If you’ve ever considered LASIK eye surgery, the cost of the procedure is probably one of the first questions that come to mind. Your other questions most likely include “is my script suitable for laser eye surgery?”, and “will eye surgery hurt?”
One misconception we should address from the beginning is that LASIK is the only surgical procedure available. In fact, there are multiple refractive surgery methods, all with the aim of reducing your dependency on glasses and contact lenses. Because of the different levels of expertise and equipment involved for each technique, the costs from one method to another may vary slightly. At Eye Laser Specialists we offer not only LASIK eye surgery but also PRK (photorefractive keratectomy), ICL (intraocular contact lens), clear lens exchange, and SMILE® eye surgery (small incision lenticule extraction). Bear in mind that your eyes may be better suited for a procedure other than LASIK; this is something that will be discussed with you at your complimentary assessment and consultation.
A quick refresher on LASIK eye surgery
LASIK (laser in situ keratomileusis) works on the principle of reshaping the cornea, the transparent front surface of the eye, in order to change the direction of light as it passes through the eye. This redirecting of light is calculated to focus to a sharp point on the sensory retina at the back of the eye, which is what your brain then perceives as clear vision.
This technique of laser eye surgery employs the use of two lasers – a femtosecond laser to create a thin flap of superficial corneal tissue, allowing access to the deeper tissues underneath, and an excimer laser, responsible for selectively removing precise sections of tissue to reshape the cornea in a process known as photoablation.
So, how much does LASIK eye surgery cost?
The average cost of LASIK eye surgery in Melbourne may range from about $2000 per eye to over $3000. You may find that more experienced surgeons charge on the higher end of the range due to being able to prove a better success and safety track record over the span of their careers.
To further break down of the costs of laser eye surgery, consider:
- Consultation fees – at Eye Laser Specialists we actually offer the initial consultation and assessment at no out of pocket cost to you. During this appointment your consultant will perform a thorough eye examination, discuss your visual needs and which laser eye surgery technique will best achieve your goals. Not all ophthalmology clinics will provide a complimentary consultation and may charge a fee into the vicinity of a few hundred dollars.
- Surgery fees – very precise medical equipment is needed to provide the results expected from a procedure as sensitive and meticulous as laser eye surgery. Because of this, the actual surgery fee comprises the bulk of the total costs you can anticipate for a LASIK procedure.
- Medicare rebates – refractive eye surgery is typically not covered under Medicare in Australia as it is an elective procedure. In certain situations, such as surgery to treat cataract, Medicare may contribute, however, LASIK does not fall into this category.
- Private health insurance – not all insurance providers will contribute to LASIK surgery. For accurate information on your available eye surgery benefits it is best to contact your health fund directly.
Some clinics, such as Eye Laser Specialists, also offer payment plans, which can help to make laser eye surgery more accessible and financially viable for many patients.
It is also helpful to think about how much per year you spend on contact lenses or spectacles. Long-term, contact lenses actually often end up costing more than either spectacles or refractive surgery as they require constant replacement. Spectacles are cheaper as one pair can last you at least a couple of years if not longer, however, this depends on whether your prescription remains stable or changes rapidly. Glasses are also prone to general wear and tear and despite no changes to the script you may still opt to regularly update the frames or change scratched lenses. Though LASIK eye surgery will be a significantly larger upfront cost in the immediate-term than either spectacles or contacts, even with a payment plan, in the long run it may actually end up costing you less.
A precise quote on the cost of LASIK eye surgery will be provided after your complimentary consultation. Call Eye Laser Specialists here at 1300 297 583 now to book your appointment.