06 Nov Laser Eye Surgery Costs at Higher Quality LASIK Centers
There have been considerable improvements in the quality and safety of LASIK in the last 15 years.
The best LASIK eye surgery centers have invested in these improvements on your behalf. These investments do increase the cost of laser eye surgery but they increase the quality and the safety even more.
The Excimer Laser
The best excimer lasers, like the Alcon Allegretto, improve laser eye surgery quality. The Allegretto delivers your treatment at a much faster rate than older lasers. This allows your entire treatment to be completed before your cornea begins to dry out.
Why does this matter? A dry cornea absorbs more energy. By completing the treatment quickly, we achieve greater consistency in your surgery.
The Allegretto also checks each individual beam pulse to make sure it is the correct amount of energy before it releases it. This also adds to quality.
The Allegretto costs more to use than the laser used more commonly at the discount laser centers (e.g. the Nidek).
This increase cost comes from the royalty fees charged by Allegretto’s parent company. With the Nidek, once you buy it, you can use it as much as you want without any additional costs. The Allegretto is different.
Even after a surgeon has paid in full for the Allegretto product, there is a royalty fee charge every time the surgeon uses the laser. That is the price for that level of quality. The laser company uses a portion of those royalty fees to finance ongoing research and development, so they keep coming out with better and better lasers.
This keeps the quality oriented surgeons in line to buy their upgrades. If you want to do the best laser available in America, then you use the best lasers available and pay the fees required to have the best for your patients.
Safety Testing Equipment
The topography of your cornea can insure quality and safety.
The highest quality safety measures allow your laser eye surgeon to help you decide if LASIK is good and safe idea for you. Topography is one of the important safety tests. Many centers use a topographer that checks only the front surface of your cornea. Ideally, topographers, like the Pentacam, check both the front and the back surface of your cornea for safety.
The Best LASIK Flap
The quality LASIK eye surgery centers use a femtosecond to make your LASIK flap. You want a flap that is thin so it leaves more of you eye untouched. You want it to be uniform in thickness with a smooth bed to improve the quality of your vision. You want it to lay down smoothly and securely. In each of these areas, the laser made flaps do a better job than the ones made by the oscillating razor (mechanical microeratome).
The bladeless made flaps are more consistent in thickness so your surgeon can make a thinner flap and the edges stick down more firmly as it heals. This is particularly true if your surgeon uses the VISX IFS rather than an older generation laser like the VISX 60 hz. The VISX IFS allows your surgeon to create a tongue and groove type construction to the edge of your flap so that it has this extra strength.
The more up-to-date femtosecond lasers like the VISX IFS also treat much faster so your surgeon can make the spot size smaller. This gives you a much smoother cornea, improving the optical quality of your LASIK vision.
Costs Correlate with Quality
Choosing a center that has invested in the best excimer, safety equipment, and femtosecond laser flap maker will add to the cost of your operation but it will add even more to the quality of your laser eye surgery.
When it is time for your vision correction, please take the time to find the surgeon and eye surgery center in your area with the highest commitment to quality. Make sure you get a good price, but understand that the highest quality will come with a fair but higher Laser Eye Surgery Cost.