man lifting his glasses in amazement at his perfect vision from lasik

Advertisements for LASIK surgery at just $299 are everywhere, promising a quick fix to your visual impairments at a price that seems unbeatable. When it comes to the cost of LASIK eye surgery, the allure of a bargain price can be tempting. But, as the old adage goes, “if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.” In the case of LASIK, a price tag of $299 per eye is a red flag that should make you pause and consider what’s really included – and what’s not.


The Reality of $299 LASIK Deals…

Is that nobody actually pays $299 for LASIK.

The $299 LASIK price tag often serves as an introductory offer to draw people in. While it catches the eye, the reality behind this pricing is a classic case of bait-and-switch. Typically, this cost is just the starting point and includes only the most basic procedure under ideal conditions—conditions that apply to a fraction of patients.

The average cost of LASIK in the United States is $2,632 per eye.1 So how can some providers offer such a deep discount?

With LASIK (and most everything else), “You get what you pay for” is true. When you pay $299 for LASIK, what you don’t get is:

  • Astigmatism correction: Many discount shops charge extra for this common correction.
  • Upgraded technology: You may be charged more for all-laser or custom LASIK.
  • Follow-up exams and appointments: These may be additional costs.
  • Post-operative medication and supplies: You may need to pay out-of-pocket for these.
  • Warranty for touch-up procedures: You may be charged full price for any necessary re-treatments.

By the time you finish paying for “upgrades” (which are often necessary to achieve a favorable outcome from your LASIK surgery), the cost of “$299 LASIK” could be even higher than the national average. And you still won’t be getting everything a reputable ophthalmologist will offer.


Surgeon Experience: A Critical Factor

One of the biggest compromises made by “bargain” LASIK shops is the experience of the surgeon. A reputable ophthalmologist with extensive experience in LASIK surgery is essential for a successful outcome. However, many discount shops prioritize quantity over quality, with surgeons performing multiple procedures in a single day and sometimes never interacting personally with the patient. This can lead to a higher risk of complications, a lower success rate, and a poor patient experience.

In contrast, a skilled and experienced surgeon will meet with you personally for a consultation before your surgery is scheduled, take the time to evaluate your individual needs, discuss your options, and perform the procedure with precision and care. They will also be available for follow-up appointments and any necessary touch-ups.


Technology: The Latest Advancements Matter

Another area where bargain shops often cut corners is technology. While they may advertise “all-laser” or “custom” LASIK, the reality is that they may be using outdated equipment or software. This can result in less accurate and less effective procedures.

In contrast, a reputable ophthalmologist will invest in the latest technology, such as wavefront analysis imaging software, femtosecond lasers (instead of a manual blade), and advanced excimer lasers. These advancements enable more precise and personalized procedures, reducing the risk of complications and improving outcomes.


What a Reputable Ophthalmologist Will Offer

In contrast to the bargain LASIK shops, a reputable ophthalmologist will offer a comprehensive package that includes:

  • A thorough consultation and evaluation to determine candidacy for LASIK
  • A range of treatment options, including alternative procedures (e.g., PRK, EVO ICL™)
  • Experienced and skilled surgeons with a high rate of patient satisfaction
  • All-laser or custom LASIK technology for added precision and safety
  • Comprehensive package including:
    • All surgery fees
    • Follow-up exams and appointments
    • Post-operative medication and supplies
    • Warranty for touch-up procedures

Don’t Gamble with Your Vision: Invest in Quality LASIK Care

The allure of $299 LASIK is strong, but the stakes are too high when it comes to your vision. Quality treatment from experienced professionals using the latest technology is worth the investment. Remember, when a deal on a medical procedure seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Don’t let cost be the sole factor in choosing a LASIK provider. Reach out to Kovach Eye Institute in Chicago for a consultation where transparency, advanced care, and patient satisfaction are our top priorities. Schedule today and take the first step towards clear vision.



1Joffe SN. The 25th Anniversary of Laser Vision Correction in the United States. Clin Ophthalmol. 2021 Mar 17;15:1163-1172. doi: 10.2147/OPTH.S299752. PMID: 33762815; PMCID: PMC7982707. Available: Accessed April 26, 2024.