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Lasik Doctors


The Price of Lasik

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.


Some national chains advertise Lasik prices as low at $299 an eye, but a look at the financial reports of those same chains will find that the average Lasik cost is about $1,350 per eye. The price of Lasik varies from about $1,400 to $3,600 per eye, depending on the surgeon and technology, according to David Harmon, president of the St. Louis research firm Market Scope.

The USAEyes nonprofit organization does not provide Lasik - we only provide Lasik information and certify Lasik doctor patient outcomes - but we do pay attention to Lasik price issues. What is paid will depend greatly on the patient's unique circumstances, which procedure is recommended, and market competition.

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. All-Laser Lasik will likely be more expensive than Lasik with a mechanical microkeratome. PRK, LASEK, Epi-Lasik, and NearVision CK may have slightly different cost than Lasik. RLE is likely to be more expensive than Lasik. Some clinics charge extra for "lifetime acuity" plans that provide additional surgery if required later.

You may respond to the $299 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 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 $299 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.

If you are ready to choose a doctor to be evaluated for conventional or wavefront custom Lasik, All-Laser Lasik, PRK, LASEK, Epi-Lasik, NearVision CK, RLE, or any refractive surgery procedure, we highly recommend you consider a doctor who has been evaluated and certified by the USAEyes nonprofit organization. Locate a USAEyes Evaluated & Certified Lasik Laser Eye Surgery Doctor.

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

Current Lasik Medical Journal News...

Macroeconomic landscape of refractive surgery in the United States.

Related Articles

Macroeconomic landscape of refractive surgery in the United States.

Curr Opin Ophthalmol. 2015 Jul;26(4):249-54

Authors: Corcoran KJ

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: This review examines the economic history of refractive surgery and the decline of laser-assisted in-situ keratomileusis (LASIK) in the USA, and the emergence of refractive cataract surgery as an area of growth.
RECENT FINDINGS: Since it peaked in 2007 at 1.4 million procedures per year, LASIK has declined 50% in the USA, whereas refractive cataract surgery, including presbyopia-correcting intraocular lenses (IOLs), astigmatism-correcting IOLs, and femtosecond laser-assisted cataract surgery, has grown to 350 000 procedures per year, beginning in 2003.
SUMMARY: Patients are price-sensitive and responsive to publicity (good or bad) about refractive surgery and refractive cataract surgery. LASIK's decline has been partially offset by the emergence of refractive cataract surgery. About 11% of all cataract surgery in the USA involves presbyopia-correcting IOLs, astigmatism-correcting IOLs, or a femtosecond laser. From the surgeon's perspective, there are high barriers to entry into the marketplace for refractive surgery and refractive cataract surgery due to the high capital cost of excimer and femtosecond lasers, the high skill level required to deliver spectacular results to demanding patients who pay out of pocket, and the necessity to perform a high volume of surgeries to satisfy both of these requirements. Probably, less than 7% of US cataract surgeons can readily meet all of these requirements.

PMID: 26058020 [PubMed - in process]



Last updated Thursday, February 25, 2010

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