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The Price of Lasik; 2012

The wide range of cost for Lasik raises quality concerns.

lasik cost  
The price for Lasik varies dramatically. You need to be sure you get what you pay for.  

Discount Prices

Some national chains advertise Lasik prices as low at $499 an eye, but a look at the financial reports of those same chains will find what they really charge. The average Lasik cost in 2012 is about $1,950 per eye. The price of Lasik varies from about $1,600 to $3,200 per eye, depending on the surgeon and technology, according to David Harmon, president of the St. Louis research firm Market Scope. What is paid by an indivudal will depend greatly on the patient's unique circumstances, which procedure is recommended, and market competition.

USAEyes May Cover $1,500 Toward Your Lasik

The USAEyes nonprofit organization does not provide Lasik - we provide Lasik information and certify Lasik doctor patient outcomes - but we do pay attention to Lasik price issues and we have recently implemented a grant fund to help pay for Lasik for select individuals. Learn about the USAEyes $1,500 Lasik grant.

Don't Pay Too Much Or Too Little

Nobody wants to pay too much for anything, but this is microsurgery on eyes. If the best available surgeon is unaffordable, then the wise choice may be to not have Lasik at all.  An inexperienced doctor is no bargain at any price. If you go on the cheap and something goes wrong, you may never forgive yourself. That said, just because someone charges a lot does not make them a better doctor, nor does charging less make them an inferior doctor. What is important is to focus (pun intended) on the quality of the surgeon and keep price secondary.

Lasik Price Transparency

There are many different refractive surgery techniques with variable costs. Conventional Lasik ablation will likely be less expensive than wavefront custom Lasik. Bladeless Lasik will likely be more expensive than Lasik with a mechanical microkeratome. PRK, LASEK, and Epi-Lasik, may have slightly different cost than Lasik. RLE is likely to be more expensive than Lasik. Some clinics charge extra for "lifetime acuity" or similar warranty plans that provide additional surgery if required later.

You may respond to the $499 ad, but be "upsold" into something much more expensive. The difficult part is knowing if you really need the more expensive procedures. This concern led to US Congressional hearings regarding Lasik cost transparency.

Lasik is an elective surgery that is market driven and is being sold to you. To some degree your surgeon is your salesperson, but the better doctors will not try to sell you something that would not be to your benefit.


Would you purchase a pair of glasses out of a basket at a thrift store and expect to be able to see well? Perhaps you would see okay, but you would probably only want to wear glasses custom made for you and that provide the most accurate correction for your eyes. Lasik is much the same. We don't mean to equate $499 Lasik to a thrift store, but  you get the idea

You will live with the results of your refractive surgery, good or bad, for the rest of your life. Make a surgery decision, not a financial one.

Looking For Best Lasik Surgeon?

If you are ready to choose a doctor to be evaluated for conventional or custom wavefront Lasik, Bladeless Lasik, PRK, or any refractive surgery procedure, we recommend you consider a doctor who has been evaluated and certified by the USAEyes nonprofit organization. Locate a USAEyes Evaluated & Certified Lasik Doctor.

Personalized Answers

If this article did not fully answer your questions, use our free Ask Lasik Expert patient forum.

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"Consider and Choose With Confidence"TM

A few of the communities where Lasik doctors are certified by USAEyes :