As you consider LASIK surgery, you’ll find a number of advertisements online, in magazines or even by street sign spinners from LASIK centers that offer a low laser eye surgery price. These budget LASIK centers often claim to generate the same results as more expensive centers, with the surgery costing as little as hundreds (as opposed to the usual thousands) of dollars per eye, but are they really worth it?
BE FORWARNED: In 2006, the U.S. Congress conducted a study of the LASIK industry in general and took a hard look at budget LASIK centers (centers charging $3,000 or less for 2 eyes). One interesting fact from the study was that that 1 in 6 patients who had LASIK at a budget center was very unhappy with their visual results.1
Without a doubt, budget LASIK centers may seem tempting, as everyone loves a great deal, but the truth about them is that they’re often more trouble than they’re worth. While getting your LASIK surgery done at a budget LASIK facility may save you a little bit of money up front, the surgeries performed there are often not accurate, and in some cases, they can even be harmful to your eyes. When answering the question, “How much does laser eye surgery cost?” you must consider the cost of less-than-ideal outcomes you may walk away with at a center offering a low laser eye surgery price.
Before you make a decision based on the price of laser eye surgery, make sure to first consider these 5 top reasons why budget LASIK may not be such a good deal after all:
1. It May Not Be as Good a Deal as You Think – Cheap LASIK surgery centers try to reel customers in with what seem like amazingly low rates, but they rarely charge just the advertised price. Once all of the additional services, fees and surcharges are tacked onto your final bill, you may find that the price is hardly lower than what you would have paid by going to a more reputable LASIK surgeon. Worse yet, some particularly unpleasant budget LASIK surgeons will trap you with their teaser rate, get you into their office, then try to upsell you services with better technology at a higher rate.
2. Your Doctor May Lack Experience – Expert LASIK eye surgeons with years of experience under their belts are extremely unlikely to work for a discount or budget LASIK center, meaning that your surgeon may be inexperienced. Your doctor may only be a couple years out of medical school and is unlikely to have completed any specialized training in LASIK surgery. When it comes to something as important as your eyes, you deserve to be treated by someone who knows what they’re doing. You don’t want to be part of the doctor’s learning curve.
3. The Center May Close Down – If a LASIK surgery center is offering incredibly low rates, they may not be in it for the long haul, but could be a “pop-up” or temporary medical center that only intends to be in business for a couple of years. There have been a number of budget LASIK centers that have closed down over the years, leaving patients without medical care or recourse if something goes wrong with their vision.
4. Corners Will Likely Be Cut – In order to offer such low rates, discount LASIK centers have to cut corners somewhere or they wouldn’t be able to make a profit. Shortcuts could include anything from hiring inexperienced surgeons to using outdated technology, meaning that your eyes will be operated on by doctors who aren’t experts, using equipment that isn’t top-of-the-line. Ultimately, this corner cutting usually results in a reduction in the quality of your LASIK surgery, leaving you with less than stellar results. You may even end up feeling like you’ve completely wasted your time and money on a service that provides little to no benefit to your vision.
5. Follow Up Appointments Are Rare – Budget LASIK centers typically offer very limited follow-up care to their patients. LASIK surgery is a significant medical procedure and should always include at least a year of follow-up care to make sure your eyes are healing properly. Budget LASIK centers often make it very difficult for patients to return for aftercare or charge additional fees for post-operative visits. Without proper follow-up care, you can only hope that your surgery will go well, that you won’t have any complications, and that you haven’t made a bad investment.
Budget LASIK centers may seem like a great idea at the outset, but once you’ve scratched through the surface details you might find that they don’t offer much of a deal after all. Your eyes and their health are what are most important. Is it really a wise decision to risk your vision on second-rate LASIK services simply because it could save you a few hundred dollars?
Instead, choose the best LASIK surgeon by picking one that provides quality medical care with personalized service, great attention to detail, has years of experience performing LASIK and has documented success rates. Look for a surgeon who isn’t interested in tricking their patients into a “good deal” by cutting vital corners. Your eyes aren’t just the windows to your soul, they’re also essential for just about everything that you do! Choose a LASIK surgeon that will get you great results by providing you with top-tier service before, during and after your procedure.
When you take a closer look at LASIK budget centers, you’ll agree that the cost, and risk, are too high.
See the best for LASIK – Dr. Charles Manger at Saddleback Eye Center. Call 877-351-3937 to schedule your free LASIK Exam with Dr. Manger.
1. Price Transparency Hearing Before the Subcommittee on Health of the House of Representatives Committee on Ways and Means, 109th Congress, 2nd Sess (2006). (Statement of Ha T. Tu, M.P.A.).