It’s a veritable corneacopia

Said I in 2005:

In 1998, laser eye surgery cost more than $2200 per eye; today it’s about half that, though it’s not covered by insurance plans or by Medicare. Or maybe because it’s not covered by insurance plans or by Medicare, which have their own ideas about what medical procedures should cost.

Now, corroboration from an actual customer:

First time I heard of LASIK the price quoted was $2,300 per eye minimum, and not exactly at high tier practitioner. That was about 6 years ago. Since then the procedure not only improved technically, it got cheaper, even not counting inflation: four grand for both eyes, performed by one of the best ophthalmic surgeons in NY. Along with cosmetic plastic surgery and orthodontist services it is among very few medical operations whose costs went down, not up — why? Because no insurance is involved, let along no government healthcare. Free market: yay.

Around here, you can get someone to perform some form of this surgery for under a thousand, though the Good Stuff inevitably costs a bit more, and I have some qualms about assembly-line surgery anyway. (Yes, I’ve looked into the matter; once upon a time I was informed I wasn’t a candidate for this sort of thing, but I was told otherwise at my most recent eye exam.) I wouldn’t mind getting rid of the glasses.


  1. Tatyana »

    29 March 2009 · 9:24 am

    Ch, it is not a “surgery” per se (see the link @ my post). They don’t use sharp instruments, no razors, pikes, rapiers, etc are involved. I’ll describe the actual operation in Part II. [yes, I’m typing this without the glasses.]

  2. fillyjonk »

    29 March 2009 · 3:44 pm

    I don’t know. It’s fine for the people who want it but I do not find glasses to be such a huge burden for me.

    Also, my squeamishness is high enough that the thought of a frickin’ laser getting that close to my eyes makes them water involuntarily.

    I suppose someday (my family history being what it is) I’ll have to get the cataract operation, but until then, I’m happy to stick with my specs.

  3. David Richardson, MD »

    30 March 2009 · 12:02 am

    As with most things in life you will generally get what you pay for: the more experienced surgeons with the more advanced technology will charge more for LASIK. These are your eyes, don’t cheap out on your vision. It’s one thing if you buy a cheap LCD TV and the pixels go bad – you can take it back and exchange it for a new one. But if you have a bad outcome with eye surgery you’re stuck with that for life.

    Probably the most important decision someone who is considering LASIK must make is what surgeon to choose. Although I do not perform LASIK, I have created a document for my cataract patients to help them in choosing a surgeon. The article can be viewed by clicking this link:

    The advice in this document can be applied to choosing any surgeon in any specialty, not just cataract surgeons.


    David D. Richardson, M.D.

    Medical Director

    San Gabriel Valley Eye Associates, Inc. 

    “LA and So Cal’s Trusted Source of Eye Care”

    207 S. Santa Anita Street, Suite P-25 

    San Gabriel, CA 91776 

  4. Dan B »

    31 March 2009 · 7:16 pm

    Everything else, price drops as technology advances. In medicine, price increases just because, and prices increase faster as technology advances.

    Just more evidence that health insurance should be OUTLAWED.

  5. CGHill »

    31 March 2009 · 7:18 pm

    Then only outlaws will have health insurance. :)

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