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Eye Surgery

The Cost of Lasik Eye Surgery

The cost of Lasik eye surgery pales in comparison to the many advantages it offers. Millions of these surgeries have been performed in recent years with an extraordinary success rate being reported.


LASIK Price Increases

Prices for LASIK eye surgery have been rising for the past several years. One reason is because new procedures are used such as "custom LASIK" which is more expensive than traditional LASIK. Another reason is because new technologies such as intralase technology, increases procedures costs.

  • In 2002, the average LASIK laser eye surgery cost ranged between $1,550 and $1,600.
  • By October 2003, it had already increased to approximately $1,710.
  • At the end of 2004, LASIK laser eye surgery cost raised above $1,800.
  • In the first half of 2005, the average price was $1,965.

TLC Laser Eye Centers, a leading LASIK provider, had an average price of $1,800 in 2002. At the end of 2004, the average LASIK laser eye surgery cost rose to $1,957 and at the beginning of 2005 the price was $1,983.

LasikPlus, another famous nationwide provider, reported an average price of $1,344 per eye in 2005, which is slightly lower than $1,351 at the end of 2004, but much higher than $1,173 at the beginning of 2003.

Laser eye surgery cost varies widely from one clinical center to another and depends on several different factors. The only stable standard is that all providers will quote a laser eye surgery price per eye.

Why do the Prices Vary?

Although there are advertisements that claim they offer LASIK eye surgery from $500 per eye, most people are either not eligible for that cost or needs extensive correction and treatment after surgery. Actually, it has been shown that only about three percent of all LASIK providers have a laser eye surgery cost lower than $1000 per eye.

One reason prices vary is that different providers perform different levels of preoperative testing so it is very important you should determine if in the quoted price are included appropriate testing.

Also the cost of testing and surgery equipment varies widely. Technologies for tear film analysis, eye tracking, and measurements of corneal thickness, the laser and corneal topography and pupil size, are available at various prices and are reflected in the procedure fees.

When you hear about a clinical center that offers laser eye surgery at bargain prices, you'd better check the fine print thoroughly for hidden costs.

What Are You Paying for?
Refractive surgery fees should cover a variety of costs such as lease or purchase and maintenance of the laser, corneal ring segments, microkeratome and/or other devices used. The excimer laser manufacturer receives a royalty fee of $100 to $150 per eye to develop the machine. If it's a custom procedure the royalty fee per eye is between $145 and $250, depending on the laser manufacturer.

In the cost of lasik surgery are also included masks, gloves, gowns and other items to make sure the operation is kept sterile.

And let's not forget about surgical solutions, medications and microkeratome blades used during the surgery; office and surgical staff benefits and salaries, office equipment, rent, and office administration; insurance, patient acquisition costs, which include seminars and advertising, and surgeon's fees if he or she is not on staff.

Prices for Other Types of Eye Surgery

Other types of eye surgery have different prices, also varying upon many factors, such as individual prescription, the surgeon you choose and the place where you live. Here are the average prices per eye for other common eye surgery procedures:

  • Corneal inserts: $2,800 to $3,800
  • CK: $1,200 to $2,500
  • PRK: $1,000 to $1,800
  • LASEK: approximately the same prices as for LASIK

Financing is available to help you reduce laser eye surgery cost. There are many financing companies specialized in elective procedures which offer plans with long-term payments and fixed rates. Many laser eye surgery centers and private surgeons work with one of these companies to be able to offer more affordable financing plans to their patients.


Related LASIK Eye Surgery Cost Articles

Can you afford Laser eye surgery?
Most insurance plans won’t cover eye surgery cost since it is an elective surgery and linked more closely with cosmetic surgery. There are exceptions, however, but in most cases insurance won’t pay.

Why Does The Cost of LASIK Eye Surgery Vary?
As far as the cost of LASIK eye surgery is concerned, the only worldwide standard is that prices are quoted per eye. However, the cost depends on several factors and varies from one provider to another.

Some Factors Affecting Laser Eye Surgery Prices
The laser eye surgery price varies extensively for a variety of factors. The location of the office where the procedure is performed, the experience of the doctor that performs it, and the type of procedure that is being used.

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