10 Dec Eye LASIK Surgery Costs at Discount vs. Quality Eye Laser Surgery Centers
Quality and precision matter in every step and every detail of your LASIK Surgery. Your LASIK surgery costs will largely determine the quality of your eye LASIK procedure.
My brother-in-law raced in the Baja 500. I love hearing him tell me of the amazing technology that goes into creating the perfect performance race truck. Racing in the middle of the desert, you need to be able to count on quality in every detail.
I feel that way about LASIK procedures. When it comes to your eyes, you need to be confident that you have selected an eye center that puts quality into every detail to maximize your visual performance.
Discount Eye LASIK Center vs. Highest Quality Center
The discount eye laser surgery centers fill an important role. They make LASIK available to those that otherwise could not afford to pay for better technology laser procedure. For a discount center to offer eye LASIK laser surgery for less, they have to lower their cost structure by offering less. It could be the quality of the lasers used, the quality of the LASIK flap creation, the quality of the service, time with your surgeon, or all of these. I have mentioned in previous posts that I am not implying that the discount LASIK centers don’t have any quality or that the quality oriented centers don’t have fair prices, but the discounters’ focus on discounting comes at a cost.
LASIK Surgery Cost—The Laser Quality
Most discounters use the Nidek laser. That laser costs less to use because it doesn’t charge a royalty fee to the surgeon every time he/she uses it. As a general rule, ONLY the discount laser centers use that laser even though the quality oriented centers would make more money if they used it. Another discounting strategy is to use the Visx laser in standard treatment mode rather than in its higher technology “custom ablation” mode which costs more to use but improves outcomes.
The quality oriented eye laser centers feel that the top tiered lasers, like the Alegretto 400/500, add to the LASIK surgery cost but deliver even more value to their patients. Some discount centers have a mid-tiered laser at a more central location that they can send you to for a higher price if you request it.
LASIK Surgery Costs—The Flap Quality
The majority of LASIK eye surgery flaps in the U.S. are made with the laser rather than with the razor (mechanical microkeratome). The razor is an oscillating razor blade on an automated gear track. The laser has certain safety and quality advantages over the razor. The razor costs less to use so the LASIK surgery costs are less if they talk you out of a bladeless LASIK flap. Some discount laser eye surgery centers have an older generation femtosecond laser at a central location they can send you to for a higher eye LASIK surgery cost if you request it.
Bait and Switch Eye LASIK Surgery Cost
Sorry I have to cover this next subject. Most discount LASIK laser eye surgery centers actually charge much more than their advertised prices. They can do this because they offer “bait and switch” tiered pricing.
They offer a low price in their ads, but to get that low price you have to have an extremely low glasses prescription and no astigmatism. Almost no one has that low prescription. The average price paid by patients is close to a thousand dollars above their advertised price at most of these centers around the nation.
The price is often still a bit lower than at the quality oriented centers for all the reasons listed above, but by the time the real price of eye LASIK laser surgery is determined, the price gap for quality is much smaller than it would originally appear.
The Right Price for You
You will have to decide whether you want to have LASIK at a discount center or a more quality oriented, higher technology center. If LASIK costs were like buying a new car for driving around town then the discounters would make some sense to me. You could go to the dealer and could choose a reliable car either with or with out leather seats but either way you get a great car, one with the frills or one without.
I don’t view eye laser surgery like that. I think that investing in the highest quality for your eyes is not a frill or a luxury upgrade. I think it is like buying a vehicle for a once in a lifetime opportunity to ride in the Baja 500. You need to be able to count on the highest quality, reliability, and safety possible so your vision can carry you through the hills and valleys ahead in your life’s journey. I think that the cost of the highest quality eye LASIK available is the best investment you can make in yourself and your future.
If I can help you with your decision or if you need information about LASIK surgery cost, please schedule a time to meet with me or send me your questions.