05 Jul How much does laser eye surgery cost?
If you are considering laser eye surgery, one of your first questions is undoubtedly going to be around the cost. While laser eye surgery does have a rather large upfront cost, when you compare it to the cost of glasses and contact lenses over a lifetime, you can start to see that it is well worth the money!
There is a large range of prices for laser eye surgery, even just in Australia! The average cost for laser eye surgery can vary by more than $1,000 per eye and different types of laser eye surgery are priced differently. There are also many other things to consider when comparing quotes for laser eye surgery.
In this article we will cover the following topics:
- Factors to consider into pricing
- The procedure
- The clinic
- The surgeon
- How to compare pricing
- Which payment options
Factors to consider into pricing
Procedure and technology used
As mentioned, the different types of laser surgery can vary in cost, and not all types are suitable for all eye conditions. Let’s break down the different types and who they are suitable for.
Procedure: LASIK is short for ‘Laser in situ keratomileusis’ and is the most common type of laser eye surgery. This method is the older of the two LASIK methods, having been used for over 20 years and is most suitable for people who are nearsighted, farsighted, or have astigmatism.
Technology: Traditional microkeratome blade and Excimer laser.
Cost: Traditional LASIK surgery uses the oldest technology and is also the cheapest procedure. The method has been refined over the years and the fact that only one laser is being used in the procedure means the cost has been able to be reduced when compared with the other methods of laser eye surgery.
Traditional LASIK surgery costs $1500/eye at the Binetter Eye Centre *
Prodecure: PRK, short for photorefractive keratectomy, is a form of laser eye surgery where the shape of the cornea is corrected using an excimer laser. The laser correction is done on the surface of the cornea rather than under a created flap like in LASIK. This type of laser eye surgery is best suited to people who suffer from mild to moderate near-sightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism.
Technology: Smartpulse technology and Excimer laser.
Cost: The cost of PRK is comparable to the cost of a traditional LASIK eye surgery. However, since the SmartSurface PRK procedure uses the Smartpulse technology in combination with the Excimer laser, it makes a more expensive procedure than traditional LASIK which only uses the Excimer laser.
SmartSurface™ PRK surgery costs $2100/eye at the Binetter Eye Centre*
All-Laser LASIK or blade-free LASIK
Procedure: All-Laser LASIK is a 2-step procedure which uses two different lasers. Firstly, the ophthalmologist (otherwise known as an eye surgeon) will use the femtosecond laser to create a flap in the top layer of the cornea. The excimer laser is then used to precisely reshape the patient’s corneal tissue. Like with Traditional LASIK, this type of laser eye surgery is perfect for people who are nearsighted, farsighted, or have astigmatism.
Technology: Femtosecond laser and Excimer laser.
Cost: The most expensive technology for laser eye surgery is the femtosecond laser which is used in this method, which attributes to the higher cost. Keep in mind though, that the bladeless laser results in a corneal flap that is created in a much more precise manner than the traditional microkeratome blade, which you may consider to be worth the higher price tag.
All Laser LASIK surgery costs $3100/eye at the Binetter Eye Centre*
After an initial consultation, your ophthalmologist can recommend the laser eye surgery procedure that will best suit your needs. What type of laser eye surgery you get will depend on several factors, including your specific refractive error (e.g. where you are short-sighted, long-sighted, or if you have astigmatism), the shape and health of your cornea, and your lifestyle needs.
Reputation and location of the clinic
It is important to make sure that the surgery’s location is easy for you to get to as you will need to have several appointments over the course of your treatment. Keep in mind also that more convenient or centrally located locations often come with a higher cost due to the higher costs associated with rent or building leasing.
Make sure that the clinic has the most up-to-date technology and practices, so that you know you will be receiving the best quality and most current surgery. You usually find this information on the clinic’s website.
Since 2011, the Binetter Eye Centre has used the most advanced laser surgery technology available, the Schwind Amaris, which is considered by independent experts to provide the highest standard among lasers for refractive surgery. This remarkable piece of technology is significantly faster, more precise and safer than comparable laser technology and is now the benchmark against which other lasers are compared.
Experience and qualifications of the surgeon
One of the most important factors you need to consider when deciding where you should get you laser eye surgery, is who will actually be performing your surgery!
Do your research, make sure that your ophthalmologist has all the necessary qualifications and years of experience required to be able to perform your required surgery. You should also feel comfortable enough with your surgeon that you feel you can easily ask the many questions you will want answered about your surgery.
At the Binetter Eye Centre, we pride ourselves in choosing only the most reliable and safe methods to ensure that myself and our eye surgeons are able to continue their work of helping people maintain, retain and correct their vision.
Dr Ron Binetter has over 20 years of hands-on in eye surgery experience and specialise in cataract surgery, lens implantation and laser eye surgery, as well as being one of the first eye microsurgeons to be certified to perform LASIK in Australia.
How to compare accurately costs
When you are looking at different quotes for laser eye surgery, you need to be able to compare apples with apples, so make sure that you are able to get the answers to the following questions:
- What exactly is included in the cost?
- Can you have a price breakdown of each stage?
- Are follow-up appointments included in the initial cost?
- Are after-care eye drops included?
- Do you provide after-hour care in case of emergency?
Which payment options
At the Binetter Eye Centre, we understand that laser eye surgery can feel like a huge expense to most people, which is why we try to keep our prices as competitive as possible, without compromising on quality service and safety.
While every eye is different and many factors affect the procedures required, a guide for our base pricing structure is:
The cost for your particular surgery will be presented and explained as part of your initial consultation. Each pricing and fee, will be stated in detail and the costs for post-surgery care and recommended future check-ups are also given up front.
As most people are often unable to claim the costs from most private health funds or Medicare I would recommend talking with private health providers to see whether that can offer this cover and if you qualify. It is well worth doing this research well ahead of time as most health covers have mandatory waiting periods before you can claim for many procedures. You may also be able to claim some of the costs back through personal income tax, but you would need to discuss this with your accountant.
Now that you know exactly what you need to take into consideration, you should feel confident in finding and comparing prices for laser eye surgery to find your perfect ophthalmologist! If you’d like to book an appointment at the Binetter Eye Centre to talk about your options for laser eye surgery, get in touch with us today.
- Better Health.gov (Victoria) – Eyes – laser eye surgery
- AOO.org – Creating LASIK Flaps: Femtosecond Laser vs. Mechanical Microkeratome
- Ophthalmology Times.com – Pulse technology boosts all-laser PRK for one-step, no-touch ablation
* Prices may vary based on individual circumstances.
This article is not a substitute for a consultation with your surgeon. Before choosing to proceed with laser eye surgery your surgeon will have a detailed discussion with you about the right procedure and about the potential complications.
Article reviewed by Dr Ronald Binetter on the 5th of July 2019
A unique mix of expertise, experience and international reputation, Dr Ron Binetter is the figure behind the Binetter Eye Centre. With more than two decades of hands-on experience in eye surgery, Dr Binetter is a specialist in cataract, lens implantation and laser eye surgery. Learn more about Dr Ron Binetter’s background and qualifications.