How Much Does LASIK Cost?
It’s the most common question concerning laser eye surgery.
And it’s a difficult question to answer because there are so many variables. The costs can range wildly, from the attention grabbing TV commercials promising quality LASIK for $299 per eye to the heart stopping price of $5,000 per eye. The approximate national average of the most preferred method of surgery — known as Custom Bladeless LASIK — is right around $2,000 per eye. It can run a little more or a little less depending on your geographical location, but you can bank on about two grand per eye.
Basic Breakdown Of LASIK Costs
You should be cautious when dealing with the low-end price range, or anywhere between $299 and $1000 per eye. These operators generally tack on a lot of hidden fees throughout the process in order to jack up the price. Essentially, it’s a bait and switch.
But you should be equally cautious with the high-end price ranges, anywhere from $2500-$4000 per eye. You should be careful to ask if this price covers pre- and post-operative care. Post-operative care typically includes doctors visits for up to one year after your surgery. If this is not covered under the original price, it can get a lot more expensive on you quickly.
Post-operative care generally also includes healing eye drops and minor touch-ups called “enhancements”. The enhancements steer your vision to the best results. And you can all but guarantee that this pre- and post-operative care is not included in the low-end dealer’s price.
And you should be aware of the fact that the listed price must be doubled. The price is listed per eye in order to avoid sticker shock. Unless you have astigmatism or some other condition in just one eye, you’ll have to pay double the advertised price.
You should be able to find a reputable surgeon willing to charge $2000-$2500 per eye while including pre- and post-operative care.
“How much does LASIK eye surgery cost?”
$2,000 Has Been The Magic Price For Decades
LASIK came about in the mid-1990s. The cost for the surgery was $2000 per eye on average during the Clinton years and the cost has not fluctuated much ever since. New technologies and research, as well as an investing in cutting edge technology and techniques, have helped stabilized the price of laser eye surgery through the years. And while additional factors can increase the price, you should prepare yourself to pay around $4000 for LASIK surgery on both eyes.
LASIK Tied To Cost Of Living
It is common knowledge that living in New York City is more expensive than living in Lincoln, Nebraska. The cost of living covers the price of milk, eggs, bread and LASIK surgery. Laser eye surgery will cost you considerably less in places like Lincoln versus big cities like New York.
Pay The Big Free Agent
Professional athletes ink multi-million dollar deals after they’ve proven themselves on the field. Rookies tend to get paid less because they are not a proven commodity. It works just the same way with laser eye surgeons. The less experienced the surgeon, the less they will usually charge. The surgeons with tens of thousands of surgeries under the belt will charge more for their quality experience. So if you are comfortable, you can save a few bucks by going to a rookie.
Technology Plays A Major Role
The doctor will take measurements of your eye using lasers; a technology called WaveFront analysis developed by NASA. The computer interprets the measurements and uses an algorithm to program a correction for your vision depending on your nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism. This hands-off technology is something that has kept the national average for laser eye surgery at $2000 per eye, or $4000 total.
The cost would be higher if doctors still used the old bladed procedure. An extremely skilled surgeon would cut a flap into your eye with a microscopic blade. Today, a laser cuts this flap so that there is no need for a blade. This has the added benefit of being more precise and giving you peace of mind throughout the procedure. It also helps to stabilize the cost of the eye surgery.