Laser eye surgery can improve your quality of life vastly, but despite all the benefits, cost will still be a consideration. With advertisements offering treatments ‘from as little as £300’, ‘two for the price of one’ or ‘half price for new customers’, it seems that the laser eye surgery business has entered a competitive age.
Competition can be good, as it does help to drive costs down. However, when it comes to having life changing surgery on your eyes, it is important to consider quality as well as price to ensure you get the results you are dreaming of.
How much does laser eye surgery cost in 2017?
This information is taken directly from the clinics we work with to give a clear understanding of the cost of laser eye surgery in 2017.
|iDesign iLasik with iFSt™150 Intralase||From £1495 per eye|
|iLasik||From £1195 per eye|
|LASIK / LASEK Standard||From £595 per eye|
Is finance available?
Finance allows you to have your vision corrected now and pay for it in an affordable manner. Many clinics offer 10 month finance at zero per cent interest, but if your clinic does charge interest make sure you are aware of this at the start and have factored it into the overall cost.
The following finance information is provided by clinics we work with and is based on cost per eye.
|Treatment||Deposit||10 Months 0% APR||25 Months 11.5% APR||36 Months 11.5 APR||48 Months 11.5% APR|
|iDesign iLasik with iFSt™150 Intralase||£395||£110||£51.24||£35.98||£24.40|
|LASIK / LASEK Standard||£245||£35||£16.31||£11.45||£9.04|
These prices can be influenced by location, surgeon experience and the complexity of your treatment. You can read our reviews to find yourself the right surgeon, the right location and the right procedure for your needs.
What affects the cost of laser eye surgery?
There are certain factors that will influence the cost of your treatment, so take these into consideration when you are weighing up your options.
- Your treatment – The type of treatment you are having will define the overall cost of having laser eye surgery done, no matter who performs the procedure or where you have your treatment carried out. As a rule of thumb, the better your eyesight is right now, the less you will pay for your treatment. As well as this, the type of surgery performed will influence the price too.
- Your surgeon – Surprisingly, there is no particular qualification required to perform laser eye surgery. However, most reputable and experienced surgeons will have a certification from a body like the Royal College of Ophthalmologists or equivalent, and as such will be a top choice for many patients. This means they are able to charge a higher fee, but this will often be money well spent to get a more experienced practitioner.
- The equipment – Keeping up to date with the latest equipment and technology in laser eye surgery is an expensive investment. This means that the surgeries with the best equipment will tend to charge more. However, your treatment is likely to be quicker, more comfortable and more accurate than at a surgery with older technology.
- Location – If you live in an urban area and have several laser eye surgery clinics within reasonable distance, the element of competition may serve to drive down the costs. In a more isolated community, your local clinic may be able to get away with charging slightly higher fees, so check whether it will be cheaper to commute elsewhere for treatment.
- Clinic size – Sometimes larger clinics are able to offer lower prices. They may also have such a high number of patients coming through the door that they can afford to squeeze their profit margins more than a smaller clinic would.
- Patient care – With larger, busier clinics, the downside can be that you might not even get to meet your surgeon before your treatment starts. You may be assessed by an optometrist or an optician initially, which can mean the prices are lower than if you were using up surgeon time. However, it also means you are missing out on asking those vital questions and building a rapport with your surgeon.
What to ask about cost
When you are getting prices for your surgery, check there aren’t any hidden costs involved that might add to the overall price. Here are some questions you might want to think about asking:
Who will be doing my treatment, and how experienced are they?
To be certified with the Royal College of Ophthalmologists, surgeons need to have performed in excess of 300 operations. Be sure to check the qualifications of your selected surgeon to make sure you are comfortable with them performing your surgery.
What other costs are there?
Some clinics try to draw patients in with their low basic surgery costs, but later reveal that there are a number of other things to pay for. Make sure your price includes everything involved in your treatment, such as:
- Initial screening
- Ophthalmic examination
- Specialist treatments (if necessary)
- Post-operative medication
Can I get laser eye surgery on the NHS?
Under some circumstances, it may be possible to have corrective laser surgery on the NHS, but this will depend on the type of eye condition that needs treating.
Essentially, laser treatment is available to those suffering from a condition that is affecting their vision, and is not available to those who want the treatment for cosmetic reasons – such as no longer having to wear glasses, for example. If you are suffering from a condition that will eventually lead to full or partial loss of vision if left untreated, you would be a candidate for laser surgery on the NHS. Examples of conditions that qualify for treatment include short-sightedness, long-sightedness, astigmatism, cataracts, certain corneal defects, and diabetic retinopathy. Where other treatments are available to correct vision, such as contact lenses or glasses, laser treatment would not be available on the NHS. It’s important to note too that laser surgery simply cannot cure some conditions, such as presbyopia, a condition that occurs naturally as you age.
Your local trust will determine whether or not your particular condition and set of circumstances enables you to qualify for laser eye surgery on the NHS. Should you be found to be a suitable candidate, your optician will help you find a local clinic registered with the Royal College of Ophthalmologists (RCOphth) to carry out the procedure.
Can I get laser eye surgery abroad?
If you do not qualify for laser eye treatment on the NHS, you may find that the price of undergoing the treatment privately can be costly in the UK.
For this reason, many patients look at having the treatment carried out overseas in a bid to save money. However, it’s important to note that this isn’t always the case; in fact, patients could potentially pay up to 115 per cent more for the treatment when obtaining it in expensive countries such as Norway or Belgium. Laser eye treatment can be less expensive when carried out in countries in which the cost of living is typically lower, such as Turkey or Hungary. Here, patients can save anywhere from 20 per cent to over 50 per cent when having the treatment. While the cost of laser treatment may be less, patients should take extra care when researching the qualifications and past work of their surgeon. Lower prices can reflect the lesser degree of training, which can put patients at higher risk of complications or ineffectual treatment.
You should also think about additional costs associated with seeking treatment overseas, such as the price of flights and accommodation. If you need to take extra time off work to factor in the travel, you should think about your holiday time and any potential loss of earnings. There is also the risk of complications arising either in the foreign country in which you’ve had the surgery, or upon return to the UK, which could see you incur further costs for follow-up treatment.