LASIK eye surgery costs vary tremendously depending on the equipment used, the experience of the surgeon, and the operation to be performed. Unfortunately, unless you have an existing and worsening medical condition, most health insurance funds will not pay for LASIK surgery, seeing it as a cosmetic procedure. This means that budgeting appropriately for the costs involved in LASIK wil be important.
When we’re talking about LASIK eye surgery cost, remember that all the prices are quoted ‘per eye’. This is industry standard across the UK, US and Australia, and as LASIK eye surgery becomes more common in the Asias, there as well. This has caught many consumers out before, especially when looking at quotes for seeming unbelievably cheap eye surgery.
LASIK surgeons have a wide array of tools at their disposal. If your particular surgical preference is for one technique or level of technology over another, that will influence the overall cost to you.
If you want the latest and best technology, then you’ll be charged correspondingly more. An example of one of the latest LASIK techniques is wavefront analysis, which is where a 3-dimensional model of your eye is scanned and built using computer rendering, so the laser scalpels can manipulate your cornea with increased precision.
Depending on whether you use an actual blade or a laser, your costs will also vary. The increasing use of LASIK surgical procedure shows that despite the increased cost, the results are justified when using bladeless surgical procedures.
LASIK Eye Surgery Costs
As we’ve mentioned, prices vary tremendously across any market. The average costs for LASIK eye surgery costs are listed below:
* For basic LASIK eye surgery, with laser-based surgical procedures, the average cost is $2,150. This does not include any extras and is per eye, but does include ‘standard’ consultations and follow-up checkins.
* For bladed surgeries, which involve using a bladed instrument – not a laser scalpel – and laser guidance that has not had wavefront analysis done, the average cost is $1620. This is the cheapest form of LASIK surgery, per eye, on average, but is going to be the best results in only a relatively few cases.
Generally, the more you pay, the less likelihood of further complications in the future and the better experience one will have overall. Increasingly modern LASIK techniques help surgeons operate according to a custom-made process unique to your eyesight and vision needs, by creating models of your eye and then feeding them through computer interpretation.
How much does LASIK Eye Surgery Cost?
We’ve outlined above the standard costs you can expect with LASIK eye surgery. Of course, there will probably always be advertisements for much lower prices. What usually happens is that if you inspect what’s on offer, only a tiny percentage of people would actually be able to take advantage of the sale price, due to a host of terms and conditions.
The vast majority of people who want LASIK eye surgery will usually have to wear glasses or contacts regularly, indicating a certain amount of vision distortion. The ‘sale price’ usually only applies to people whose vision problems are not problematic enough to warrant LASIK surgery in the first place!
So, like we’ve said above, the standard price ranges from around $1600 for a standardised operation, to around $2100 for a slight upgrade by using computer-guided bladeless laser scalpels rather than bladed keratomes.
A problem with the ‘bait and switch’ approaches that lower-cost LASIK surgeons like to employ is that the ‘optional extras’ aren’t really optional if you want the optimum results. Much like the shady car salesman who uses a low sticker price to attract interest, and then aggressively upsells expensive extras.
The other thing to bear in mind is the difference between the price of the operaton and the price of the entire experience overall. There are a plethora of other expenses that can crop up before, during and after your operation. Most surgeons or LASIK providers bundle the expenses into the one figure that you can be quoted, whereas others will take a more piecemeal approach.
When you’re shopping around for local LASIK options, make sure you consider your overall needs for the surgery. Think about initial consultations, scanning and mapping your eye – part of the process for constructing a model that will let the surgeon make the correct incisions – immediate after-care, and follow-up consultations. With a consultation often being around $100-150 on its own, not budgeting for those can make a real difference in your overall expenses!
Other things to consider in terms of budget include:
* Surgeon’s fees
* Optometrist’s fees
* Post-operation medication
* Follow-up consultations – commonly 4, at 1 week, 1 month, 3 months and 6 months
Of course, like any major purchase, it makes sense to shop around and compare different options available to you. Considering the increasing availability of LASIK surgery, and the prevalence of high-level technology, it shouldn’t be hard to find several surgeons within a comfortable driving distance of any large city.
When considering the cost of LASIK surgery, remember that it shouldn’t be your only consideration. The skill and experience of the surgeon, the quality of care and attention you will be getting, and other similar factors should also weigh in on your thoughts. A $500 difference is only a little over a dollar a day’s extra cost to you when considered over a year’s expenditure, and may buy you a significantly more experienced, confident surgeon.
When shopping around, ask some questions to get an indication of what you’re getting for your price. Think about things like:
* How does the price you’re being quoted compare to competing surgeries in the area?
* How is the surgery selling itself to you? What sort of image are they presenting?
* How qualified and experienced are their staff? Saying ‘experienced’ is not the same as saying ‘5 years experience in LASIK procedures’! See how specific they will be about qualifications and experience.
* If the quote is high, how do they justify the extra cost?
* If the quote is low, are you being quoted a price inclusive of all the extras? Do you feel comfortable paying less for a less experienced surgeon?
We wish you all the very best of luck in choosing the right LASIK procedure and surgeon for you!