How Much Does Laser Eye Surgery Cost?
On average prices for LASIK start from £595 and LASEK £795. However, the average cost of laser surgery in the UK will depend on which type of surgery you opt for, the clinic itself and the experience of the surgeon performing the procedure.
Guide to Laser Eye Surgery Costs UK
As a guide to how much you might be paying for surgery we've collected and analysed the prices of every procedure the Optimax, Optical Express, Ultralase, Advanced Vision Care and London Vision Clinic specialise in to help give you an estimated cost. These can either be paid in full or in monthly instalments:
|Treatment||Description||Price (per eye)|
|Consultation||Initial meeting with the surgeron to check your prescription and determine your options||Free|
|LASIK||Procedure used to correct myopia (short-sightedness), hypermetropia and astigmatism||£595 - £1,250|
|Intralase Wavefront LASIK||A new version of LASIK that involves no cutting and is slightly more precise||£1,495 - £2,400|
|LASEK||Corrects vision by reshaping the cornea. This procedure is used to correct correct myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness) and/or astigmatism||£795 - £1,000|
|Wavefront LASEK||A new version of LASEK that is specific to your individual eye shape on a very fine scale||£1,195 - £2,400|
|Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK)||Similar to LASEK, and is also used to correct myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness) and astigmatism, however it involves the removal of the corneal epithelium||From £2,175|
|Epi LASIK||Similar to standard LASIK, Epi LASIK is preferred for patients with flatter corneas or milder forms of myopia||From £800 per eye|
|IOL (Intraocular Lens) Surgery||An artificial lens is implanted into the eye to improve vision in patients suffering with cataracts or severe myopia (short-sightedness)||£1,795 - £3,150|
|ICL (Implantable Contact Lens) Surgery||Permanent implantation of a “contact lens” into your eye to correct visual problems such as severe myopia (short-sightedness)||£2,595 - £3,450|
|Cataract Removal Surgery||The lens of the eye is removed and replaced with a clear artificial lens to restore the patient’s natural eyesight. This treatment is for patients suffering from Cataracts||£2,950 - £3,450|
Prices taken in January 2017
Laser Eye Surgery Costs Explained
Watch Mr Romesh Angunawela, Consultant Eye Surgeon at Moorfields Eye Hospital, provide more information about laser eye surgery costs at Moorfields:
"The cost really can vary depending on the clinic and the type of surgeon you’re seeing. A lot of clinics employ optometrists to see patients, you may not actually see your surgeon until the day of your surgery. Somewhere like Moorfields you’re going to see your surgeon at every point, your surgeon is responsible for your care from the moment you come to the clinic. Also Moorfields tends to be a flagship center for laser manufacturers so we tend to renew our lasers every year or two which means that you’re going to have access to the most advanced technology. That is likely to mean that the cost of your surgery is going to be greater than a high street clinic.
We also don’t really offer a whole different choice of surgery, we only do wavefront guided, IntraLase Lasik and wavefront guided Lasik, so there’s only one price point really. We don’t think it’s really worth doing any of the other types of surgeries that may cost less, because we’re just offering the best possible laser treatment and why compromise. So that’s really what determines price as far as I can see."
Mr Romesh Angunawela, Consultant Eye Surgeon at Moorfields Eye Hospital
Laser Eye Surgery on the NHS
If you are looking to apply for laser eye surgery on the NHS you will generally find that a referral will not be made if the treatment required is for refractive surgery.
Patients with Myopia (short-sightedness), Hyperopia (long-sightedness) and Astigmatism will need to undergo private laser eye surgery to correct or improve their vision. If the patient's vision is likely to degenerate so that it causes severe loss of vision or blindness then surgery is available on the NHS. Eligible conditions include Diabetic Retinopathy and Wet Macular Degeneration.
Can I Get Laser Eye Surgery on Finance?
Many clinics offer laser eye surgery finance options and most offer a 0% APR option, which means that you pay back only the cost of the procedure in monthly instalments. It is important to fully understand the finance packages offered by your clinic, as lower repayments over a longer period of time actually result in you paying more due to the APR. Here are the laser eye surgery costs and finance options for the UK’s leading laser eye clinics:
|Clinic||Basic cost (per eye)||Deposit||Instalments||Total Cost|
|Opical Express||£595||£100||10 months 0% APR x £49.50||£1,190|
|Optegra||£1,795||£179.50||12 months 0% APR x £134.62||£1,794.94|
|Advanced Vision Care||£1,995||£500||12 months 0% APR x £291.00||£3,390|
|Optimax||£1,695||£339||12 months 0% APR x £254.25||£3,390|
|FOCUS||£1,975||£500||12 months 0% APR x £287.50||£3,950|
|London Vision Clinic||£2,450||£500||12 months 0% APR x £367.00||£4,900|
|Ultralase||£1,695||£500||12 months 0% APR x £254.25||£3,990|
Prices taken in February 2017
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Cost vs. Technology
There are five types of laser vision correction - Standard LASIK, Wavefront LASIK, Standard LASEK, Wavefront LASEK, and PRK.
Your surgeon will determine which type of laser treatment is most appropriate for you based on things like the extent of your refractive error and size of the treatment zone. The cost of your treatment will vary too; across all five treatment types, you can expect to pay up to £170 for a consultation (although some clinics may offer this for free), while the cost of actual treatment can range from an average of £800 to over £2,000 per eye.
Are There Any Hidden Costs for Laser Eye Surgery?
It's not always possible to make a direct comparison of costs between two laser eye surgery providers as exactly what the price covers can vary. Here are a few points to check with any provider before choosing them based on price.
- Is there a consultation fee and what does it cover? As a general rule, those providers who charge a fee do so because the consultation is with an expert surgeon, often the one who will be carrying out any surgery. If the consultation is free, ask who will carry it out and what their qualifications are.
- Are any enhanced treatments included in the standard price? The two main additions to basic laser treatment are Wavefront and Intralase. Most providers will specify if these are included, but it's always best to check and know exactly what you are getting.
- What about aftercare? Depending on your treatment, you will need several follow-up appointments with your clinic to check how you are. If you will need to travel a long way to such appointments and/or miss work, remember to factor in the additional costs you'll bear.
- Does the cost vary from patient to patient? Generally the price a provider advertises is either the lowest it charges anyone, or is the clinic’s standard price. Some providers will charge a higher price if you have a high prescription (very long-sighted or near-sighted). To get a fair comparison, you may need to have consultations with multiple providers, or ask for specific quotes based on your optician's prescription.
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Reason for Cost Variances
Keeping up to date with the latest advances in laser eye surgery is an expensive investment. A clinic equipped with the most recent technology will generally charge more as the treatment is likely to be quicker; more comfortable and accurate than a surgery with older systems.
As with most things, a clinic or surgeon's reputation can affect the prices they charge. Basic economics works on the principle of supply and demand and if a clinic has an exceptional reputation they will be able to charge a higher price as more people will want to be treated by them.
The amount of competition within an area can also affect the price. If there are a lot of clinics offering the same service within a small radius, prices tend to be lower as they compete for custom through reduced costs and special offers. It’s therefore worth considering the commute to a city for your surgery, but remember you will not be able to drive immediately after the operation.
Size of Clinic
A larger, more established clinic is likely to offer a lower price point as they benefit from higher demand. A drawback to a busier clinic can be that you may not meet your surgeon prior to your treatment, with your initial consultations and assessments being carried out by an optometrist. This means you may lose the opportunity to ask important questions and ensure you are comfortable with your surgeon.
Type of Treatment
Every patient requires a different level of treatment and this can affect the average cost. Simply put, the worse one's eyesight is; the more money is needed to rectify the problem.
The Importance Of Research
With so many factors involved in choosing your clinic and type of surgery; it’s critical to carry out research and ensure that you get the right surgery at a price that’s right for you.
Laser Eye Surgery Savings Calculator: How Much Could You Save?
Thinking of having laser eye surgery but unsure of whether you could afford it or not? Use our laser eye surgery savings calculator to find out how much you could save you in an instant.
Click on our laser eye surgery savings calculator below and you will quickly find out how affordable treatment can be across any length of time.