Cost Of Laser Eye Surgery
The type of laser eye surgery you have will affect the cost, but prices typically start from around £595 per eye and can go up to £2,175.
Many clinics offer finance options to help you spread the cost of your laser eye surgery over a fixed time period, from just 10 months up to 48 months.
A number of factors can influence how much you pay for laser eye surgery, including the experience of your surgeon, the location and size of the clinic, and the sophistication of the laser technology.
How Much Does Laser Eye Surgery Cost?
The average cost of laser eye surgery can range anywhere from £595 up to £2,175 depending on the type of laser eye surgery you have. Your surgeon will determine which type of laser treatment is most appropriate for you based on things such as the type of refractive error you have and the strength of your optical prescription.
The table below provides you with a guide as to how much you should expect to pay for your treatment, based on prices obtained from top nationwide eye surgery clinics in the UK. It is important to keep in mind that you should also expect to pay anywhere up to approximately £170 for a consultation prior to your surgery, although some clinics do offer this for free. To find out more about the different types of treatment, visit our guide to laser eye surgery.
|Type Of Surgery||Price Per Eye|
|Intralase Wavefront LASIK||From £1,495|
|Wavefront LASEK||From £1,195|
|Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK)||From £2,175|
Prices taken in May 2017
Finance Options For Laser Eye Surgery
As laser eye surgery can be an expensive purchase, many clinics offer finance options to help you to manage the cost of your treatment. Financial packages typically require you to pay an upfront deposit, followed by monthly payments over a pre-agreed period of time. You can select plans that let you spread your payments over 10, 12, 18, 24, 36 and 48 months.
Most clinics offer a 0% APR option on their financial agreements, which means that you pay back only the cost of the procedure in monthly instalments. This is usually only offered for shorter payback periods however. Longer payback periods of 24 and 48 months typically have a higher APR, meaning you actually pay back more than the cost of the procedure making your surgery more expensive. It is important therefore that you fully understand the terms and conditions of the finance packages offered by different clinics, to avoid any hidden surprises.
This table provides you with an estimate of the typical financial agreements for the different types of laser eye surgery offered by the UK's leading clinics. It provides you with information on the deposit amount, as well as the size of the monthly payments over 12 and 24 months.
|Type Of Surgery||Deposit||12 Months||24 Months|
|LASIK||£100||0% APR at £50||11.5% APR at £36|
|Intralase Wavefront LASIK||£500||0% APR at £70||11.5% APR at £32|
|LASEK||£500||0% APR at £50||11.5% APR at £25|
|Wavefront LASEK||£500||0% APR at £150||11.5% APR at £50|
|Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK)||£110||0% APR at £75||11.5% APR at £35|
|EpiLASIK||£500||0% APR at £150||11.5% APR at £75|
Prices taken in May 2017
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Can I Have 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 to correct a refractive error. Patients with myopia (short-sightedness), hyperopia (long-sightedness) or astigmatism will need to undergo laser eye surgery at a private clinic to improve their vision.
The NHS will only offer laser eye surgery to patients whose vision is likely to degenerate so much that it could cause a severe loss of vision or even blindness. Eligible conditions include diabetic retinopathy and wet macular degeneration.
Why Does The Cost Of Laser Eye Surgery Vary In Price?
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 more 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 or surgeon has an exceptional reputation, they will be able to charge a higher price as more people will want to be treated by them. Surgeon's accredited by the Royal College of Ophthalmologists will have carried out over 300 procedures in a two year period, and so will be extremely qualified and experienced.
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.
Laser Eye Surgery Costs Explained
Here, Mr Romesh Angunawela, Consultant Eye Surgeon at Moorfields Eye Hospital, discusses the factors which can affect the price of your laser eye surgery:
"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
Are There Any Hidden Costs For Laser Eye Surgery?
It is not always possible to make a direct comparison of costs between two laser eye surgery providers, as exactly what the advertised price includes can vary. Here are a few factors that you should discuss with different clinics before making your final choice:
- 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.
- Is aftercare included in the advertised price? 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.
Laser Eye Surgery Savings Calculator: How Much Could You Save?
Are you thinking of having laser eye surgery but are unsure about whether you could afford it? Click on our laser eye surgery savings calculator below and find out how affordable treatment can be across any length of time.