Though a national ballpark average for LASIK eye surgery is about $2,000 per eye as of publication, actual prices fluctuate according to your location and a number of variables. Factors that include the actual price include the surgeon, the degree of eye correction required, the technology and what's included in the package. You can get a range of prices for your location using free estimator tools on sites such as OKCopay. Understanding what these costs include is helpful when making price comparisons.
Traditional vs. Bladeless Procedures
The choices for LASIK are traditional and bladeless procedures:
- Traditional LASIK involves physically cutting a flap in your eye with a blade.
LASIK, including both standard and custom procedures, uses laser technology to
create the flap.
Cost Comparisons between Locations
Traditional LASIK Cost Comparisons
Traditional LASIK is usually the least expensive option because it requires the least technology and equipment. However, average prices vary considerably across geographic locations. For example, according to an analysis performed by OKCopay for NerdWallet, a personal finance website, as of 2015, a provider in Atlanta charges $1,196 for both eyes, which is significantly less than the national average, while another in Chicago charges $5,596, much more than the national average.
Traditional vs. Bladeless Cost Comparisons
The high cost of purchasing, using and maintaining laser equipment can account for some of the price differences between traditional and bladeless laser surgery. LASIK MD reports that the average cost for the laser used in bladeless surgery is about $425,000, and an annual maintenance contract costs about $40,000 per year. In some cases the differences aren’t as great as you might think they would be, however. For example, NerdWallet reports that while a provider in Tigerton, Oregon charges $2,000 for bladeless surgery, another in Gambrills, Maryland charges $3,000. On the other hand, two providers in San Francisco charge more than $7,000.
Cost Comparisons within the Same Location
Prices differences between traditional and bladeless surgery within the same geographic location are typically greater for locations that are more expensive to live in. For example, NerdWallet reports that a provider in Appleton, Wisconsin and one in Everett, Washington charge the same price for both traditional and bladeless surgery. In both cases, the price is more than the national average. In contrast, providers in more expensive locations such as Chicago and New York charge about $1,000 more for bladeless surgery than for traditional surgery.
Other Pricing Considerations
The Surgeon’s Expertise
A laser eye surgeon's years of education and experience can influence prices. One with many years of experience will typically charge more than a less experienced surgeon who still has a small client base.
The greater the degree of correction required, the more you can expect to pay.
Post-operative care requirements and future vision enhancements can also influence the price. According to LASIK.com, post-op care typically includes one day, one week, one month, three months, six months and one-year follow-up visits. The costs for this care may be included in the package price if your eye surgeon performs them, but may be charged separately if your regular doctor provides follow-up care.
Your LASIK price may or may not include eye enhancements. These are “tweaks” to distance vision if your eyes should change slightly over time.