Cheaper LASIK Surgery May Be More Expensive

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Should I choose a LASIK surgeon based on what I can afford?

Cheaper LASIK Surgery May Be More Expensive

We are all determined to get the best deal. You don't always need a new sweater, but it's "on sale."

When it comes to our vision, things are different. You vow that, even if your insurance company doesn't cover laser eye surgery, you'll beg, borrow or steal to pay for LASIK surgery because you're tired of having poor vision and wearing glasses.

Then your LASIK surgeon quotes you the cost per eye for LASIK. People paying for LASIK surgery in the first quarter of 2005 coughed up $1,600-$2,000 per eye for LASIK, and $2000-$2500 for custom LASIK, according to the MarketScope Refractive Quarterly Update. These costs typically include:

* equipment--including hospital gowns, gloves and safety equipment

* microkeratome and femtosecond lasers

* eye royalty fee (paid to the laser manufacturer)

* overhead for the surgery center

* hospital fees

* Wavefront mapping

* pre-op evaluation meeting

* comprehensive eye examination, including the curvature of your cornea, the thickness of your cornea (a pachymetry test), and a test to see that you are free from irregular astigmatism or keratoconus

* follow-up office visits and tests

* enhancements performed within at least the first 12 months after surgery

* standard medications

You're panicking over LASIK surgery financing, thinking your down payment on your first car didn't cost that much. Then you see an ad in a magazine: "LASIK Surgery for $300 Per Eye!"

You do get what you pay for--these are your eyes we're talking about. LASIK Vision Institute allegedly misrepresented its costs, quoting a price $299, and Florida's Attorney General took it to task. Not all LASIK providers will tell you the hidden costs, or warn that your eyes may need more correction than the bargain price quoted when you pay for LASIK surgery initially.

Many reputable doctors offer LASIK surgery financing to help you make this investment in yourself and your future. You'll know that you're read to pay for LASIK surgery when you try to read your credt card statement and your glasses get in the way.



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