One of the biggest prohibiting factors we’ve heard from patients and prospective patients when it comes to LASIK laser eye surgery is the cost. There’s no denying it; LASIK is a significant monetary investment. And while most people wouldn’t want the cheapest LASIK in the world, most people would love to get the procedure at some sort of discounted rate. So, it’s no wonder that ads claiming to offer “discount LASIK” can easily catch someone’s eye - and interest.
The problems with this are many. Here are a few of the key areas we recommend looking out for, so you don’t end up with regret or, worse yet, damaged eyes.
Many discount places will claim to perform LASIK for a few hundred dollars per eye, which is a steep discount off the average cost of $2,000 per eye. But the way in which they advertise their pricing is a bit of a bait and switch. They may really perform the procedure itself for this amount, but what about pre-procedure visits, post-procedure visits, follow-up care or enhancements if they’re needed? Most of the time, they nickel and dime patients for each of these additional visits, which can end up adding hundreds - if not thousands - to the initial price tag quoted. Many discount places tend to start low and add very exaggerated costs for things like astigmatism correction or for patients with a higher prescription.
When you go to a reputable eye surgery center, you’ll be given plenty of payment options and financing to help you cashflow the costs. You’ll also see that most premium eye clinics offer an all-inclusive price, which includes all necessary pre and post-procedure visits and/or potential enhancements if needed, like we do at Horizon. This is the way it should be, so you’re not surprised by extra costs later and know what you’re getting - and paying for - upfront.
You Get What you Pay for
There’s that old adage about getting what you pay for, and with LASIK surgery, it’s very true. Even if your total costs at a discount center are less than they would be a premium center, you’re not going to get the same level of care or expertise you’ll get a reputable eye care center. For example, many discount clinics advertise that their surgeons have years of experience performing LASIK procedures. But you have no way of knowing if the particular surgeon you’re assigned has this level of experience, and oftentimes they don’t. Many of these places use novice surgeons in order to help them get patients under their belt, meaning you’re seen as a number and a bit of a guinea pig as they practice laser eye surgery.
Furthermore, at discount facilities the surgeons typically live out of state and only fly in the day of surgery. In addition, most places can quote lower prices for the bladed flat creation. This technique is antiquated. Discount centers also often use less precise measuring techniques and older technology, giving you a truly cheap version of LASIK that cuts corners. If you want the bladeless procedure they will include an additional cost that you weren't expecting and won’t give you the same results you’d get at a premium facility like ours.
Of course, a surgeon’s lack of experience and qualifications make LASIK a riskier procedure than it has to be. But it’s also risky to patronize a discount LASIK center because they don’t always perform thorough exams prior to the surgery or ensure that their patients are in fact optimal candidates for the procedure. They also tend to operate their facilities like a factory, trying to get as many people in and out as quickly as possible, which can lead to serious mistakes.
As you can see, discount LASIK facilities might seem like a great way to get laser eye surgery and save some money, but your vision isn’t worth the risk. Instead, contact us to schedule a LASIK consultation. We’ll always work with you to figure out the financing aspect, and we’ll take the best possible care of your eyes.