While online last night, I saw an advertisement for $299 for LASIK eye surgery. As a LASIK surgeon, it was immediately apparent this was misleading advertising. It is just a question of simple math:

The latest LASIK procedure is a blade-free procedure that is All laser and All computerized. It requires two different lasers: a femtosecond laser to make a LASIK flap in the front surface of the cornea and an Excimer Laser to sculpt the cornea to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness and/or astigmatism.

A brand new Femtosecond Laser costs over $400,000 and a brand new Excimer laser costs about $300,000. These devices are usually leased.

In addition to the cost of the Laser, the laser manufacturers also charge a royalty fee for each laser. The Excimer laser fees range from $110 to $250 per eye. The Femtosecond laser fees range from $175 to $225 per eye. So assuming, you had a situation where your doctor, staff, Laser suite, and supplies were free, the royalty fees alone would be more than $299 per eye.

The bottom line is for a surgeon to offer $299 LASIK one of the following scenarios has to hold true:

  1. The procedure is not being performed with the latest technology.
  2. You are about to enter a “bait and switch” environment.
  3. Your surgery is not being performed in the U.S.
  4. Your surgery is being performed by a charity organization.

If Scenario #4 is not true, my advise is to run away $299 LASIK.

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Sidney Gicheru, M.D. is a Board Certified Ophthalmologist. He practices at LaserCare Eye Center, which has offices in Irving and Grapevine, Texas. He specializes in LASIK in Dallas and Cataract surgery with Lifestyle lens implants. He is the editor for the Texas Eye Talk blog. For more information, please see his practice’s website, www.DFWeyes.com or call 214-328-0444 for an appointment. This Article $299 LASIK really was written by Sidney Gicheru, M.D.