We all make calculations in our lives from time to time around a wide range of choices trying to decide if something is worth doing. We weigh several factors as part of our decision-making process to compare one possible outcome versus another. If you have vision issues of any kind, one of these life calculations is determining if LASIK surgery is worth it.

At Providence Eye, we want you to make the very best medical, financial and lifestyle choice that is right for you. When it comes to determining if LASIK is worth it, there are a variety of things to consider as you contemplate this decision. Some of the most common are related to costs, quality of life and safety.

Is LASIK Worth the Cost?

If you’re considering LASIK to eliminate the need for contacts or prescription glasses, there are several tools available that may help you with this calculation. If you look at how much you are already paying per year for your contact lenses, contact solution and backup glasses, you will see that you can break even quickly with the lifetime benefits of LASIK.

As you can see, the average cost per year associated with contacts and glasses is around $1,100. The national average cost of LASIK, a one-time procedure, is around $5,000. By doing the math, you see that you break even financially in less than five years versus spending approximately $28,000 over 20 years without LASIK surgery. You can learn more about the cost of LASIK and its return on investment here.

Is LASIK Worth It for Improved Quality of Life?

But the cost isn’t the only consideration when trying to determine if LASIK is worth it. There’s the matter of convenience, which is really about time–something we can’t get back once we’ve used it.

Think of the time associated with exams and trips to purchase all the items related to taking care of your contacts or eyeglasses, not to mention the time accumulated for putting your contacts in and taking them out regularly. With LASIK, you can repurpose all that time on other fun or important things. When compared to everything associated with wearing contacts or prescription glasses, having LASIK is actually a quality-of-life issue. Can you put a price on time and convenience in the busy world we live in?

Is LASIK Worth the Risk?

In addition to cost and quality of life, you may also consider whether you want a medical procedure. LASIK is an extremely safe surgery. By some estimates, more than 700,000 LASIK procedures are performed each year in the U.S. According to Market Scope, around 10 million Americans have had LASIK surgery since the FDA first approved it in 1999. From 2009 – 2014 the FDA, the National Eye Institute (NEI), and the Department of Defense (DoD) launched the LASIK Quality of Life Collaboration Project (LQOLCP) to better understand the potential risk of severe problems that can result from LASIK.

The FDA collected data from over 700 people who had undergone LASIK surgery. More than 95% of the participants were satisfied with their vision following the procedure. Thousands of clinical studies have examined visual acuity and patient satisfaction. The latest research reports that 99% of patients achieve better than 20/40 vision, and more than 90% achieve 20/20 or better. In addition, LASIK has an unprecedented 96% patient satisfaction rate – the highest of any elective procedure.*

According to the American Refractive Surgery Council, the confidence in LASIK as safe and effective is built upon the fact that it is one of the most studied elective procedures performed today:

  • From 1993-2005, more than 9,000 patients participated in FDA clinical trials testing LASIK safety and outcomes.
  • Since then, more than 7,000 peer-reviewed published studies confirm the procedure is both safe and effective, as well as analyze other important aspects of LASIK.

At Providence Eye, we offer an enhancement policy that we commonly refer to as our 20/happy policy. If you are not 20/happy and are medically suited for LASIK enhancement surgery, Dr. Mozayeni or Dr. Nunnery will be happy to perform your enhancement for a nominal fee.

Is LASIK Worth It? Getting the Answers You Need.

Even with all this information, only you can decide if LASIK is worth it. At Providence Eye, we want you to make sound medical and financial decisions. So, if you’re trying to decide if you want to pursue LASIK, let’s talk. We take the time to review every aspect of what you can expect from your experience with us. It starts with a comprehensive, two-hour free consultation directly with your actual LASIK surgeon, not a technician or optometrist. We strive to make this a relaxed, educational and conversational experience where you have all your questions answered. Ultimately, it’s about what’s right for you, your vision and your lifestyle.

*Journal of Cataract & Refractive Surgery, Vol. 42, Issue 8, August 2016, Pages 1224-1234

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