Bait and Switch
We’ve all been victims of the ol’ bait and switch at one time or another. Maybe you saw an advertisement for a great price on the car you’d been looking to purchase only to find out when you got to the dealership that there was only one car at that price (which had already been sold), and all the others were at priced much higher. Or the price advertised was for a base model. If you wanted power windows, locks, and a CD player, you’d wind up paying the price that every other dealership is asking.
Many eye surgery clinics, hurt by low demand during the economic downturn, also offer prices that seem too good to be true. As with the car you covet, they probably are. When you see LASIK eye surgery offered at discount or bargain prices, be sure to ask plenty of questions about the total cost of the procedure including, pre-operative testing, facility fees and any other extra fees such as followup visits. It’s also a good idea to ask for an estimate in writing.
You Get What You Pay For
Another important consideration is are you being quoted less because you’ll be getting less? Returning to the car analogy, maybe your budget only allows for a used car. Naturally you may have minimum safety standards such as airbags and anti-lock breaks, but when it comes right down to it, you just need a set of wheels to get you from point A to point B. In this case, an older model may be acceptable.
Can you honestly apply the same reasoning to your eyes. Is it “worth” it to risk going for LASIK eye surgery at a clinic that uses older technology rather than state-of-the-art technology? Non-customized procedures are performed with the less expensive options of bladed microkeratomes and excimer lasers that are not guided by wavefront analysis. Most customized wavefront procedures cost more, but, again these are your eyes we’re talking about. Doesn’t it make sense to pay for customized technologies rather than “off-the-shelf” procedures? Save those off-the shelf purchases for when you’re selecting a bottle of wine or a pair of summer sandals.
What’s the Bottom Line?
For blade-free, wavefront LASIK eye surgery expect to pay between $2,200-$3,200 per eye.
The price you’ll actually pay will depend on a number of factors, including:
- The type of laser technology you choose
- the type of surgical instruments used
- The type of surgical suite used
- Whether or not your pre-op exam and follow-up visits are covered in the fee
- Whether or not your post-op exam and follow-up visits are covered in the fee
- Whether or not retreatments (if necessary) are covered in the fee
- The skill and experience of the surgeon you choose
- The community you live in
If you see an advertisement that, for example, promises “LASIK eye surgery from $999 per eye,” read (if you can) the fine print. Typically, only a few select people are actually eligible for LASIK eye surgery at prices that sound unusually low, because most eyes require more extensive correction or more follow-up after the surgery.
LASIK Eye Surgery, Because You’re Worth It
If you’ve done some research and asked the right questions, but the price you are quoted is outside your budget, you may want to consider financing. Many clinics offer no or low interest terms on LASIK eye surgery. Twenty-four monthly payments at $240/month, is probably less than the payment you’d make on that car you were looking at. And, unlike a car, you get to keep your vision after you’re done paying for it and it never depreciates in value!
Live in the greater Los Angeles area? Schedule your appointment HERE for a complementary consultation with Dr. Benjamin.