How much does PRK cost? Is it more or less expensive than Lasik?
How Much Does PRK Cost?
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How Much Does PRK Cost
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While it may be less expensive to perform PRK (there is no expense of creating the LASIK flap with a microkeratome or Iaser).
PRK usually requires more visits and more chair time post operatively, negating the cost saving benefits of not creating the flap with a handheld microkeratome or with a laser.
The Cost of PRK or LASIK
PRK normally costs the same as LASIK. Approximately $2000 - $4000 per eye in most cases. While LASIK often uses 2 lasers vs. 1 laser during PRK, PRK requires more post op care and so there typically is not a difference in cost.
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What is the cost of PRK?
As in most offices, we charge the same for PRK and LASIK. Although there is less involved in the surgical process for PRK patients, their healing takes substantially longer and requires more follow up visits.
In many practices the price between PRK and LASIK is the same
This varies greatly. In many practices the price between PRK and LASIK is the same. Other costs may include custom treatments or bladeless LASIK.
PRK and LASIK costs should be similar
In my Maryland practice PRK and LASIK are at the same price point. I do know of a few practices that "tier" pricing based on the severity of the prescription and the method of correcting it(PRK vs LASIK). In my experience, the amount of work and surgical skill needed to do either procedure is almost the same. If anything, PRK requires a few more post operative visits than LASIK(due to slower surface healing with PRK) so a case could be made to charge more for PRK(but I do not).
As always, you only have one set of eyes.....beware the discounter!
Cost of PRK
At our practice, we typically perform CustomVue PRK, the best of technologies available. You should expect to pay anywhere from $3500 to $5000 to have both eyes treated in the DC/VA/MD market. At our practice, the cost for LASIK and PRK is identical.
Additionally, some practices have tiered pricing, meaning the lower your prescription, the less you pay. I appreciate tiered pricing based upon your visual need, but opting for a lesser technology (like standard PRK instead of CustomVue PRK) to save money when it comes to eye surgery is a poor decision.
Thanks for your question!
PRK costs about the same as LASIK
At first one might think that PRK should cost less than LASIK, but in most cases it is about the same. One thing to realize is that because PRK involves removing the epithelium from the eye, the recovery is longer and many times requires more visits.
Because the visits are bundled into the cost in most cases, the increased intensity of care offsets the fact that a flap does not need to be made in PRK like it does in LASIK. Also, the patients who have PRK are in general higher risk which is the reason that they are having PRK rather than LASIK in the first place. The exception to this is PRK when the patient has occupational reasons for this choice.
Another factor is many times PRK patients are also treated with Mitomycin C to prevent hazing and this must be purchased as a freshly compounded medication from a special type of pharmacy and this is an expensive medication.
Patients also have a slightly greater chance of needing a repeat treatment or enhancement with PRK as compared to LASIK and this is included in the cost and needs to be considered in the overall costs as well.
Finally, and most importantly, the doctor should be providing the care which is in the patient's best interest. For this reason, many doctors do not want to discriminate between similar procedures based on cost and simplify the process by providing one price regardless of the exact procedure. This way patients do not have to make a decision about which procedure to have based on cost considerations.
All doctors and centers set their own pricing, so there is no absolute rule here, but in general expect to pay about the same for either procedure.
These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.