I have seen the bargain ads for Lasik, and I know those deals can be dangerous or misleading. I'm just wondering what the appropriate price range should be per eye, for a safe LASIK procedure?
How Much Does LASIK Eye Surgery Cost?
Doctor Answers (9)
Cost of LASIK vs LASEK
I charge more for my noncutting LASEK procedure than the older cutting LASIK that I had myself a decade ago, and performed on thousands of patients before I switched my entire practice to the more advanced, noncutting LASEK procedure. basically, I think it's worth paying a few hundred dollars per eye to avoid the risk of dry eyes and night glare, both of which are lower with LASEK than LASIK because no flap is cut in your eye.
It is very important to not shop for the cheapest center or surgeon. Basically, you must understand that the cheapest center/surgeon is the cheapest because they cannot command any price premium. in other words, if they could charge more, they would
Some analogies make this more clear:
If you were shopping for any other type of surgeon, say, even something as simple as a breast implant (which is purely cosmetic and NOT functional), would you really call 5 centers on the phone, ask only how much they charge, and then . . . choose the cheapest one? Of course not! You would eliminate the cheapest surgeon, as the cheapest is NEVER THE BEST (or they would be able to compete on QUALITY, NOT PRICE, and therefore COMMAND A PRICE PREMIUM).
We can ALWAYS make our state-of-the-art NONCUTTING LASEK AFFORDABLE. All we do is calculate how much you're currently spending (wasting?) on contacts per month, and charge you this SAME AMOUNT PER MONTH. that way, you CAN afford LASEK, as it's not more than you're paying now (and you would actually save about TEN THOUSAND DOLLARS PER DECADE after you loan is paid off).
So I HOPE this make MORE CLEAR that you should shop for QUALITY and AFFORDABILITY--NOT PRICE!
Discount laser centers typically use older technology that is much less expensive. These places can also have less medical safety protocols and quality control. Just like with other surgeries, you get what you pay for with LASIK. They also have a tendency to advertise a price that only applies to miniscule prescriptions that no one really qualifies for.
LASIK Cost Depends on a Number of Items
LASIK surgery costs will greatly determine the quality of your LASIK procedure and thus your vision. The quality and precision of each step of your surgery will affect the quality of the outcome.
Why should LASIK be any different from anything else? From burgers to clothing to cars and computers the quality of the components that go into making a product directly influences the end user experience. Here are the components of what results in great LASIK:
- Doctor training and education. Wouldn't you want to have a doctor who was at the top of his class in the most prestigious schools, residency programs.
- Experience is a tough teacher: she tests first and teaches later. Sound clinical judgment can only come from doing lots of cases. Choose a surgeon who will be able to handle anything that may come his or her way.
- Meet the surgeon. Are you getting the personal attention that you deserve? Are you evaluated by the surgeon before, during and after your procedure, or are you dealing with physician extenders and just meeting the surgeon on the day of the procedure? If you only paid a few hundred bucks, expect to hear the following from a masked figure in scrubs: “Hi I am Doctor X, look at the little green blinking light…”
- Technology: State-of-the-art technology is expensive. The latest lasers, maintenance and upgrades all require time and money
- Post operative care
- Attention to detail before, during and after (not possible in LASIK mills or a chop shops)
- “If all you have is a hammer everything starts looking like a nail.” Make sure the surgeon you choose has a full complement of procedures in his/her skill set. You don’t want to wind up in a place where everyone is a “great candidate for LASIK.” For some PRK, ICL, cataract or maybe even no surgery is the best option.
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LASIK Eye Surgery Cost
LASIK generally costs $2000-$4000 per eye depending on location, surgeon experience, facility fees, and equipment. There is a large degree of variability and even top surgeons are sometimes able to give discounts under some circumstances, so the best policy is to judge based on the experience, training, and reputation of the surgeon rather than the price.
When it comes to your eyes, you get what you pay for
Lasik eye surgery is commonly advertised for very low price. It is important to know what you receive for your money and rarely is a bargain a good idea when it comes to your eyes. WaveFront lasers give tremendously superior results to older laser technology. Glare has mostly been eliminated as a complication and it is much less likely that you will have the need for fine-tuning surgery. Anyone contemplating surgery wants to not only know the technology used, but also meet the surgeon before surgery. Some discount laser centers bring a surgeon in from out of town and the only time that you meet him is when your procedure is being performed. Know that if there is a problem, the surgeon may be hundreds of miles away. When you consider how precious your sense of site is to you, think about the small difference in cost when balanced over a life-time of great vision.
How Much Does LASIK Eye Surgery Cost
When choosing to have LaserVision Correction(LVC) it is important to look at every variable. Besides the reputation of the surgeon, which laser platform is being used and many other questions, obviously, cost is a good question. In my midatlantic eye practice, the cost ranges from $3500-5000 to have LASIK on both eyes. The equipment in our practice is state of the art, constantly maintained and updated and our results compare with the best in the world. It is important when you are doing your pre LVC homework, to make sure the surgeon you are considering has the best diagnostic and therapeutic equipment possible. Most often, when the price per eye is low, it means the equipment is not updated. I know for me, if I were to be having LASIK in 2011 I would want to make absolutely sure the equipment being used was not purchased in 2004!
You get what you pay for
At our practice, we typically perform CustomVue LASIK with Intralase, 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. Some practices have tiered pricing, meaning the lower your need for correction the less you pay OR the lesser a technology you choose the less you pay. I appreciate tiered pricing based upon your visual need, but opting for a lesser technology to save money when it comes to eye surgery is a poor decision. Good luck!
LASIK cost is fairly consistent despite advertising
Some centers try to entice patients by offering extremely low pricing, but on further investigation this is either something that only applies to a tiny percentage of patients or uses older equipment and methods. What you really want is an experiences surgeon using the best technology in a qualified center. For this expect to pay no less than $1000 per eye and with the most advanced methods that we recommend such as the all laser procedure, you will pay from $1500 an up per eye with an average price of about $2000 per eye depending on your locale.
LASIK: You get what you pay for!!
There is no doubt in my mind that many patients think of LASIK as a commodity, shopping for the cheapest price possible. In my area, Northern New Jersey, I have seen prices range from a low of $1000 per eye to a high of $3500 per eye. Many factors go into these prices including:
- Surgeon experience
- State of the art equipment and facility
- Staff Training
- Follow-up with surgeon vs. local optometrist vs. technician
- Success rate of surgeon and center
- Laser located on site vs. shared laser at a center
- Breadth of procedures offered. Does center only do one procedure, or does it offer a wide gamut of procedures based upon the need of the patient?
Insurance generally does not cover LASIK. There are several ways to keep costs down including:
- If offered at work, flex spending dollars allow you to use pre tax dollars to pay for the procedure.
- Many practices offer 0% financing.
When deciding where to get your LASIK, it is important to actually meet and "interview" your surgeon. Not only must you need to determine if you are a good candidate for LASIK, you must also determine if the surgeon is the right surgeon for you. There are many questions that can help to determine this.
In conclusion, when deciding on LASIK the most important determination is the quality of the surgeon, not cost. We are, after all, talking about our eyes! I can honestly say that it is very common to hear my patients state that "the money spent on LASIK was the best money ever spent."
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.