Costs of refractive surgeries

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Calculated at per eye, the cost of LASIK can vary considerably from one surgeon or visual center to another. If the patient wants to have two eyes corrected, the cost doubles. In addition, LASIK using new technologies, e.g. wavefront and bladeless, requires even higher prices. This writing lists the average prices of traditional LASIK and customized wavefront LASIK as well as other types of laser eye surgery.

LASIK prices are affected by economic situation and surgery amount

The time when a LASIK cost less than $1,000 has gone for ever. But under the influence of economic conditions, average LASIK prices have not risen considerably during the past several years, although LASIK prices before 2006 were much lower than now. Another factor that is worth consideration is the volume of surgical procedures, which actually determines the cost while maintaining profitability of surgical centers. So that average costs of LASIK in 2009 are slightly higher than that in 2008, because more people have backed off from generous expenses.

Average prices of different LASIK procedures

A survey of refractive surgeons conducted in the first quarter of 2009 provides overall figures of average LASIK prices. A single laser-based vision correction procedure costs $2,140 and the average cost of non-customized bladed LASIK is about $1,748. Combined with laser-created flap, wavefront-guided LASIK in average charges $2,314. Customers should also pay attention to extra costs of LASIK. Visual conditions of patients are always different from one to one, and most patients are not eligible for LASIK at a low price. Furthermore, patients should also be quite aware of bargain prices from certain centers and surgeons. With much lower prices, patients may get fewer services. It is quite necessary to work out what detailed services are included in the advertised prices.

The reason for the increase in LASIK prices

In fact, the decisive factor of the price increase in recent years is the application of new technologies used in LASIK. As mentioned before, wavefront and laser-flap LASIKs are much more expensive than conventional ones. In accordance to many surgeons, these higher prices are quite reasonable since new technologies bring better visual effects and fewer complications. Most eye centers charge an extra between $350 and $500 for wavefront analysis during LASIK.

The prices of other laser eye surgeries

Besides LASIK, there are other refractive surgeries. The cost of Conductive Keratoplasty (CK) varies from $1,500 to $2,900 and Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE) costs from $2,500 to $4,500 per eye. PRK, Epi-LASIK and LASEK charge prices at nearly the same level as LASIK.

What determine surgery price

There are various factors that play a role in the varying prices of different refractive surgeries. Preoperative tests, equipment and technologies all affect the price of a procedure. The cost of a refractive surgery contains many items, including device purchase or lease and maintenance costs, the eye royalty fee to the excimer laser manufacturer, additional charge for a customized procedure, and the cost of sterile devices, e.g. gowns, masks and gloves. Other expenses of a LASIK include staff salaries, office benefits, rent and office administration and others.

Who may help in paying surgical expense?

Before receiving a refractive surgery, patients should ask the surgeon some problems, e.g. covered services, complication treatments, costs of prescription medications and follow-up visit fees. Unfortunately, refractive surgeries are always excluded from most vision insurance plans. Besides potential benefits from their employers, patients may also get the most affordable financing. Most LASIK surgeons have cooperation with certain financing companies. It’s better to choose the best surgeon, rather than the lowest price. In addition, companies including Microsoft also offer subsidized health plans to cover part of LASIK costs.