One of the first considerations consumers have about LASIK or laser vision correction surgery is the cost.
The average cost of LASIK surgery performed in the United States is $2,088 per eye, according to All About Vision.
The actual price you pay depends on many factors, including the experience and reputation of your surgeon and the type of technology used for your procedure.
Here are six things to consider when shopping for LASIK.
1. Enter the Process Focused on Both Eyes
Some ads don’t stress that a price is per eye. To estimate the cost, you’ll need to double what you see in the promo.
2. Look Closely at Bargain Prices
Advertisements promoting LASIK for less than $1,000 per eye are common, but it’s likely such pricing is for procedures correcting mild nearsightedness only. It also doesn’t cover all fees (follow-up visits, for example); or it applies to procedures performed using older technology. If you have farsightedness, an astigmatism or another condition, the cost might be a lot more than advertised.
3. Get a Written Quote Itemizing Everything in the Offer
Read the fine print and ask about all potential extra fees before starting the procedure.
The price should include a pre-operative exam to evaluate your prescription and shape and thickness of your cornea; follow-up care for up to a year after the procedure; and prescription eye drops and any medications, regardless of astigmatism or other issues.
4. LASIK Cost May Vary Depending on Technology
Pricing for some surgeons varies depending on the specific technology used. A doctor might charge more for all-laser – or bladeless – LASIK, a procedure providing the most precise vision correction possible. It’s less invasive than traditional LASIK, which uses a blade to create a corneal flap.
That $499 price likely won’t get you the newer technologies.
5. You Can Lower Your LASIK Surgery Cost
Some eye care practices offer special pricing for vision surgeries, such as zero-interest financing, limited-time offers and special group pricing.
Check out financial companies that specialize in elective surgical procedures and offer financing plans with fixed rates and long-term payments.
Also, your employer might have an arrangement with a LASIK center for discounts, or a health plan that covers some of the costs.
Use your Flexible Spending Account or Health Savings Account to pay for LASIK with pre-tax dollars. Those in the U.S. military might be eligible for an additional savings for corrective vision surgery.
6. Choose a Doctor Who Is Fellowship Trained in Corneal Surgery With a Great Reputation
A cornea and external disease specialist is an ophthalmologist who focuses on the cornea (the transparent front structure of the eye), conjunctiva (clear mucous membrane covering the white part of the eye) and the anterior segment (front structures of the eye including the iris and lens). When a doctor specializes in corneal care, they typically undergo continuing education to keep up with the latest surgical techniques and innovations in the field. The combination of education and utilization of the latest in medical technology is why cornea specialists are excellent choices for patients who are considering LASIK surgery.
Rather than go with a surgeon based only on the fee charged, it's better to choose the best surgeon you can find and then, if you need it, get the most affordable financing available.
At Griffin Eye Center, ophthalmic surgeon Dr. Neil Griffin uses the most advanced lasers for accuracy and safety to complete LASIK procedures that produce the best outcomes. He received his highly-specialized fellowship in cornea and external disease from the University of Texas in Houston. He is board certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology and is also a member of the American Academy of Ophthalmology.
LASIK or laser vision correction consultation screenings are free at Myrtle Beach and Murrells Inlet, S.C., locations. Appointments can be made at GriffinEyeCenter.com or by calling (843) 449-6414 or toll-free at (888) 570-5789.