How Do Clinics Advertise LASIK For $499?

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 12,004
    Dr. Jeff Machat, President and LASIK surgeon of Crystal Clear Vision, explains how some clinics can offer LASIK for only $499.

    Dr. Jeffery J. Machat: I am Dr. Jeff Machat, Medical Director of Crystal Clear Vision. Today I am going to explain how LASIK clinics advertise LASIK for $499. As one of the original FDA investigators I have witnessed firsthand the incredible advancements in laser technology over the past two decades, but the most common question I get asked by patients concerns price. How can LASIK clinics offer the procedure for $499 per eye, sometimes even as low as $299? Obviously with the average national price for Premium LASIK being just over $2,000 per eye, the reason I am answering the question is because commonsense tells us if it sounds too good to be true, it often is. The first reason is, price is based upon your prescription. Many of these discount LASIK clinics offer the low advertised price for very narrow range of extremely low prescriptions that few people qualify for, but it does bring people into their clinic. The average person actually pays about $1,000 per eye at these clinics, some much more. Secondly, LASIK is not a single procedure but can be performed with different techniques and technologies which do affect your risk of side effects and problems and your chance for achieving 20/20 vision. Just as with computers, LASIK technology advancements over the past decade have been nothing short of miraculous. While older laser technology and techniques work remarkably well, newer ones are significantly improved. Many LASIK surgeons differ in opinion as well, but I always look at it from a personal level, if it were my eyes what would I want for myself or my wife or daughter? The answer is that I would want custom all-laser LASIK. This technique uses a femtosecond laser to create the corneal flap in the first place of LASIK, and then a custom or wavefront-guided pattern to treat the prescription in the second step. This combination I believe provides the best clinical results for patients. So the next time you hear or see an advertisement for a LASIK for $299, be sure to check out the fine print before moving forward.