For years, LASIK, or laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis, has been one of the most popular refractive eye surgeries around the world. If you or a loved one is considering this effective procedure to help correct a refractive error, you’re likely wondering how much is eye surgery like LASIK is going to cost.
Unfortunately, this procedure isn’t often covered by insurance and even though the cost has decreased over the past few decades, the out-of-pocket cost can still be jarring. We’ve compiled some helpful information to help you determine if this is the best procedure for you.
The Average Cost of LASIK Eye Surgery in 2023
How much is LASIK surgery for both eyes? There is a lot of variation in the cost of LASIK eye surgery as costs range from $2,400 to $3,200 per eye. According to a 2021 report in Clinical Ophthalmology, the average price for LASIK in the U.S. in 2020 was $2,632 per eye. Although you might see ads for this procedure for as low as $250, these are for minimal corrections or could be teaser rates to grab your interest and simply get you in the door.
Top 5 Contributors to LASIK Eye Surgery Cost
As you can imagine, there are many factors in play that dictate the price of LASIK. Here are some factors that could impact the price of the procedure.
LASIK for One Eye or Both Eyes
Some patients seek LASIK to improve both of their eyes while others only opt to get it on one eye that needs correction. Whether you get it for one or both eyes will play a large part in how much it will cost.
By Eye Condition
Many refractive errors can be improved through LASIK, and some conditions are more expensive to treat than others. For example, we offer custom LASIK procedures and all-laser (bladeless) LASIK for our patients, this use of advanced technology can make the procedure more expensive.
Amblyopia is commonly referred to as lazy eye and it’s a safe option for patients with lazy eye. On average, this procedure costs around $2,500 per eye in the United States.
Hyperopia is also known as farsightedness, is another common condition that can be treated with LASIK. During this procedure, the corneal tissue will be reshaped. It costs $2,400-$3,200 per eye.
Lasik is an excellent procedure for patients with nearsightedness, or myopia. Lasik for myopia costs $2,400-$3,200 per eye.
Types of LASIK
How much is LASIK surgery also depends on the type of surgery being performed. Your eye surgeon will work with you to determine the specific type of laser vision correction that’s best for you. Keep in mind that the majority of these procedures are priced per eye and you might need one treatment for one eye and another treatment for the other.
SMILE eye surgery stands for small incision lenticule extraction and it’s designed to correct nearsightedness. It has many similarities to LASIK; it produces nearly the same visual acuity of LASIK but it doesn’t require the making of a LASIK corneal-style flap. Keep in mind that this procedure is only suitable for correcting nearsightedness and won’t improve farsightedness or other conditions.
Custom LASIK procedures use more advanced scanning technology and special laser software, such as wavescan technology, to correct your vision. Before you have surgery, your eyes will be measured using the wavescan system. This technology will create a custom map of your eyes and use computerized data to develop precise prescription measurements that will aid in the development of your specific treatment. This procedure is 100% customized to meet the needs of each patient and is effective in correcting lower and higher-order aberrations.
As the name suggests, all-laser LASIK (also known as bladeless LASIK) doesn’t involve any surgical cutting of the cornea. Instead, it relies on computer-guided control of a femtosecond laser, allowing your surgeon to carefully refine the corneal flap and help to create a secure flap edge. This helps patients to heal faster and reduces the risk of flap problems such as displacement.
Another factor in how much is LASIK surgery is the location in which you live. In some markets, the cost of living is higher such as in Chicago, New York, San Francisco, etc. You should expect to pay a bit more in these locations.
How experienced your surgeon is will play a factor in the cost of LASIK as well. Those with more years of experience or those who have developed specialized skill sets for this procedure can charge more than those who are just starting their careers.
Which Is the Best Time for LASIK?
Some patients have heard that getting LASIK during certain times of the year, such as in the summer when humidity is higher and can help the eyes. Rest assured that the procedure is performed in a temperature controlled environment, we adjust the humidity and temperature in our treatment rooms accordingly. This permits consistent results no matter the time of year you choose to have Lasik.
What’s Included in the Cost of LASIK?
The specific aspects that are included in the surgery will also impact the price. For example, consider whether follow-up appointments or enhancements are included. Some patients need an enhancement to improve the vision of an eye that has already been operated on, this impacts less than 5% of patients. After the initial procedure, some patients will benefit from some fine-tuning resulting from residual farsightedness, nearsightedness, or astigmatism that didn’t get resolved during the initial surgery.
Your surgeon will go over the specific services that are included in your cost, but generally speaking, the following are usually included in the total operating cost:
- Facility and surgeon fees
- Pre and post-op exams for the following year
- Any follow-up procedures in the case that fine-tuning correction is needed
Are There LASIK Financing Plans?
It’s understandable that many patients are hesitant to move forward with a LASIK procedure considering it can be expensive. Rest assured that there are many options when it comes to finding a LASIK financing plan so you don’t have to stress about paying a large chunk of money all at once.
Similar to how you pay a monthly cost toward a mortgage, car payment, insurance, etc., you can do the same for your LASIK procedure. There are LASIK financing companies that offer specials such as a $0 down payment and affordable monthly payments with minimal interest. If you’re scared away by the price, spend some time doing a little bit of research to see what your options are. Our team is happy to assist you with this as well.
Are you wondering if LASIK is worth the investment? Consider the long-term cost of keeping up with prescription glasses or contact lenses over the years, these costs will definitely add up. When comparing the cost of glasses and contact lenses with LASIK, you’ll likely end up paying less for LASIK in the long run.
Another consideration is your quality of life following the procedure. Most, if not all patients at Kraff Eye Institute are thrilled with their decision to move forward with the procedure, and this is invaluable. If you’re interested in learning more about LASIK or you want to schedule a consultation with our team, please contact us today.