LASIK Eye Surgery Cost
- The cost of laser eye surgery, known as LASIK, varies widely from surgeon to surgeon, with a national average of about $1,950 per eye. Average prices do not vary much by geographic region, but minimum and maximum fees do. All About Vision [1 ] provides a chart of regional cost differences.
- The cost of laser eye surgery also depends on whether your surgeon is performing traditional LASIK or the more expensive Custom LASIK, in which the doctor uses new technology to create a three-dimensional map of the patient’s eye. This allows for a more precise vision correction and possibly lower chances of post-surgery complications. Most surgeons charge between $200 to $500 extra per eye for this.
- Also, if your surgeon uses IntraLase, another new technology, you can expect to pay an average of $344 more per eye. In IntraLase, the surgeon uses a laser, instead of a small metal blade, to cut a flap in the cornea where a laser is then used to reshape the cornea. Surgeons who use it say it provides a lower risk of complications and a better chance of achieving 20/20 vision.
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What should be included:
- The International Society of Refractive Surgery gives a diagram, and an overview of the LASIK procedure, which takes about 30 minutes.
- Your surgeon should offer a series of follow-up visits as part of the total cost of the procedure. But, if something goes wrong and you need more visits or additional surgery not spelled out in your agreement, you will have to pay for it out-of-pocket.
- Many health insurance providers consider laser eye surgery a cosmetic procedure and do not cover the cost. But patients who pay for eye surgery out-of-pocket might be eligible for a tax deduction.
- Tip: Check to see whether your employer has negotiated a corporate discount with a certain provider on LASIK surgery for employees. If they have not, check with human resources to see if they would be willing to consider the possibility. Sometimes it is possible to get 10 to 25 percent off this way.
Shopping for lasik eye surgery:
- Tip: Beware of advertisements that offer LASIK surgery at prices that seem too good to be true. Some LASIK providers have paid fines, after actions by state attorneys general, for false advertising of bargain-priced laser surgery that turned out to have hidden fees. When shopping for LASIK, always make sure that the quoted price includes regular follow-up visits and any medically necessary follow-up surgery needed in the first year. SeeWithLasik.com [2 ] offers a guide for consumers on evaluating LASIK prices.
- Tip: Be aware that LASIK is not right for everyone – poor candidates include patients whose glasses or contact prescription fluctuates due to pregnancy or disease such as diabetes; athletes who regularly participate in contact sports; and patients with conditions such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis, that may interfere with healing.
Material on this page is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. Always consult your physician or pharmacist regarding medications or medical procedures.