lifetime enhancement warranty

My husband is considering LASIK surgery, and the doctor we went to quoted us a price for the surgery, and also the surgery with a 1 year, 5 year, and lifetime enhacement warranty.  The lifetime warranty raised the total price about $1200.00.  Is it worthwhile to get this??

Doctor Answers 3

Lasik lasek lifetime warranties

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it depends on your rx bc the chance of enhancement is proportional to your incoming Rx.  it's about 1% chance of needing enhancement per diopter of Rx. so if your rx is only -1, it's not worth paying for a warranty, as you only have a 1% chance of needing to be enhanced. if you're rx is -10, like so high that you couldn't get LASIK and would need to get a non-cutting LASEK, then it is probably worth purchasing.  also depends on the center. TLC went bankrupt last year, was bought out of bankrupcy by a private equity firm (i know all this bc i have my MBA and also consult for eye companies on the macro level), and may very well go bankrupt again, as their whole business model is predicated on ODs (optometrists) referring them LASIK patients, but now most patients find their own surgeon by googling, so bypass the OD, thereby bypassing TLC. so i would not suggest buying a warranty from TLC, as they may go under again, making your warranty worthless








New York Ophthalmologist

Lifetime Enhancement

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As with anything you purchase, the details usually outline the programs and determine the worthwhileness of such policies.  The chance of needing an enhancement may depend upon your age, the original prescription treated, and your satisfaction.  It is best to ask your eye doctor questions to determine whether or not this might be worthwhile for you.  For example, you will want to know what your chance of needing an enhancement. Will technology upgrades be included should you need an enhancement?  For an individual of mild to moderate nearsightedness, an enhancement the first year might be needed about 2% of the time.  With time, as one ages their eyes do change a little...some people have no change 10 years later, while others experience a need for night time driving glasses.  Find out more information to make an informed decision about the cost benefit ratio. 

Sandy Feldman, MD
San Diego Ophthalmologist

Lifetime warranty for LASIK

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i really do not personally like the idea of lifetime warranty for LASIK.  Its misleading.  Immediately after surgery we know that a very small percentage of patients under respond to the laser and will benefit from an enhancement.  During the first 3-6 months after surgery a very small percentage will heal more aggressively than predicted and have a return of part of their prescription and potentially need an enhancement.  And then for the rest of their lives a  small percent of all patients eyes will change as they get older and acquire a new prescription and potentially benefit from an enhancement.  The caveat here is that not all changes in the eye would benefit from additional laser surgery.  And the idea that the surgeon needs to warranty the laser beyond the initial healing period imparts the idea that the laser failed.  The effects of LASIK are permanent, eyes change.

I do not find that my enhancement rate relates to the preop prescription.  to some degree the younger you are when you have LASIK the greater the chance your eyes will change over your life therefore the higher the chance you might want an enhancement.  To answer your specific question, i think all LASIK surgeons should offer free enhancements, as medically appropriate, for the first year and price their surgery accordingly.  I do not think there should be a lifetime warranty period.  

Mark H. Blecher, MD
Philadelphia Ophthalmologist

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.