Why Is There a Price Difference Among Different LASIK Centers?
You may have noticed that the cost of laser eye surgery varies greatly between opticians, but what is the underlying reason for that? Sometimes the difference in price can vary from $1,000 per eye to up to $3,000 per eye for what is seemingly the same procedure. These are the average costs of the surgery, but why is LASIK expensive, and why is there such a spectrum in price?
Well, the answer isn’t particularly simple. After all, many elements go into determining these price points. It is not as cut and dry as some might think. Understanding the reasons behind the differences in costs can help potential patients choose a LASIK practitioner who will be able to address both their optical and financial needs. So, how expensive is laser eye surgery? Well, a reputable provider can sit down with a client and discuss each factor that determines pricing.
There are common threads that establish the going rate that most LASIK surgery providers adhere to. These include the costs of rent, equipment, and the salaries of health providers and their supporting staff, which vary greatly depending on where the surgeon is conducting business. Other factors to consider are the technology involved in the procedure and the skill and experience of a given surgeon.
Eye Surgery Price Determined by Location
A lot of the price differences are completely dependent on where a potential patient resides. Depending on the region of the country, the state, or even the county you live in, costs can differ greatly. There is also a marked change between conducting business in a large city versus a small town or a rural area.
The cost of conducting business in a specific area has a huge impact on how much a practitioner would charge for LASIK eye surgery. Large cities and the inner suburbs that surround them have a much higher cost of living. This means higher rent on offices, more expensive utility and gasoline costs, and higher salaries for workers, which trickles down to the patient. Therefore, your procedure may cost more than the median going rate simply to accommodate the office’s cost to stay afloat.
That said, offices in much more modest areas can afford to charge rates for eye surgery that you may seem more reasonable. So, geographic region is certainly a deciding factor when it comes to just how expensive LASIK eye surgery is.
Specific Technology for Different Procedures Affects the Cost of Eye Laser Surgery
First of all, “LASIK” does not refer to just one specific procedure. There are a plethora of surgeries that all fall under the LASIK umbrella, and each provider could be charging different rates because they are offering completely different treatments.
For example, the oldest variety of LASIK surgery involves a thin metal blade used to slice through the part of the eye that is there to protect the cornea. Once the surgeon penetrates the area, the cornea is then reshaped with the use of a laser.
Another, more modern, approach uses only lasers to do the same procedure. There are several variations on this type of surgery as well, so costs reflect the particular type of treatment that you’re receiving. Since newer methods are much more precise, have better results, shorter recovery times, and less complications, they tend to come with a heftier price tag.
Eye Surgery Price Determined by the Skills of the Surgeon
Many times, less experienced surgeons will charge less than the average rate because they are trying to make a name for themselves and build up their businesses. This is a sure sign that they are not as experienced or skilled as other optical surgeons in the same area that, as a rule, are charging much more.
Another thing to worry about is whether they are cutting costs by using outdated technology or not providing the best in surgical methods or patient aftercare. This certainly will keep costs lower, but the lack of quality service will show through surgical complications that can be easily avoided if more money is being invested into the office.
If you notice that a particular provider charges much less than their immediate competitors, it is wise to not focus so much on the costs per se and instead take a look at the provider’s records. It is imperative that you only let an expert handle your eyes, so doing some research will allow you to find an optical expert that you can truly trust. Technology only accounts for 1/10 of a surgery’s success. Everything else is dependent on your provider.
LASIK surgery is a service, and like all customer service providers, the results are usually consistent. That said, you can probably find customer reviews online on sites that specialize in critiques of service providers. Read patient feedback and testimonials. What is the prevailing opinion of this surgeon from people who have visited the office? Almost no one gets mixed reviews.
Also, take a look at the credentials of the doctor in question. Such information is usually public, and you can find it on the internet easily. Where did the provider go to school? How long have they been practicing? How long has their current office been in business? Have there been any professional reprimands made against the provider? Are there any complaints or lawsuits against them?
The Cost of Eye Laser Surgery Is Nothing Compared to the Overall Lifetime Savings
Regardless of the expense, just remember that a one-time office visit to get LASIK eye surgery is still a bargain compared to the costs of eye exams, glasses, and contacts for the rest of your life.
This is especially true if you are younger. As a matter of fact, experts say that LASIK eye surgery pays for itself after eight to 10 years without glasses and all the expenses associated with them. Why not invest in a permanent end to worsening issues like astigmatisms and presbyopia?
If vision is a priority, you must consider that spending a small sum of money on a lasting solution is worth the investment.
So, how much is laser surgery? Remember, a responsible optical surgeon will sit each prospective patient down and break down the costs of a LASIK procedure at their practice. Many may offer an itemized list detailing the costs of the surgery itself as well as post-surgery care and treatments.
Do you want to know more about the differences in the costs of LASIK surgery? Maybe you want to know more about the surgery itself. If you want to speak with one of our doctors directly, contact us today at California Center for Refractive Surgery and make an appointment for a consultation. We have offices in Los Angeles and Sherman Oaks.