Comparison-shopping is something we should all consider doing when making a large purchase. Whether we’re buying a new car, shopping for a new home, or choosing the right college for our children—we want to make the best decision. When you’re comparing apples to apples, comparison-shopping is pretty straightforward. But when using only price to compare LASIK providers, it’s not quite so simple.
Minimally invasive LASIK eye surgery is in high demand because it is literally transforming people’s lives by helping them enjoy better vision. With little downtime and outstanding results, it’s one of the most common surgical procedures performed in the United States. It is no wonder people are tempted by unusually low pricing.
“Anytime you see pricing that seems too good to be true, it most likely is just that,” says Thomas Planchard, M.D., at Planchard Eye & Laser Center. “Be aware of discounts that have hidden fees and pricing that don’t include your consultation and pre-op exam, post-surgical follow-up care, leading-edge technology and future enhancement procedures.”
Know what you are comparing.
When considering cost, keep in mind what that cost represents and what you are really comparing. Unlike comparison-shopping for the latest Honda model at car dealerships where every Honda Civic is fundamentally the same, LASIK is a surgical procedure performed on one of your most priceless assets— your eyes. Every eye surgeon is different in terms of skill, experience, number of procedures performed and the technology he or she uses during surgery. All of these factors should be considered when making your decision.
Do your research.
“While cost is an important consideration for every patient, we encourage LASIK candidates to do their research. You only have one pair of eyes,” Dr. Planchard said. “As wonderful as LASIK technology is, you need a highly experienced eye surgeon to ensure the best possible results. Take time to learn about any surgeon you are considering and get detailed information about the procedure before making any commitment, no matter how attractive the pricing may seem.”
Dr. Planchard’sadvice for LASIK candidates is to follow these basic steps to ensure they find the best eye surgeon for their procedure:
- Ask your optometrist or ophthalmologist for their recommendations regarding a good LASIK surgeon.
- If you have family members, friends or coworkers who’ve had LASIK, ask about their experience. Did they like their surgeon? Are they happy with their results?
- Review the websites of LASIK surgeons and eye centers you are considering.
- Schedule a consultation with at least two LASIK surgeons and tour their facilities.
During your consultation, ask these questions:
- Am I a candidate for LASIK and why? If not, what procedure would you recommend?
- How many years have you been practicing?
- How many LASIK procedures have you performed?
- What technology or equipment do you use?
“Taking the time to discover this basic information will help ensure you are in good hands,” Dr. Planchard said. “I think once you find a LASIK surgeon who is experienced and makes you feel comfortable, the cost issues can usually be arranged. At Planchard Eye & Laser Institute, we not only offer our patients competitive pricing, but a variety of financing options to make LASIK affordable for virtually every patient. Contact us at 318-562-1276. We’re here to help you in any way we can.”