Cost of LASIK Surgery
What Is the True Price of LASIK?
In today's times, it pays to be practical. While improving your vision is priceless, the actual cost of LASIK and what is included in that cost are legitimate factors to consider both in your decisions to have LASIK or another refractive surgery procedure and in your selection of an eye surgeon to perform the procedure best suited to your eyes and correction of your vision problems. In life you often get what you pay for, so making an informed decision about the true price of LASIK is always in your best interest.
Over time, LASIK and other laser vision correction procedures like PRK and SMILE eye surgery may reduce or eliminate the need for eyeglasses and contact lenses although it will not eliminate the need for reading glasses if you require them due to Presbyopia (which typically will occur after you reach your 40's). .
Can You Afford the cost of LASIK or another vision correction procedure?
Just because our Trusted LASIK Surgeons™ Directory features LASIK and refractive eye surgery experts who are among the most highly qualified vision correction surgeons in the United States, please do not assume you cannot afford to see one of them. When you understand the actual components that make up the true costs of LASIK, you may well find that choosing a LASIK surgery expert from our directory is well within your means. In addition, most, if not all of these vision correction experts, offer financing.
LASIK costs vary depending on the technology offered and which procedure is safest and best for you. In addition, the cost of LASIK can vary from city to city as a function of the expenses required to maintain a laser eye surgery practice.
Besides the quality and experience of the surgeon you choose, costs can be an important factor in choosing your LASIK surgeon.
We hope you will find our discussion on the true price of LASIK a helpful discussion. Trusted LASIK SurgeonsTM provides this information to help educate you about the underlying costs of LASIK.
In this guide, we'll break down the price of LASIK for you on several levels- from low cost LASIK ads you’ve seen and heard, to what factors you may want to consider when investigating LASIK costs (like what should be included in the total price of LASIK), to what costs the doctor or practice has.
We will also provide tips and suggestions in order to help you make a more informed decision.
If you want to skip to the chase, we have created resource of questions to ask so you can determine the total and actual cost of a LASIK procedure from any LASIK surgeon you are considering which you can download by clicking on this link: Consumer Checklist of LASIK Price Considerations. This LASIK cost checklist can help you save money on LASIK. As always, our reports to you are free. We hope you find this information useful and please contact us if you have any questions.
Please also consider the LASIK experts in our Trusted LASIK Surgeons™ Directory. Once you understand the true cost of LASIK, we believe you can find a highly qualified vision correction doctor at an affordable price here at Trusted LASIK SurgeonsTM.
While our discussion focuses on LASIK, many of the points we make can be applied to vision correction procedures. Most eye surgeons will typically quote LASIK and other vision correction prices on a per eye basis, so if you are having an operation on both eyes you should double the cost (consumer tip: sometimes having LASIK on both eyes is not your best option if monovision is an options (please see our section on monovision below).
Don't forget to download our free consumer resource: the LASIK Pricing - Consumer Cost Checklist with tips to save on your LASIK surgery procedure.
What Is the Price for LASIK in General?
The cost of LASIK generally ranges between $2,000 and $3,000 per eye.
One significant factor that account for discrepancies in the cost of LASIK depends upon whether advanced technologies that enhance laser vision correction procedures like All-Laser (or “bladeless”) LASIK and Custom cornea for LASIK and PRK are included in the quoted or advertised fee. These advanced technologies generally put the total cost of your LASIK procedure at around $2,500 per eye, since the manufacturers typically charge a separate license fee for use of the lasers and advanced technologies used to perform LASIK (and PRK, as applicable).
Prices for LASIK and other laser vision correction surgeries can vary widely depending on your particular prescription, needs and what procedures and options you ultimately chose. Of course, if you live in a smaller city, you can expect that the cost of LASIK is lower that a larger metropolis due to higher leases and other costs of doing business in a particular city and state.
Consumer Pricing Tip: The primary issue concerning the cost of LASIK or any refractive eye surgery procedure is whether the fee advertised or quoted by the practice or doctor is all-inclusive (meaning that enhanced technologies are included) or limited in a way that additional fees for use of these advanced technologies will be added to the basic LASIK fee.
Even where price may be a significant concern, with financing options offered by most practices, LASIK can be an affordable option for you. Many laser vision correction surgeons and practices are now offering interest fee financing (usually through a third party credit service).
Beware of Low Cost Ads
No doubt you have seen some variation of ads that offer LASIK for a low flat fee: “LASIK for $699. These ads should always be viewed with skepticism from the beginning. After all, it is an ad and how many times have we all been fooled by an ad because we did not read the fine print or look into the matter more closely. Typically, some costs were left out, and cheap LASIK ads are no exception. These discount LASIK ads are designed to get you to make an appointment and have a consultation because getting you into the office is the first step to closing the sale.” It is harder to leave an office after your have had an examination and seen how much LASIK can improve your vision. There is a concern where a practice that advertises discount LASIK may be driven more by sales than by what is best for the patient. We recommend you should be especially careful in that regard and find out everything you can and if you have any doubt, we believe you should consider getting a second opinion from a proven LASIK expert. Of course we suggest a vision correction specialist from our Trusted LASIK Surgeons™ Directory before proceeding with any LASIK since many if not most of the eye surgeons we feature offer other vision correction procedures that may be better suited to your eyes and toward correcting your vision.
Does the Cheap LASIK Ad Apply to Me?
In most cases, the answer is "No." Typically, only a very small percentage of the population would qualify for the cheap price specified in these types of discount ads: those who have very little or no astigmatism and need only a slight correction through laser vision surgery.
In other words, the best candidates for these ads are people who technically may be slightly farsighted or nearsighted, but who might not even be considering LASIK. If you are one of those people who can pass the driving test without a prescription, you might be one of those people who qualify for the discounted price, but again that is no guarantee.
What's the Catch in a Cheap LASIK Ad?
… And What You Should Ask Any LASIK Surgeon When It Comes to Fees
These ads look great on the surface but it is only after you have gone into the eye doctor’s office that you find out the true costs. Unless your eyesight meets the narrow requirements of the ad, chances are that you will soon find there are additional fees that apply to you that are not included in the price quoted in the ad. For example, a LASIK ad may only refer to the cost of the surgeon and the use of the laser to re-shape your cornea. That leaves some significant extras that may easily increase to cost to an amount equal to or higher than the average LASIK surgeon charges in your area. It may very well be that the lower the LASIK price in the ad, the more costs can add up later. Here are some examples of things you may end up paying extra for when it comes to LASIK
- Office Visits: Your cost should include visits before your LASIK surgery and after (for some specified time)
- Additional Enhanced Technologies Used in Laser Eye Surgery
- All Laser or Bladeless LASIK: Does the LASIK fee include IntraLase or bladeless LASIK? With traditional LASIK, special tools are used to creat the corneal flap which is folded back so that your LASIK surgeon can use another laser to reshape your cornea. With all-laser LASIK, a special laser is used to make the flap on your cornea and the manufacturer of the laser charges a separate fee, which may be included in the cost of an ad or an initial quote or may be added on as a separate fee. This is why it's important to make sure that you ask whether this technology is included so you know the total price of the LASIK procedure.
- Custom LASIK (or PRK). Custom LASIK involves the use an additional technology that more precisely takes measurement of your cornea to analyze your entire visual system, not just your prescription, in order to obtain better, more accurate results. There are 3 basic types of Custom LASIK and PRK: Wavefront-Guided, Wavefront-Optimized and Topography-Guided. You should discuss which one of these advanced technologies is best for you and always ask whether the LASIK fee includes the use of the applicable enhanced custom technology and if not, how much it costs.
- Correction Related Charges
- Amount of Correction. Does the LASIK fee vary depending on how much correction you need? Some LASIK surgeons will charge more if you have a higher amount of Myopia (nearsighteness) and Hyperopia (farsightedness) to correct.
- Astigmatism. Does the LASIK fee cover correction of Astigmatism? About 90% of all laser eye surgery patients need to be corrected for astigmatism (in addition to their correction for nearsightedness (myopia) or farsightedness (hyperopia). If the ad or quote does not mention that the quoted price includes correction of astigmatism, then you may find yourself paying extra to correct your astigmatism. This additional cost may also be tied to the amount of astigmatism that needs to be corrected. Sometimes very slight astigmatism may be included but typically very few patients fall into that category and the rest will pay additional fees if not included in the initial price if the LASIK surgeon charges an additional fee. That's why it's important to ask questions. The more you know about the cost before you see a LASIK surgeon, the less likely you will be surprised with additional costs when you meet with that surgeon.
- LASIK Retreatments. When you have LASIK or PRK there is a risk of overcorrection or undercorrection of your vision. In such case, you may need to undergo a second LASIK or PRK procedure (commonly referred to as a retreatment or “enhancement” to achieve a better outcome. Many laser vision correction surgeons will not charge you for these retreatments within a specified time period after your initial LASIK procedure. In some cases, there may be a modest fee for the use of the laser (typically because the laser manufacturer charges such a fee). Make sure you understand the retreatment fees and policies of the laser vision correction practice before you have LASIK or another laser eye surgery procedure.
- Surgical Materials. Make sure you will not be charged for disposal items used for your procedures, including surgical gowns, gloves, and equipment.
- Medication: eye drops, anesthetic, prescriptions, and the like. Sometimes you may pay for some post-surgery medication, so check with the practice on what is covered.
- Facility Fees: These should always be included in the cost of your LASIK surgery.
Most importantly, be certain that LASIK is your best option. Laser vision correction procedures like LASIK and PRK are not always your best treatment to improve your vision. In some cases, other technologies like lens implants may be more suitable. It does not make sense to pay for one type of procedure when a better option may be available. That’s exactly why finding an experienced LASIK surgeon with a record of professional accomplishments (i.e., research and teaching) can be very helpful in helping you determine all your options and which procedure is best for you.
What Are the Costs of the Doctor or Practice?
We would not be making a fair presentation if we did not provide the other side of the equation: what costs do doctors incur to maintain their practices? The costs of running a refractive practice include the following:
- Laser manufacturer fees and royalties
- Office and Surgical Staff
- Office Lease or Facility Fee (if the doctor shares lasers and technologies with other doctors)
- Surgical, technical, and office equipment: purchase and maintenance
- Surgical outerwear (gloves, surgical gowns, caps) and disposal products used for surgery
- Marketing costs
- Surgeons Fees and Time
- Initial Examination and Consultation
- Pre-Op Visit (before surgery)
- LASIK Surgery Procedure
- Follow Up Visits after surgery
- Retreatment surgery if additional correction is necessary
- Insurance (including property, medical malpractice, workers comp and other liability insurance).
- Permits, Licenses, and of course taxes (local, state and federal)
When you consider the costs from the doctors perspective, they do add up. These costs also illustrate how impractical (if not impossible) it would be for any practice to give every patient the cheap flat fee that is offered in the typical discount LASIK ads that you see everywhere. Again, be careful of any practice that promotes these types of advertisements as this is generally a means to get you in the door and committed to choosing to have vision correction surgery on the spot. Do not be surprised when you later find there are extra costs that are tacked onto the discount fee only after you have gone into the office for an initial consultation.
LASIK Alternatives: Other Vision Correction Procedures
While LASIK can help correct the majority of vision problems, there are times when LASIK (or another laser eye surgery procedure) is not the best option.
Other refractive procedures, like lens implants, including EVO ICLs, as well as PRK, SMILE Eye Surgery, Astigmatic Incisions, Limbal Relaxing Incisions or conductive keratoplasty (CK), may be better suited to your eyes and offer you a better outcome in improving your vision . If you select a LASIK surgeon who only offers laser vision correction surgery, you may not be presented with these other options that might be better suited to you. Most of the surgeons in the Trusted LASIK SurgeonsTM Directory offer a more complete range of refractive surgery procedures beyond laser eye surgery. When you choose a refractive eye surgeon, we recommend that you question your surgeon thoroughly and do some research on your own (before and after you visit an eye doctor) to ensure that laser eye surgery is your best option.
How to Save Money on LASIK
Below are some tips to help you avoid any hidden costs to help you save on your LASIK procedure. Many of these tips also apply to other laser vision correction procedures like PRK, epiLASIK, LASEK and SMILE eye surgery.
Always Determine What Is Included in the LASIK Fee Quoted by the LASIK Surgeon's Practice
Ask if the LASIK fee you see in an ad or are quoted when you call in for a price is all inclusive. Follow up by asking what is covered? If not everything is covered, then you will need to ask questions (about advanced technologies, retreatments and so forth) so you obtain the actual total price of your LASIK procedure. Here are some costs that you should account for in accessing the true price of any laser vision surgery procedure:
- Pre-Operative and Post-Operative Visits. These should be included in the fee for some specified time.
- Advanced Technologies to Enhance Your LASIK or PRK Procedure. These typically involve additional license fees that are paid to the manufacturer.
- All Laser LASIK or bladeless LASIK fees (i.e., intralase).
- Custom LASIK (or PRK): Wavefront Guided, Wavefront Optimized or Topography Guide.
- Different Fees for Different Lasers. Because there are different lasers used for to reshape the cornea, you might want to check whether the cost of your surgery changes based on which laser will be used for your surgery- please note that this is separate from the IntraLase or Zeimer laser used in all laser LASIK (bladeless). While there may be price differences between lasers, you should consider whether cost should be a factor when it comes to which laser to use. Ask your LASIK doctor for an explanation of the costs and benefits associated with each laser.
- Facility Fees. While typically included, you may want to check to ensure this is included.
- Staff. While typically included, you may want to check to see if this is included.
- Incidental costs. While typically medication, disposable items used for the procedure, surgical gowns, gloves, and the like are included, you may to check. Some nominal fees for prescription and medication after the surgeon is common at many practices.
Find Out If the Fee Includes Follow-Up LASIK Retreatments and Enhancements
Since LASIK involves your eyes, your surgeon may take a conservative approach in performing the procedures. In other words, it better to under correct than overcorrect. When retreatments or enhancements are part of an inclusive LASIK fee, you won’t pay extra if you need a retreatment later. We believe 6 to 12 months is a reasonable time period. In some cases, you may be charged a modest fee, which is usually a fee charged by and paid to the laser manufacturer.
When in doubt, ask about the laser eye practice's policies so you understand all of them up front.
Are You a Good Candidate for Monovision?
Patients who are age 40 or older may be candidates for monovision, where one eye is corrected for distance vision and the other eye for near vision to reduce the need for reading glasses. If you have good natural distance vision you may be able to have only one eye corrected for reading. If you are only slightly nearsighted, you may have only one eye corrected for distance and leave the other eye for reading. In each of these circumstances, only one eye requires surgery. This option is generally not available to most LASIK candidates, but if you are one of them, it may be a less expensive and better option. Because the experts listed in our Trusted LASIK Surgeons Directory are experienced and generally involved in current research in the field of refractive eye surgery, they can help you determine if monovision is an appropriate option for your vision.
Highly Qualified Surgeons Can Help Avoid Complications Which Can Cost You Later
While many of the complications from LASIK have been minimized, no surgery is without risk. There is no greater cost regarding LASIK than if your procedure does not go as planned and you have complications. When that happens, you may find yourself looking for another surgeon to help manage problems. All of the LASIK Surgeons in the Trusted LASIK Surgeons Directory have actual experience in managing problems due to a surgery performed by another eye doctor. This means they have the practicable experience and knowledge to help avoid serious complications in the first place. In addition, these surgeons are often sought as expert witnesses in legal cases when there are significant complications because of their research, knowledge, and expertise in the field of refractive surgery.
Even the most qualified doctor has had a few patients who suffer from lingering complications. No surgery is without risks and LASIK is no exception. A true LASIK expert surgeon can help minimize potential complications, and in those rare cases where there are problems, the patient can have the confidence that this surgeon has the competence and experience to help manage those complications. Patients who choose a less qualified surgeon and later have problems often have to incur significant expenses in hiring a new surgeon who has the expertise to treat them. While LASIK procedures lead to very successful outcomes without serious complications, why take unnecessary risks by choosing a less qualified surgeon?
Initial Consultation: Free or Fee?
Many practices offer free initial screening consultations. Because there is no guarantee that the person who comes into the office for a consultation will become a patient, some laser eye centers do charge a fee. If your research of the surgeon shows that he or she is highly qualified, that should not dissuade you from seeing them. Their time is valuable. A surgeon who charges a consultation fee may be less likely to push for LASIK surgery than one who does not charge one. Many (if not most) of those practices that do charge a consultation fee will apply it to your LASIK (or other refractive surgery) fee. In those cases, we recommend that you have to verify or ask that the consultation fee to be applied to any surgery performed by that practice.
Does Your Health Insurance Plan Cover LASIK?
While health insurers do not cover LASIK since it is typically an elective procedure, it never hurts to ask. Even partial coverage can save you money.
Consumer Tip: If your health insurance covers some LASIK providers, but not others. If you find a LASIK surgeon you prefer who is not part of your health plan's network , you can ask that surgeon if they will offer a discount on your LASIK procedure to offset the partial coverage you would get from your health plans provider if you chose someone else.
Some health plans have discount offers for certain LASIK providers in your network. If you have a health plan that offers discounts for LASIK providers and you prefer a surgeon out of your plan's network, ask your preferred surgeon if they will honor the discount.
How To Give Yourself a Discount on LASIK and Save On Taxes
Two options that can give yourself a discount and save on paying taxes for LASIK (or any vision correction procedure) are Health Savings Accounts (HSA) and Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA),. These health accounts can save you money since contributions are not subject to payroll withholding taxes. In other words, by making tax-free contributions to an HSA or FSA, you are getting the tax savings as your discount on LASIK, PRK, or another vision correction procedure.
Please click on the "play" button to view a video that provides an overview of HSA's and FSAs and for further details, please read the discussion below the video.
Health Savings Accounts (HSA)
A health savings account (HSA) is a tax-exempt trust or custodial medical savings account that you set up with a qualified HSA trustee to pay or reimburse certain medical expenses you incur. You must be an eligible individual to qualify for an HSA and be enrolled in a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP), which currently means a deductible of over $1,500 for individuals and $3,000 for a family. In 2023, HSA contributions are limited during a calendar year to $3,850 for an individual for self-only coverage and $7,750 for family coverage. In addition, if you are 55 or older you can contribute an additional $1,000 as a catch-up contribution.
You are required to decrease your HSA contributions by the sum of any employer contributions that qualify for exclusion from your taxable income, whether made by you or any other individual. This encompasses the funds contributed to your HSA by your employer via a cafeteria plan.
One benefit that an Health Savings Account (HSA) has over a Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) (see below), is that you can roll over any unused amounts during the year to use in the future. Another significant benefit is that any interest or earnings on funds you do not use are not taxed, so the amount of funds in your HSA account can grow tax-free over time. Funds from an HSA may be used to pay for certain qualified medical expenses at any time without federal tax liability.
If you are interested in setting up an HSA, we suggest you first check with your employer’s human resources (HR) department or your health care plan provider to see if you have or can switch to a High Deductible Health Plan(HDHP). You may want to ask your health care provider is they also have HSA plans. You can also find many companies that provide HSA's on the internet.
For more information about Health Savings Accounts (HSA), please visit:
Flexible Spending Account (FSA)
A Flexible Spending Account (FSA) is a health flexible spending arrangement that allows employees to be reimbursed for medical expenses. FSA's are usually funded through voluntary salary reduction agreements with your employer. No employment or federal income taxes are deducted from your contribution. AN employee can fund up to $3,050 during 2023. The employer may also contribute.
Among the primary benefits of an FSA include (1) tax savings, since employment and federal income taxes are not deducteding from contributions to an FSA and (2) withdrawals from the FDA may be tax free for payment of qualified medical expenses. One drawback of an FSA is that the amounts you have contributed during the current year must be used during the coverage period of your health plan or the amount of contributions not used will be forfeited. For example, if the coverage period runs from January 1 to June 30, you would generally have to use the contributions within that time frame (which may include a grace period beyond that time).
Please consult an FSA provider for further details.
For more information about Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA), please visit:
Is Your LASIK Fee Tax Deductible?
Depending on your filing status, the cost of your LASIK there is a small possibility that LASIK (or another vision correction surgery) might be a tax deductible expense reducing the amount of your taxes. You might also be able to fund fully or partially fund the cost of LASIK with a tax refund. Always check with a reputable certified tax preparer to see if you may qualify.
LASIK Price and Cost Summary
When it comes to the cost of LASIK, knowing what is included and what may be charged extra are important considerations. This can be especially true with any discount LASIK ads.
In our opinion, since all-laser LASIK (using the IntraLase or Zeimer femtosecond laser) and Custom LASIK and PRK technologies can generally improve the outcome of your LASIK procedure, you may not want to make the cost of the use of these technologies an issue if your LASIK surgeon recommends their use.
If cost is a significant issue for you, we believe the best course of action is assume Bladeless and Wavefront technologies will be used and get an estimate of the cost of LASIK which includes Bladeless (All Laser LASIK) and Wavefront before you go into the office.
You should also understand whether there are additional charges for the initial consultation (and if so, whether it will be applied to the procedure), re-treatments, amount and top of correction (like astigmatism), post-operative visits, and any other additional costs.
Now that you have a better understanding of the components of LASIK fees, we hope you can make an informed decision.
We realize price is a factor in your selection of a LASIK surgeon. Quality and experience are important concerns in selecting your doctor as well. We hope you will consider a LASIK expert from our Trusted LASIK SurgeonsTM Directory.
Our Trusted LASIK SurgeonsTM website is dedicated to listing only highly qualified eye surgeons who have professional accomplishments that generally surpass those of other LASIK surgeons you may be considering. We estimate that many of the refractive experts in our directory are among the top 1% based on their experience, patient care, and professional credentials. Our surgeons are among the pioneers and leaders in refractive eye surgery to improve your vision.
Most laser eye surgeons featured at Trusted LASIK Surgeons work with you to help you finance your procedure, and many offer 0% financing or no money down financing for LASIK surgery through third parties such as Care Credit or Chase.
You not only will be treated by a highly qualified expert LASIK surgeon, but we believe that the fees charged by these laser eye surgeons are well within the range with other practices you are considering. In other words, we believe you can get the best of both worlds for your eyes (expertise and reasonable fees) when you choose a surgeon from the Trusted LASIK Surgeons Directory.
Please click on the link below to for our one-page free consumer resource to help you determine the total cost of LASIK so you can ensure understand the costs and how to save on your LASIK surgery procedure:
Additional Resources on the Cost of LASIK
One resource recommended by Trusted LASIK SurgeonsTM is a Forbes article in 2023 entitled "How Much Does LASIK Cost?" This article discusses LASIK surgery, the importance of finding an experienced LASIK surgeon and how to find one and compares the cost of LASIK to the long-term costs of eyeglasses and contact lenses.
Another resource we recommend at Healthline "LASIK Eye Surgery Costs and Tips for Finding a Surgeon."
Act Today and Choose an Expert LASIK Surgeon at Trusted LASIK SurgeonsTM
To find a vision correction expert surgeon who has qualified to be listed in the Trusted LASIK Surgeons™ Directory nearest to you, please visit:
If you are looking for an expert cataract or Lens Implants (IOLs) surgeon, please visit our Trusted Cataract SurgeonsTM Directory, please visit:
We invite you to review our qualification process, each surgeon's profile, and select your LASIK., cataract or other refractive surgeon with confidence.
To learn more about screening process and standards used by Trusted LASIK Surgeons™ to screen surgeons profiled at in our LASIK and cataract surgeon directories, please visit: