The Real Cost of Laser Eye Surgery

The cost of laser eye surgery can range from as low as $1999 per eye to up to $4,000 or more per eye.  What gives? Why such a price difference? Geography, surgical experience, technology (e.g., which lasers), eye prescription, insurance benefits, and healthcare savings all influence your real cost of laser eye surgery.

Why Cost of Laser Eye Surgery Differs so Greatly

Many factors affect your LASIK price.

First, your eye prescription is a factor in determining the price of your laser eye surgery procedure. This can be discussed with your eye doctor or at the LASIK consultation.

The surgeon you pick will affect your price.  LASIK surgeons who have been practicing longer tend to charge more.  They bring added experience and expertise to your procedure, and many people feel more comfortable with an experienced surgeon.  The most experienced surgeons have been practicing since the 1990s, when LASIK and its predecessor PRK gained commercial popularity. Research surgeons in your area to know what you are getting for the price.

In addition, the technology your LASIK surgeon uses affects your price.  Bladeless LASIK procedures use a second laser not used in bladed procedures, and this can raise the price. As you might expect, a bladeless procedure offers additional benefits, such as an oftentimes faster and more pleasant recovery.   Adding a customization to your laser eye surgery — which uses Wavefront technology, developed by NASA — will also affect its cost.  Your doctor should discuss the benefits of bladed, bladeless, and Wavefront technology as they relate to your unique eyes.

Geography may also influence your price.  Places with higher costs of living, such as New York or Boston, may reflect higher costs of laser eye surgery.

Finally, as you assess cost of laser eye surgery, consider what each quoted price includes.  Some providers price out just the procedure without factoring additional services you may want.  Provider A might give you a price for LASIK, for instance.  Meanwhile Provider B may quote you for custom bladeless LASIK with a year’s worth of post-operative checkups and a limited-time or lifetime enhancement package included.  Ask specifically what your price includes.

Will Insurance Cover Cost of Laser Eye Surgery?

Insurance usually does not cover laser eye surgery, unless your job requires perfect vision.  Athletes and combat fighters sometimes qualify for full coverage, for instance.

Often insurance companies negotiate reduced rates for members, though.  If you have insurance, it’s a good idea to ask specifically if the provider you are considering offers discounts for insurance holders like you.  You might also ask what other membership discounts, such as those for military or AAA holders, they honor.

Health Spending Accounts for the Cost of Laser Eye Surgery

Many U.S. employees have an FSA, HSA, or HRA to cover health expenses with income-tax-free accounts.  The cost of laser eye surgery is an eligible expense for all these accounts.  In addition, some people may deduct the cost of major medical expenses. Check with your tax preparer if you think you qualify.

If you know you want LASIK but are concerned about up-front cost, assess your contributions during your employer’s open-enrollment window and consider increasing your savings so you can afford the procedure next year.

Creative Ways of Affording the Cost of Laser Eye Surgery

There are many ways to afford LASIK.  Many people finance their procedures, at a monthly cost that has been compared to a utility bill.  In addition, some choose to put the balance on a rewards-bearing credit card for points, miles, or other incentives.  Make sure your provider accepts your credit card if you plan to do this.

The Real Value of Laser Eye Surgery

The cost of laser eye surgery reflects an elective procedure that has been called life changing. Many people reduce their need for glasses and contacts for years.  The money saved on associated costs reflects only part of the surgery’s value though.  Many find that after LASIK they can do what they could not have done before, such as SCUBA dive, wear off-the-shelf sunglasses, swim, play freely with their children, and travel without hassle.  It’s important to weigh not just the cost of laser eye surgery, but whether the soft gains will increase your quality of living, and thus affect your decision to push forward with the procedure.

Dear Valued Patient,

As the Coronavirus pandemic continues to impact people around the globe, our first priority is the safety and well-being of our patients, team members and communities. We are committed to doing our part to prevent it’s spread and to protect our country during this public health crisis. As a result, effective Friday, March 20, all centers are temporarily closed.

We anticipate all centers will reopen Monday, June 8. We will continue to monitor and reevaluate this timeline as circumstances change.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

When will The LASIK Vision Institute Clinics reopen?
With conditions evolving every day, our tentative date is June 8, 2020. We continue to monitor the situation. When we are given the all-clear and feel it’s up to our medical-grade safety standards, you’ll be the first to know. An email will be sent to you with your local clinic opening.

What should I do if I have an appointment scheduled?
For those of you with scheduled appointments we will automatically cancel them, and a LASIK Vision Institute team member will reach out and reschedule your appointment as soon as possible.

What happens if I want to schedule a FREE LASIK Consultation?

LVI centers are currently closed but we are accepting Virtual Consultations between now and June 8th. Click here to schedule a Virtual Consultation now.

What do I do if I have an eye emergency related to my laser eye surgery?
Please call 866-852-2520 and one of our customer service representatives will connect you to a doctor at The LASIK Vision Institute

Thank you

The thought of having a laser pointed at your eye can make LASIK seem like a scary procedure for many people. The reality is, laser eye surgery is an easy and safe FDA-approved procedure. There are many misconceptions about LASIK, including what to expect on surgery day, LASIK cost, recovery time and much more.  Below are some of the most common myths and misconceptions about laser vision correction.

1. LASIK recovery time is lengthy and extensive

In reality, for most people, the recovery time for LASIK is very minimal. In fact, most patients are able to resume most normal daily activities within a day or two following their procedure, and while everyone heals at their pace, most patients can head back to work within two days.

2. Laser vision correction is incredibly  painful

Laser eye surgery actually is virtually painless. While some patients describe feeling mild discomfort from a slight pressure or vibrating sensation, most report feeling no pain during their procedure. Actually, most patients say that the feeling of anxiety and fear of the unknown is worse than the actual LASIK procedure.

Anesthetic drops are used to numb the eyes just before surgery begins, and you may be given a mild sedative as well. After your procedure, your eyes may have a foreign body sensation or irritation for a few hours, but for most patients, these side effects will go away in a few hours after taking a short nap.

3. LASIK is a “cure all” for glasses and contacts

LASIK surgery was designed to help reduce your dependency on glasses and contact lenses, but it does not guarantee that you will never need them again. LASIK patients are still susceptible to presbyopia, which occurs naturally with age and may require patients to need a pair of low prescription readers. While the majority of patients are able to go day-to-day without the use of glasses or contact lenses, it is best to consider LASIK as a procedure to reduce your dependency on them rather than get rid of your lenses forever.

4. LASIK is a lengthy procedure

In actuality, LASIK takes minimal time and can have life changing results. The average procedure, including prep time, ranges from 60 to 90 minutes, but the laser correction itself only takes about 10 to 15 minutes.

5. Lasers used during LASIK can cut through your eye

This is very false. Do your research on the safety of LASIK. The lasers used during LASIK emit a cool beam of light, which is not capable of penetrating your body via your LASIK procedure. Rather than burning or cutting the biological matter of your body, excimer lasers used during LASIK have a useful property where they can remove exceptionally thin layers off of the surface of your eye with almost no heating or change to the remainder of your eye, making them ideal for these delicate surgeries.

If you’re considering LASIK, schedule a free consultation to understand if you’re a candidate for laser eye surgery.

Medically, myopia (my-OH-pee-uh) is an inability to see far away. A synonym is “nearsightedness.” Someone who is myopic can see near, but not far away. LASIK eye surgery can correct this common condition.

Myopia causes

Myopia is caused by a focusing errors that can be corrected by changing the shape of the cornea. The cornea transmits light through various eye parts internally toward your retina, which interprets an image. When your cornea is too steep, the image gets distorted, and you have a myopic prescription. (When the cornea is too flat, the image also gets distorted, but this is considered a hyperopic, or farsighted, prescription.)

Myopia and vision correction

Luckily, myopia is a common vision problem that can be diagnosed at an eye exam.

People correct myopia daily with glasses, contact lenses and LASIK. Less common correction procedures, such as implantable lenses and other types of laser vision correction, can also correct myopia.

Myopia and LASIK

LASIK surgery is an attractive vision-correction option for people with myopia.

If you’re interested in learning about LASIK, schedule a free consultation.

LASIK fear is among the most common reasons that people shy away from the procedure.  And among the most common LASIK fears, three show up more than any others among those considering the procedure.

LASIK Fear #1 – Fear of being awake during surgery

Perhaps the most common LASIK fear is the fear of being awake during surgery. But LASIK surgery begins with numbing eye drops, and sometimes a mild sedative, to help you relax. Still, some patients notice mild discomfort, such as pressure, vibration or dimmed vision, during the procedure. You don’t have to worry about blinking, though, because a specially designed instrument holds your eye open. And a computer in the laser tracks your eye movement more than 4,000 times per second, ensuring precision. In 15 minutes or less, both eyes can be done with little discomfort. If you can stare straight ahead for 45 seconds—about as long as it takes to watch a traffic light—you can do this.

LASIK Fear #2 – Fear of LASIK cost

A second common LASIK fear is the cost of LASIK. A LASIK price typically covers the initial consultation with eye exam, laser technology, highly trained eye surgeons, personalized aftercare and a lifetime commitment. The cost of LASIK can seem costly at first, but a lot is rolled into that final price. Ask your LASIK specialist to explain the variety of payment options and discounts that are available. Some patients estimate that their cost of LASIK pays for itself within a few years because of their saved costs in eye glasses, contact lenses and contact lens solution. With proper planning, LASIK can fit into even a tight budget.

LASIK Fear #3 – Fear of complications

A third popular LASIK fear is fear of complications. Like with any surgical procedure, there are risks and potential complications. Choosing the most advanced laser technology and a highly experienced, reputable surgeon can reduce the risk of complications.

In addition, individual qualities, such as cornea thickness and ocular health, can reduce risks even further. At your LASIK consultation, your eye doctor will discuss any risks and complications with you. Elect for the procedure only if you feel comfortable with the risks of LASIK.

Among patients who overcome their LASIK fears, many wish they hadn’t been so afraid.

Having laser eye surgery shouldn’t haunt you. With a professional behind the laser and an understanding of the procedure, it’s easy to overcome common LASIK fears and opt for a surgery that can change the way you see the world.

Get educated, do your research, and learn what to expect. Make a consultation appointment to speak with a LASIK specialist to help overcome your fear.

Congratulations! You’ve made an excellent decision to improve your vision and your overall quality of life with laser eye surgery, or LASIK. But before you take the plunge, you have one final decision to make: selecting the right LASIK eye surgeon for you.

Choosing a LASIK eye surgeon

Choosing your LASIK eye surgeon is one of the most important health care decisions you will ever make, and you will want to consider several factors when beginning your search. Look for a vision center with a reputation for patient satisfaction and for an experienced, board-certified surgeon . Once you have narrowed down your selections, chat with friends or co-workers who have used the vision center, surf the Internet for real patient reviews, ask the vision center for patient testimonials and check its report card from your local Better Business Bureau.

Top of mind for many prospective patients may be the cost of LASIK. Don’t be tempted to look only at the bottom line; bargain-shopping may be fine for shoes, but your eye care is priceless.

Make a list (and check it twice!)

Not all LASIK eye surgery centers and LASIK eye surgeons are equal. The following checklist can help you to determine which LASIK provider will best suit your needs:

  • Cleanliness: Does the facility appear to be clean? A reputable vision center will appear tidy and hygienic.
  • Equipment: What kind of technology does the eye surgeon use, and do you have a choice as to the type of technology? Be sure to ask if the surgeon offers 100 percent all-laser LASIK (also known as Bladeless LASIK), or if she uses a microkeratome blade. Many patients prefer a Bladeless LASIK procedure.
  • Professional, friendly staff: From the receptionist to the surgeon, a vision center’s staff and their demeanor speaks volumes. Look for staff who listen to your concerns and are willing to work with your schedule and financial situation.
  • Relationship with your eye doctor: Will the surgeon work with your current eye doctor—both before AND after surgery—to ensure your continued satisfaction with your LASIK eye surgery?
  • Patient satisfaction: What are the vision center’s success rates? Of course, you will want to select a surgeon with a low rate of complications, but be wary of a provider who advertises a 100-percent success rate and is unable to back up his claims with objective data.
  • Enhancements: Are enhancements frequently needed? Remember, laser eye surgery outcomes may vary based on individual conditions. Even with successful surgery, future enhancements may be needed, or you might require eye glasses for activities such as reading or driving. Additionally, farsighted patients may experience deteriorating vision over time as part of the natural aging process.
  • Results: Does your provider offer a lifetime commitment on her results, including adjustments at no additional cost to eligible patients? Because every case is unique, be sure to discuss your expectations with your eye surgeon prior to your surgery.

Invest the time now to find the right LASIK surgeon for you—it’s a decision that will pay dividends in improved vision for years to come.

Age marks plenty of milestones: driving, voting, working and retiring. But there’s no set age for LASIK. Most providers won’t perform LASIK on those under 18 because eyes tend to keep changing into early adulthood. But laser eye surgery has been performed on children (with severe vision problems) and octogenarians alike.

These are outliers to most cases. The most common age for LASIK, in fact, falls between the ages of 20 and 40.

LASIK Age Defined

LASIK is FDA-approved for those 18 and older. Most providers encourage young adults to wait until their mid-20s because, until this time, a person’s prescription may be still changing. Having a stable prescription for at least two years is often required as proof before anyone, young or old, is deemed a good LASIK candidate.

From the point of stable prescription on, most adults concurrently grow their savings, begin traveling for work and pleasure, and perhaps develop an irritation or exhaustion with contacts and eye glasses. This creates the popular period during which most people have LASIK.

Around the age of 40, a person’s eyes start to change again. Soon thereafter, many people start to need reading glasses due to a condition known as presbyopia. LASIK does not correct presbyopia, but some people with the condition decide to have monovision. Monovision is a laser eye surgery that leaves one eye corrected for near vision and the other eye corrected for distance vision.

At age 60, the eyes start to change once more. This is when risk of cataracts increases. Some adults get to age 70 or 80 with no cataracts and have otherwise healthy eyes. Despite being outside the common LASIK age spectrum, these people can be good candidates for laser eye surgery. It’s possible that a 70-year-old without cataracts or other eye illnesses is actually a better candidate than a 30-year-old with very dry eyes and diabetes.

Age certainly influences one’s LASIK candidacy, but it by no means draws an absolute boundary. If you are in good health, have a stable prescription and are considering LASIK, schedule a free consultation to assess your candidacy.

LASIK eye surgery is a common procedure used to correct eye problems, such as nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. All three are conditions that affect the eye’s ability to focus on objects near and far away. Part of the LASIK procedure requires an eye surgeon to create a hinged flap of tissue, which can be done with either a blade or a laser. The importance of this step in the LASIK procedure cannot be overstated.

So what’s the difference between Bladeless LASIK and traditional?

The first and most obvious difference is that traditional LASIK eye surgery uses a thin blade called a microkeratome to make an incision in the cornea, which creates the hinged flap. This thin protective flap of tissue allows the cornea to heal quickly and naturally once the procedure is finished, with little to no discomfort.

The Bladeless LASIK option utilizes a precise, high-energy femtosecond laser instead of a microkeratome blade to create the flap of corneal tissue. Since being invented in the 1990s, the femtosecond laser has been incredibly successful. This laser continues to provide LASIK patients and their eye doctors with a bladeless alternative to traditional laser eye surgery.

Is Bladeless LASIK safe?

Both Bladed LASIK and Bladeless LASIK are proven safe and effective, but the bladeless femtosecond procedure has a number of important advantages. Bladeless LASIK, for example, has a lower risk of corneal flap complications.

Some LASIK patients need a second procedure, which laser eye surgeons call a “touch up” or an “enhancement.” Bladeless LASIK allows for a safer enhancement should it be needed. A study found that creating flaps of corneal tissue with a bladeless femtosecond laser resulted in faster visual recovery and better uncorrected visual acuity than did creating the corneal flap with a blade.

Is Bladeless LASIK better for me?

Laser eye surgeons, optometrists and their patients have come to find that both Bladed LASIK and Bladeless LASIK procedures are among the safest medical procedures in modern medicine.

Every patient is different. Although Bladeless LASIK has many advantages for many patients, it isn’t always the best option. Schedule a free consultation to find out which method is right for you.

Dry eyes are no fun: They itch, sting and tear up. They’re a possible side effect of LASIK eye surgery, but usually they clear up within the first year of recovery. Some experts have estimated that as many as eight out of 10 LASIK patients deal with some dry eye symptoms in the weeks following their procedures.

Why does LASIK create temporary dry eyes?

Post-LASIK dry eye can be caused by how the surgery itself enhances vision. LASIK surgery involves reshaping the cornea to improve vision, but altering the curvature of the cornea can also affect the tear film. The creation of a corneal flap and ablation, or removal, of corneal tissue, might also affect corneal nerve fibers integral to tear production, thus resulting in dry eyes in the days or weeks following surgery.

Dry eyes can be treated in several ways. Your doctor might suggest preservative-free artificial tear drops. If you suffer from keratoconjunctivitis sicca, or dry eye syndrome, topical cyclosporine prescription eye drops can offer additional relief. Even blinking more frequently while at the computer can help with dry eyes in the weeks following a LASIK procedure.

Some people have dry eyes before they have LASIK. It is important for these people to let their surgeons know about this condition before having laser eye surgery. Often, a LASIK surgeon will want to treat a case of dry eyes before performing the procedure.

How do I know if I’ll get dry eyes?

A well-trained eye doctor can measure the severity of your dry eyes. In some cases, your doctor might determine that your condition is too severe and that you are not a good candidate for LASIK. Laser eye surgery is often not a good idea for patients with unmanaged dry eye syndrome because the LASIK procedure can cause further drying of the eyes.

A majority of people never have a LASIK complication, but you might have wondered what risks this procedure carries.

Here are some of the most common possible risks of LASIK. It’s important to discuss these risks with your LASIK eye surgeon or optometrist before your procedure.

Remember, most patients don’t experience LASIK complications, but with any surgery, complications can happen. There are also common side effects that are more common in the early post-operative period; these usually resolve over time but may not. Side effects and risks include these:

1.      Dry eyes

Dry eyes are a common and usually temporary side effect of LASIK, affecting about half LASIK patients. All refractive surgery patients are asked to use artificial tears in the early post-operative period. The dry-eye feeling, which some describe as “sandy or gritty,” typically disappear after three to six months. Your doctor might prescribe additional eye drops. If you already have dry eyes, PRK, another kind of laser vision correction, may be a better option for you.

2.      Infection

Infection can occur after LASIK or PRK. It is important that you attend all of your early post-operative appointments and use all of your medications as prescribed. An eye infection can be treated with medicine, including antibiotic drops, but in some cases may require additional treatment. It is imperative that you contact your doctors immediately if you have any change in your vision or increase in discomfort during the early post-operative period.

3.      Residual refractive error: over or under correction

Patients with a very high prescription might not get as good initial results as those with a lower prescription. Residual refractive error, if significant can often be fixed with a follow-up procedure often called an enhancement.

4.      Keratoectasia

This condition can occur if a patient has an underlying corneal disease such as keratoconus. The main symptom is increased astigmatism, causing blurred vision and a loss in the patient’s best corrected vision. It’s worth noting this is incredibly rare, and your doctor will complete testing prior to surgery to try to identify an underlying corneal disease. The big point here is that if your doctor suggests you are not a candidate for LASIK, trust his or her judgment.

5.      Regression

A LASIK patient’s results may regress with time. Many LASIK providers offer enhancements, sometimes for life, if your vision regresses after surgery and additional surgery is safe to perform. Make sure you know your LASIK surgeon’s policy on enhancements and the charges that might be associated with them before scheduling your procedure.

6.      Glare and halos

Night-vision disturbances such as glare and halos are potential LASIK risks. Glare and halos affect the way your eyes see light, mostly at night or under dimly lit conditions. In most but not all cases, these symptoms decrease over time. A small number of patients do report significant night-vision disturbances, even one year after LASIK surgery.

7.      Flap complications

Among patients who get Bladeless LASIK, flap complications occur in less than one half of one percent, according to one study. After LASIK, it’s important to let the corneal flaps heal by not rubbing or bumping your eyes. If there is injury to the eye, the flap could be moved slightly, resulting in a wrinkle in the flap. If that happens, a patient might require an additional procedure in which the surgeon smooths the wrinkled flap.

8.      Vision complications

Rarely, LASIK can worsen vision. This makes it important to choose your LASIK surgeon carefully and to ensure that he or she uses the most updated technology.

9.      Epithelial ingrowth

Sometimes during healing corneal tissue grows under the LASIK flap. When this happens, it’s called “epithelial ingrowth.” Symptoms of epithelial ingrowth include blurred vision and slight discomfort. If the epithelial ingrowth affects a patient’s vision, the surgeon can perform additional surgery to remove this tissue.

This is not a comprehensive list of LASIK risks. Some patients may be at risk for more or fewer complications. Your doctors can tell you which risks are involved with your procedure and specific to your eyes.

Selecting an experienced, trustworthy surgeon can greatly reduce your LASIK risks. This is also true of picking a surgeon who uses the most updated LASIK technology.