 29, 2019, 03:29:03 pm »
Twice at the dentist here. Although I wasn't unconscious. I could respond and answer questions throughout both procedures but didn't have any Fs to give during them and have no memory of the procedures after the drug wore off.
"An ignorant person is one who doesn't know what you have just found out."

"Diplomacy is the art of saying 'Nice doggie' until you can find a rock."

-Will Rogers


  • annataleen
  • Moderator LVL 1

    • 473

    • May 02, 2014, 01:27:07 pm
    • Incheon
Re: Has anyone been put to sleep for a medical procedure while here?
« Reply #4 on: October 29, 2019, 03:33:09 pm »
I agree with the previous post, you would have someone with you.

I had to be knocked out once for a surgery and everything went ok, but my doctor spoke English and some of his nurses knew enough English. I had a co-teacher with me as well, and later a friend who speaks Korean visited me because I had to spend the night.

It is true that the forms you will need to sign will probably not be in English and it would be good for you to have someone explain them to you. Also, you never know when something will change. For my procedure, I was actually supposed to be awake and they were just going to numb the lower half of my body with a epidural. But they couldn't do it, so at the last minute the plan changed to instead have me knocked out. I was thankful that I had someone there to explain to me what was going on.

As far as being put under (you are not going to be put to sleep! ... in the sense we use for when we have to take our pet to the vet for the last time, if you know what I mean!), I have had surgery a few times and the feeling was the same in Korea as it was at home. I remember having my four wisdom teeth out when I was in high school. They told me to count down from 10. I remember thinking it was taking me a long time to fall sleep and I was thinking that I should open my eyes and tell someone it isn't working. Then I felt the gauze in the mouth. I was done! I had probably made it to eight in my counting before I was out and I didn't even realize it!

It was the same in Korea. They didn't have me count down from 10; they put some headphones on me that was playing classical music. Again, I thought it was taking a while, so I opened my eyes and I was already done! I asked them several times if they are sure that I had been out and the doctor said I had been. I was anxious about the surgery but it turned out to be a peaceful experience.


Re: Has anyone been put to sleep for a medical procedure while here?
« Reply #5 on: October 29, 2019, 03:44:00 pm »
I had a procedure done here in Korea, and back in the USA.  I was in a small clinic here in Korea. They used an IV, injected the medication and I  woke up maybe 30 minutes later. After the procedure you will wait until you are awake enough to leave if it's a minor procedure. Here in the small clinic they did not monitor the waiting period after, whereas in the USA they are constantly monitoring for side effects and problems. In the USA I would normally have multiple tests to determine if I was fit enough to handle the procedure and the anesthesia. Here there were no such tests and the doctor did not even know my weight or anything for proper dosage.  Although this type of procedure was a very quick 20 minute thing...so they knew to only give a small amount and based on a normal adult it wouldn't hurt the person...I assume.

It depends on what kind of procedure you need, how long it should take, what kind of complications there could be in general, and just your comfort with the doctors. If you go to Seoul they may have better English to make you feel more comfortable, but they may not do extra tests or monitor you closely like would happen in the USA.

I personally didn't worry much about my procedure in Korea, although I do not really 100% trust the doctors skills here....too many prescriptions and not enough time spent to find a real cause.


  • hangook77
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1306

    • September 14, 2017, 09:10:12 am
    • Near Busan
Re: Has anyone been put to sleep for a medical procedure while here?
« Reply #6 on: October 30, 2019, 08:05:08 am »
I had a procedure done here in Korea, and back in the USA.  I was in a small clinic here in Korea. They used an IV, injected the medication and I  woke up maybe 30 minutes later. After the procedure you will wait until you are awake enough to leave if it's a minor procedure. Here in the small clinic they did not monitor the waiting period after, whereas in the USA they are constantly monitoring for side effects and problems. In the USA I would normally have multiple tests to determine if I was fit enough to handle the procedure and the anesthesia. Here there were no such tests and the doctor did not even know my weight or anything for proper dosage.  Although this type of procedure was a very quick 20 minute thing...so they knew to only give a small amount and based on a normal adult it wouldn't hurt the person...I assume.

It depends on what kind of procedure you need, how long it should take, what kind of complications there could be in general, and just your comfort with the doctors. If you go to Seoul they may have better English to make you feel more comfortable, but they may not do extra tests or monitor you closely like would happen in the USA.

I personally didn't worry much about my procedure in Korea, although I do not really 100% trust the doctors skills here....too many prescriptions and not enough time spent to find a real cause.

Multiple tests not really necessary.  But making more money and billing your insurance.  Also, doctors worried about ridiculous lawsuits.  Folks wonder why medicine and insurance is so expensive in America.  But, this is Korea.  Soooo....

I had the throat and ass test this past winter.  Tube down your throat into your stomach.  Endoscopy.  I said, since you're putting it down my throat, you might as well do it up the arse too.  No way I want to be awake for that.  Give me the anesthetic.   Thank you very much.  It was fine.  They monitor you and your heart beat the whole time.  So, they can wake you quickly.  I woke up to a camera view inside of me up the butt.  A couple pollyups removed.  No problem.  No pain or bad feeling.  But the tube down the throat uncomfortable.  So, being put under is the best way to go. 

I asked some local Koreans which was the best clinic for what I wanted done.  I didn't go to some no name place unchecked.  Ask the locals first.  I used a private hospital that specialized in what I wanted in a mid sized city.  (I didn't do it in a rural area or anything.)


  • Aristocrat
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1949

    • November 10, 2014, 01:04:27 pm
Re: Has anyone been put to sleep for a medical procedure while here?
« Reply #7 on: October 30, 2019, 09:44:57 am »
More specifically...I've never been put to sleep before for medical or dental procedures or anything.
Also the procedure will be at a hospital in a small town.  I don't speak Korean, the very kind nurses and doctors at the hospital here don't speak English.
I'm feeling apprehensive about it. Just cause it's my first time, being alone and the language barrier.

Anyone have experience with this? Or recommend me taking an extra day off to travel to Seoul to try and have it done at an International/English clinic?

Helpful, caring, thoughtful feedback appreciated.
Thanks in advance.


I fractured my arm and needed surgery, it was at a pretty small hospital.

The operation and procedure was completely fine, it was the post-surgery which I found annoying, similar story from my wife who absolutely detests spending the night in unfamiliar environments.

- Back home, they'd discharge you an hour or so after a mild surgery and let you recover at home... not here. Everyone insisted
  that I stay a full 2 days, which was ridiculous. They also insisted that I stay hooked up to the IV and didn't want me to eat or
  drink for 6hrs after surgery (a completely archaic medical practice that very few doctors still adhere to). My wife actually got a
  fever as a result of the dehydration and anxiety.

- I shared the ward with some old Korean guys who had a particular disdain for fresh air, the windows were kept shut and the
  aircon radiated heat 24/7.

Before the first night ended, I'd had enough. I made the nurse take out the IV and walked home (about 200m down the road).


  • bb459
  • Veteran

    • 129

    • March 02, 2019, 06:19:42 pm
    • South Korea
Re: Has anyone been put to sleep for a medical procedure while here?
« Reply #8 on: October 30, 2019, 09:59:32 am »
Wow. Thank you all.
I appreciate it. A lot.
I'm going to see what I can do.
thank you thank you


Re: Has anyone been put to sleep for a medical procedure while here?
« Reply #9 on: October 30, 2019, 11:54:31 am »
I had surgery here and was under for a couple of hours. After that I had about a 2 and a half week stay at the hospital. It was a larger procedure so I went to a specialized hospital. Either way, it was pretty much the same process of back home when I had a couple of other surgeries.