Laser Eye Surgery Abroad

Cost Of Laser Eye Surgery Abroad

One of the biggest factors that people take into account when deciding whether to get laser eye surgery is the cost. For many people, laser eye surgery is a significant investment and whilst some might be fortunate enough to find cut-price laser eye surgery deals, these are not very common. In many cases this can lead people to considering having laser eye surgery carried out abroad where the prices appear much cheaper, and where it is possible to save up to 33% on the cost of treatment.

The table below shows you the cost of laser eye surgery prices in popularly searched countries around the world, compared to the UK.

Country Price Per Eye
United Kingdom From £1300
Czech Republic From £315
Hungary From £377
Turkey From £680
India From £750
Thailand From £1200

As you can see, getting laser eye surgery abroad can be considerably less expensive than in the UK, with European countries like the Czech Republic and Hungary offering very cheap laser eye surgery. This is often due to a number of factors including a lower cost of living, as well as a beneficial exchange rate. You should also consider that the lower prices may also demonstrative of the lesser qualifications of the surgeons compared to those who have trained in the UK and are registered with professional bodies.

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Will There Be Any Additional Costs?

It is important to remember that whilst the laser eye surgery itself may be cheaper abroad, there are a number of additional costs that should be taken into account. These can quickly add up and may end up making the total cost of surgery abroad more expensive than in the UK.

Below are just some of the additional costs that you should consider:

  • Flights: for the countries mentioned, a return ticket could cost you over £500 per person.
  • Accommodation: you could pay up to £200 per night for accommodation abroad, depending on your budget. It is also important to remember that you will need to arrive in the country a few days before your surgery, and it is advised that you do not fly for at least a week post-surgery, so the cost of accommodation could really mount up.
  • Insurance: when travelling abroad for medical treatment, you will not be covered on standard travel insurance. You will need to take out additional medical insurance which can cost anywhere between £47 and £180. If complications do arise from the surgery, those who have not specified that they were travelling for medical purposes will not be entitled to financial assistance.
  • Days off work: this cost will vary from person to person, and will also depend if you use any accumulated holiday days. If you take unpaid leave, this could mean you lose a significant proportion of your monthly income.

Follow-up appointments with your surgeon may also require you to return to the country where you had your laser eye surgery, meaning that the costs of flights, accommodation, insurance and days off work will not be one-off expense. This should be factored into your overall cost calculation.

It is essential that you know exactly what costs you will incur in order for you to work out whether getting laser eye surgery abroad is more cost effective for you.

What Else Should I Consider When Getting Laser Eye Surgery Abroad?

Cost is only one of the things you should take into account when deciding whether to get laser eye surgery abroad. Below are a few other things you should consider:

  • What are the surgeon’s qualifications? There is no compulsory regulatory body for laser eye surgery, meaning it is difficult to know what training your surgeon has had, and who has accredited their skills. In the UK however, laser eye surgeons must be registered with the General Medical Council (GMC) in order to practice, meaning tighter checks are in place. This means that surgeons approved to perform laser eye surgery in foreign clinics may not be as well trained or experienced than those registered with UK bodies. This is bad news for laser eye surgery patients, as studies have shown a direct link between the combined experience of surgeons at a clinic and the successful outcomes of laser eye treatment.
  • Will I meet the surgeon before the day of my surgery? Due to the time constraints placed on surgery because of travel, most surgeons only offer online consultations before the procedure. This means you will not be able to meet your surgeon face-to-face before the day of the surgery, meaning you won’t have an opportunity to build a relationship with them.
  • Do the staff at the clinic speak English? Although some clinics, doctors and surgeons have experience of treating international patients and speak English, not all will. This language barrier may make it difficult for you to effectively communicate with them, which could lead to problems.
  • Has the surgeon and/or clinic got good reviews? You should be able to check this online before you choose a clinic or surgeon. Reviews form former patients provide an excellent indication of whether others have been happy with their procedure.
  • Does the country have healthcare regulations? Some countries have fewer regulations and lower standards of healthcare compared to the UK. Many patients who have travelled abroad to have laser eye surgery have reported not being satisfied with the level of care they received, with the reliability and empathy of the surgical team cited as one of the primary reasons for feeling disappointed. Additionally, complications from surgery such as epithelial in-growth, corneal ectasia, and dislocation of the flap during laser eye surgery surgery, have been found to be more prevalent in surgeries carried out abroad.
  • Is there a surgeon in the UK I can see should I have problems following surgery? Whilst some clinics abroad have arrangements with British clinics should you require any checks following your surgery, many do not. This can make it difficult to get the aftercare you need if any problems arise post-surgery, and in some cases you may need to travel back to the country where you had surgery to receive the appropriate care.

Should I Get Laser Eye Surgery Abroad?

getting surgery abroadWhile it may be possible to get cheap laser eye surgery abroad with a trusted surgeon and good quality aftercare, this cannot be guaranteed. Getting laser eye surgery abroad is certainly not a decision that should be made quickly. Receiving laser eye surgery in the UK would appear to be the safer and more cost-effective option.

Once the price of the surgery is added to the additional expenses of accommodation, insurance and travel, the overall cost is likely to be not that different from the UK. Should there be any complications that arise from your surgery, it will also be much easier to meet with the surgeon who performed the procedure in the UK rather than abroad.

In addition, many of the UK’s leading eye surgery clinics offer finance packages for laser eye surgery with 0% APR, which can make surgery much more affordable. Usually, clinics overseas prefer to have all costs settled in advance or on the day of treatment. It is important to remember that patients with certain eye conditions can also get laser eye surgery for free in the UK through the NHS.

Only you can decide if laser eye surgery abroad is right for you, but make sure you have explored all options and weighed up the pros and cons before making an informed decision.

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