Beware of Discount LASIK Eye Surgery in NJ & NY
Misleading LASIK Advertising | What to watch for
Expect to find a lot of competition in the field of LASIK eye surgery in NJ and NYC. You’re bound to run across many deceptive doctors in the Tri-State area. These “low cost” or discount LASIK centers are quite clever at advertising ridiculously low LASIK prices, such as $499 per eye. They may even advertise them as “free” just to attract new patients.
In reality, no experienced surgeon will perform LASIK eye surgery in NJ or NYC for $499 per eye! According to testimony in 2006 before a U.S. House Ways and Means Health Subcommittee, only about 3% of all LASIK procedures actually cost less than $1,000 per eye (even in 2006!). Don’t be fooled by these “teaser” discount LASIK pricing tactics without knowing what you will really get for that $499 price.
An old proverb says “forewarned is forearmed”. We want to give you a better understanding about what the “bargain basement” prices of these unscrupulous discount LASIK doctors include. More importantly, we want you to know what they do NOT include. Saving money in exchange for taking a greater risk with your eyes is not a wise choice!
Discount LASIK Eye Surgery in NJ & NYC – False Advertising
Excimer Lasers for eye surgery are not cheap. The latest generations of FDA-approved Excimer Lasers cost between $500,000 and $700,000. Then, there is an annual maintenance fee of $25,000 to $65,000 per year. The surgeon will need a $50,000 microkeratome for flap-cutting. If your LASIK surgeon offers the Intralase procedure (bladeless LASIK), he or she will need to have a second laser. When you factor in overhead expenses (i.e., rent, utilities, salaries for the staff, advertising, etc.), there is no way that the LASIK eye surgery in NJ or NYC can be done precisely or that the discount LASIK center can stay in business at $499 per eye!
How can they advertise and promote these discount LASIK prices if they’re not true? Call one of these discount centers for LASIK eye surgery in NJ or NYC and you will undoubtedly be told that their prices “start at $499 per eye.” As long as they offer this absurdly low price to at least one patient, it’s not against the law for them to advertise it to you.
The problem is that very few patients qualify for these discount LASIK prices. The deceptive advertising is simply a “bait and switch” technique to lure you in. As soon as they arouse your interest, the price will go up. Chances are that you will be too frustrated to change LASIK doctors at this point. Here’s how it works:
- Your prescription – The lowest “teaser” prices apply only to patients with prescriptions up to -1.0 (a small number of patients). Expect the price to increase from $250 to $500 for prescriptions between -1.25 and -2.0. Add $250 to $500 for prescriptions between -2.25 and -3.0. And add another $250 to $500 for prescriptions over -3.25.
- Farsighted? – The lowest “teaser” prices don’t apply to farsighted patients or those who have + prescriptions. If farsighted, expect your costs to begin at around $900 or $1,000 per eye.
- Astigmatism? – The majority of patients with poor eyesight have astigmatism. The low advertised price is only available to patients with no astigmatism. This will raise your LASIK cost by several hundred dollars per eye.
- Warranty? – A disreputable discount center for LASIK eye surgery in NJ or NYC may offer you some kind of “warranty” or “lifetime plan” in case you need any enhancement or “retreatment” after the initial LASIK surgery. This will increase your cost by several hundred dollars per eye. Most patients will never need an enhancement. However, if you do, your reputable LASIK surgeon may have already included it in the price.
- No Bladeless LASIK – Don’t expect Intralase, or “bladeless” LASIK (use of a second laser to cut the corneal flap), to be included in this low price.
- No Custom LASIK – Don’t expect to get Custom (Wavefront) LASIK for this low price. More than half of all LASIK surgeries today use the Custom LASIK procedure and prices begin at an average of $1,500 per eye.
- Dry Eyes – If you suffer from dry eyes, expect to pay extra for the microscopic punctal plugs that can increase moisture in your eyes.
- Consultation extra – You may be charged for your initial consultation (usually free with most LASIK surgeons). The evaluation and testing may also be conducted by a lower-level staff member of the discount clinic for LASIK eye surgery in NJ or NYC. You may not actually meet your surgeon until the day he or she starts to operate on your eyes!
- Post-op care – Your discount LASIK package may include a very limited number of follow-up examinations. The cost will go up for Better post-operative care.
- Sub-standard equipment – The laser equipment the discount center for LASIK eye surgery in NJ or NYC uses to operate on your eyes may not be the newest FDA-approved laser technology.
When you are evaluated and quoted a price (for example, $1,500 per eye) by a reputable, experienced and highly-qualified LASIK surgeon, his or her price will include everything related to your LASIK surgery. “Everything” includes the LASIK surgeon’s fee, the cost of the sedative or anesthetic, the facility fee, the cost of your follow-up examinations, punctal plugs (if necessary), and the cost of any enhancements you may need to improve the results of your initial surgery.
IMPORTANT: Before you decide, get a WRITTEN breakdown of exactly what you are getting and how much it costs. You may find that the final price you would pay fore “discount” LASIK eye surgery in NJ or NYC is actually HIGHER than the price you would pay a highly-trained, skilled and respected surgeon who has your best interests at heart. LASIK is affordable and most trustworthy LASIK surgeons will offer you payment plans and financing to help you with the expense. Don’t give in to high-pressure sales tactics. Do your homework before you decide to go with the LASIK discounter.
How Deceptive LASIK Centers Cut Corners
Does the discount LASIK surgeon have the proper training and expertise to perform microsurgery on your eyes? Many “bait and switch” LASIK centers lure patients in the door to increase their business. Some are inexperienced or careless about patient screening.
Excimer Lasers are expensive and must be properly maintained, sterilized and re-calibrated. Because they are so expensive, you may discover that “low-cost” centers for LASIK eye surgery in NJ or NYC have cut corners on safety. They may have purchased used equipment or non-FDA approved lasers imported from another country.
These corner-cutting practices can be dangerous. If you place your vision in the hands of poorly-trained surgeons who perform LASIK eye surgery in NJ & NYC using sub-standard laser equipment, you could suffer from flap-related complications, equipment malfunctions, infections, scarring, or vision impairment that may be irreversible. Safety should always be foremost in your mind when considering laser eye surgery.
Other Deceptive LASIK Practices
Here are a few other ways you can determine if the discount center for LASIK eye surgery in NJ or NYC that you’ve visited is not being up-front with you.
- Results – If a LASIK doctor tells you that his or her success rate is 100% and that enhancements are never necessary, don’t fall for this tactic. No one can guarantee complete success in any surgery. However, a skilled and experienced LASIK surgeon will provide you with excellent results and will work with you until you’re completely satisfied.
- Awards – Be aware that doctors can buy “awards” from disreputable organizations. Organizations that rank LASIK surgeons do not exist, so, if your surgeon claims to have such an award or rating, don’t give it any weight in your evaluation. Find out where your LASIK surgeon received training in corneal and refractive surgery.
Don’t Be Swayed by “Bargain” LASIK Surgeons
You may not even be a good candidate for LASIK eye surgery in NJ or NYC and only a highly-qualified, experienced LASIK surgeon can evaluate your unique eyes to determine what type of vision correction procedure will be best for you. If you are extremely nearsighted, the Visian ICL implantable contact lens may be a better option. If you are experiencing the beginning of cataracts, your surgeon may recommend lens replacement surgery. These options will most likely not be available from discount LASIK centers.
Don’t be swayed by aggressive advertising campaigns for LASIK eye surgery in NJ or NY without pursuing every available option. Trust your eyesight only to the best surgeons for LASIK eye surgery in NJ & NYC, such as Dr. Ilan Cohen and 5th Avenue Eye Center, with the best training, unparalleled expertise, and top-notch laser equipment. We don’t want you to regret making a decision that will affect your eyesight for the rest of your life based on cost alone.
We always welcome your calls at (212) 764-2020 or (866) 731-3937!