Low-cost LASIK - And Three Reasons to Avoid ItAuthor: Dr. William Tullo
October 31, 2013
Low-cost LASIK—should you or shouldn’t you?
The cost of LASIK can make even the most comfortable middle-class adult blink twice. On average, LASIK costs a person about $4,000 to get both eyes done—not a low-cost procedure but not prohibitively expensive, either.
The good news is that with financing, savings, tax-free health accounts, discounts and negotiated insurance rates, most people can afford quality LASIK without resorting to low-end LASIK providers.
Avoid Low-Cost LASIK Providers
While window shopping, remember that LASIK is surgery. Great surgeons spend years perfecting the art and science of their craft, and they will charge a price that reflects their expertise.
With that in mind, here are three major reasons to avoid low-cost LASIK providers:
LASIK has existed since 1989.
Custom Bladeless LASIK, the most advanced and readily available LASIK technology, is more expensive, for instance. It requires the use of a Wavefront Analyzer (NASA-level technology) and a second laser to create a thin layer of corneal tissue. These additional costs get passed to the patient. A cheaper provider is less likely to have and use these newer technologies. If you find a cheaper-than-average LASIK price, ask explicitly if this price includes “Wavefront-Customized Bladeless LASIK.”
You get what you pay for, and what you want to pay for is a qualified LASIK surgeon with at least thousands and perhapstens of thousands of procedures under his lab-coat belt
Surgeons with less experience and fewer qualifications are likely to command cheaper prices.
Ask how active your surgeon is in keeping with the latest technology, and look for evidence of special training, fellowships, professorships and memberships to professional associations, such as the American Academy of Ophthalmology
Bait ‘n Switched!
Nobody likes the old bait ‘n switch: getting pulled in at a cheap advertised rate only to learn that’s for other patients or for an old type of LASIK.
A common way LASIK providers bait ‘n switch people is by preying on weak knowledge of LASIK. Not all LASIK comes equal. Bladed Conventional LASIK, which might not provide as good results as Bladeless Custom LASIK, is usually cheaper, for instance.
Another way providers switch the price is by saying their cheap advertised price was for some patients. But your eyes are special because of X, Y, Z, so you can’t have the advertised price.
Cities across the continent have their shares of bait-‘n-switchers. Beware cheap LASIK advertised at $299/eye, $499/eye or even $999/eye. These prices don’t represent the cost most people pay for safe, quality LASIK.
As you consider LASIK, schedule a consultation at a trusted provider. These vision centers can tell you with accuracy if there’s any reason you’re not a LASIK candidate—often for free and with no obligation.