We believe knowing the cost of Lasik eye surgery in your city, as well as around the nation, will help you make an educated decision on where to have your Lasik procedure done. While cost is normally the #1 factor in helping you decide where you take your business, we do expect you’ll do your due diligence in researching the reputation and quality of work a particular surgeon might have. After all, Lasik is a surgery on one of your most valuable assets, your eyesight.
Please note: Not all states have cost information yet. I will be updating it very soon. Thanks!
- District of Columbia
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
Is Low Cost Lasik Surgery a Scam?
I’m sure you’ve seen the advertisements for “Lasik – starting at $299 per eye”, “$495 Lasik” or some other unbelievably low priced offer. How can they charge such low prices while most other ophthalmologists charge more like $1,900 / eye? While I’m not saying this is a scam, it is however extremely unlikely you’ll “qualify” for these prices. If you see these ads, be sure to check out the disclaimers, as there are guaranteed to be at least a few. Usually, these prices are only for people with very low lens prescription levels ( normally, -1.5 or less). Which, even if you are under that prescription level, they usually haven’t included all the associated costs that most Lasik surgeons include in their price quote (e.g. pre/post-op care, eye drops, etc).
So, does low-cost Lasik surgery really exist? My answer would be “yes, but have extreme levels of caution”. Be sure to ask your surgeon if post-surgery visits and enhancements are included with the price quote and tell them your prescription levels up front – then ask for a re-quote. The cost will likely be higher; much higher. Also, be sure to research the competence of any Lasik surgeon. Just because they are inexpensive doesn’t mean they are bad ophthalmologists, but it could be an indicator.
Types of Laser Eye Surgery (And Average Cost)
If you’re a newbie to the world of laser eye surgery, it’s a good first step to get acquainted with the different types of vision correction procedures available to you. So, let’s get right into it:
Conventional Lasik (aka Traditional Lasik) uses a microkeratome blade to very gently cut a flap on the top layer of your cornea. The surgeon will first give you some eye drops so that you’ll feel little to no pain during this process. After the flap is created, it is then folded back to allow the excimer laser to reshape your cornea. Normally, with this type of Lasik surgery, you can be back to work within a day or two. Conventional Lasik is still very popular in the US, even with the rise of the all-laser surgery. Probably the main advantage of this type of surgery is that it’s a fair amount cheaper than the alternatives (on average).
Average Cost For Both Eyes: $3,378
IntraLase Bladeless Lasik
IntraLase is a relatively newer type of Lasik surgery which uses a femtosecond laser to create the initial flap, instead of a blade. After the initial flap is created, the remainder of the surgery is very similar to conventional Lasik. There are a couple distinct advantages to doing this type of Lasik procedure. First of all, the femtosecond laser, which makes the initial cut, can create a much thinner flap than the blade – which is very beneficial for people with thin corneas. Also, with the all-laser surgery, you can avoid many flap related complications (albeit rare) such as: eye infections, partially formed or buttonholed flaps, among other things.
There are many types of bladeless Lasik available. From the popular iLasik to zLasik, VisuMax & Femtec – they all have one thing in common: they use two lasers to perform the surgery. The main difference between them is the unique, patented software that cuts the flap. Also, the iLasik surgery uses a unique excimer laser, called CustomVue.
Average Cost For Both Eyes: $3,894
PRK / LASEK
PRK is the most popular alternative to Lasik. Basically the difference between PRK and Lasik is that PRK does not create a flap to gain access to the treatment area of your cornea; instead, the entire outer layer is removed. Once the outer layer is removed, the rest of the surgery is very similar to Lasik. There are a few reasons why someone might choose PRK over Lasik. First, there would be no risk of flap complications. Another reason a surgeon might recommend PRK is that it’s more compatible for people with a thin cornea. Lastly, it does not require as much depth of laser treatment. Also, a lot of times the cost of PRK can be slightly less than Lasik.
There are, of course, a few compelling reasons why people choose Lasik over PRK as well (if they have a choice). The main reasons are: PRK tends to have more post-surgery discomfort and a longer recovery time – up to a few weeks. Getting to the point of best vision can sometimes take months to achieve with PRK, instead of days with Lasik. Also, with PRK, there’s the slightly increased risk of haze and infection.
Lasek (with an “e”) surgery is basically a form of PRK. However, with Lasek the outer later of the cornea is preserved until after the surgery is complete, then is replaced back on the eye. Recovery time takes a little longer than PRK, because it actually takes less time to grow new cells than to repair damaged cells. The cost of Lasek is generally the same as PRK and Lasik.
Average Cost For Both Eyes: ~ $3,800
Additional Reading: The FDA Lasik website also has some good information.