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Eye operation cost: A survey of LASIK surgery prices

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The cost of laser eye surgery in the UK varied significant according to the latest research by Which? They found prices advertised from as little as £595 to as much as £2,600 per eye at the clinics in their survey, and this was higher for Wavefront (personalised eye mapping technology, sometimes called iDesign, high profile or Intralase). Lasik with Wavefront costed from £1,495 to £3,250 per eye. The actual price you pay for LASIK surgery will depend on many factors, including the experience and reputation of your surgeon and the type of technology used for your procedure.

WANT TO LEARN MORE ABOUT LASIK? Find a LASIK surgeon near you. Use the Services filter at top right of our doctor locator to find LASIK surgeons in your area.

LASIK cost may vary depending on technology

The approach to pricing will differ by company or surgeon. Some surgeons charge one price for all vision correction procedures performed with an excimer laser to reshape the cornea of the eye.

In other words, additional automated technology — such as use of a femtosecond laser to create the flap in the cornea for bladeless LASIK — is included in this comprehensive fee and not priced separately as an "extra."

But some LASIK surgeons have variable pricing depending on the specific technology used. For example, they may charge more for all-laser LASIK or custom LASIK that employs wavefront technology for a more customised procedure.

Also, some surgeons may have variable pricing for LASIK and other types of laser surgery depending on your refractive error.

Are cheap LASIK prices good value?

It's not unusual to see advertisements promising LASIK for less than £600 per eye, which may sound like great value. But it’s likely that:

  • The "bargain" LASIK price is only for the correction of mild near sightedness. If you have far sightedness, astigmatism or moderate to high amounts of near sightedness, the cost of LASIK may be significantly higher than the advertised price.

  • The offer price doesn't cover all fees. For instance, you may have only a limited number of follow-up visits, and if there's a problem, additional post-op care could cost extra. Also, the cost of enhancement/retreatment surgeries is probably not included, and you may even be charged extra for your initial consultation.

  • Your procedure may be performed with older technology. This isn't necessarily bad, but newer technologies do offer the possibility of a more precise LASIK procedure, with less risk of complications.

If you're considering low-cost LASIK, make sure you get a written quote that itemizes everything in the offer. Read the fine print, and ask about all potential extra fees before going ahead with the procedure.

How to reduce your LASIK surgery cost

There are a number of ways to make the cost of LASIK more affordable. Some eye care practices offer special pricing and incentives for LASIK and other vision surgeries.

There are finance companies that specialise in elective surgical procedures like LASIK and offer fixed rates and long-term payment plans. Many LASIK surgery centres and private medical practices offer financing plans administered by these companies.

Most vision insurance plans do not cover refractive surgery because insurance companies consider it cosmetic and therefore medically unnecessary.

Some large employers offer subsidised health plans that cover at least part of LASIK costs. If you work for a major company, ask about possible benefits that might cover elective corrective eye surgery procedures.

A final note: You may be tempted to choose a surgeon based only on the fee charged, but that may be unwise. It's better to choose the best surgeon you can find and then, if you need it, get the most affordable financing you can.

READY TO LEARN MORE ABOUT LASIK? Find a LASIK surgeon near you. Use the Services filter at top right of our doctor locator to find LASIK surgeons in your area.

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