When selecting a LASIK provider, it is important to understand what your LASIK cost includes. Some providers advertise for a low initial cost, only to charge more for “add-ons” which result in a much higher cost of LASIK than the price that was initially quoted. At Las Vegas Eye Institute we do not have a multiple tiered pricing programs like you may find at other LASIK providers. This means that whether you opt for PRK or LASIK or need some mild dry eye treatment after your procedure, you will not incur any additional costs for any necessary post-operative treatments. At Las Vegas Eye Institute, we strive to provide a premium LASIK experience which includes transparency in pricing. We do not want people to find out after the fact that any additional services they may need to get the optimal visual results are not included in the price they paid. At Las Vegas Eye Institute, our standard LASIK price for all patients includes:
- Wavefront Guided Excimer LASER treatment utilizing the Visx iDesign 2.0 Topography integrated treatment algorithm (also known as Custom LASIK)
- Femtosecond LASER flap creation with the Zeiss Visumax 500 kHz platform
- Enhancements of all procedures (Wavefront Guided if appropriate) for the first 2 years if needed (generally enhancements are not needed due to high accuracy of the iDesign 2.0 platform)
- PRK Procedures with advanced alcohol assisted epithelium removal and MMC placement
- Punctal plug placement if indicated (permanent or 3 month or 6 month dissolvable) to alleviate temporary eye dryness
At Las Vegas Eye Institute, Custom LASIK is included with each LASIK procedure at no additional cost. With Custom LASIK, specific data points unique to your eyes are taken into consideration when planning your LASIK procedure. Small abnormalities in your eyes are measured with the advanced technological device called the iDesign 2.0. The iDesign 2.0 was FDA approved in 2018 and can capture over 1,200 data points to design your LASIK treatment while older technology can only capture about 250. With this device, treatments are customized to patients individual eyes and provide better visual results than that offered by older technology.
You will notice that at Las Vegas Eye Institue, Dr. Swanic does not offer LASIK procedures that are performed with a blade (known as a microkeratome). Although the microkeratome is an excellent device that Dr. Swanic previously utilized, he feels that with recent advances in technology, the new Visumax femtosecond platform which is a bladeless, all-laser platform, provides for a significant improvement in the safety of LASIK. The Visumax platform, in particular, is also remarkable in that the flap thickness can be programmed to any depth that Dr. Swanic customizes for your case and it is accurate to a 3-micron standard deviation. This means that most flaps should be within 3 microns of target and nearly all flaps should be within 10 microns of target. To give you a frame of reference one strand of human hair is 75 microns in thickness. The accuracy of modern all-laser LASIK is truly marvelous.
Some patients may experience a temporary period of eye dryness that can make vision initially slightly less clear than targeted or provide mild discomfort in the weeks following the LASIK procedure. The good news is that at Las Vegas Eye Institute, we treat your case according to your individual needs and provide punctal occlusion at no additional cost if we find that it may be helpful after the procedure. Prior to Dr. Swanic starting his own ophthalmology practice in 2013, he worked at other ophthalmology practices where patients are told to pay for punctal occlusion at the time they sign up for their LASIK procedure as an add-on to the initial LASIK cost. We do not do this at Las Vegas Eye Institute because this is not necessary for many patients and it is not easy to predict prior to the LASIK procedure who will need this service. Regardless, patients of Las Vegas Eye Institute can rest assured that punctal occlusion, if necessary, is an included portion of your procedure. Some patients may benefit from very short-acting plugs that dissolve in 3 months or 6 months. These are simple to place and you will not feel them at all. Dr. Swanic also utilizes permanent plugs that are made of silicone, but we don’t use them often for our LASIK patients. The reason is that the dryness of LASIK is temporary and is usually fully resolved by 6 months. Also, permanent plugs can be felt by a small percentage of patients after placement for about the first week, so we would prefer to only use them for patients that really need them.
Our treatments all include 2 years of LASIK enhancements if needed. Fortunately, with the new Visx iDesign 2.0 platform our current enhancement rate is well under 5%. Again we feel asking patients to pay for some form of “assurance” enhancement package doesn’t make sense because the vast majority of patients will never need it. Ultimately, when choosing the right doctor to perform your LASIK surgery, finding the right surgeon is more important than price. Dr. Swanic completed his ophthalmology residency at Tufts, his refractive surgery fellowship at UCLA and is dedicated to providing the highest and most technologically advanced level of care to all his patients.
Want to know more about LASIK? Read the next article in our LASIK series: How Long Does LASIK Last?