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Average Laser eye surgery costs
LASIK surgery costs by clinic
Lens replacement surgery costs
Types of treatments
Payments before and after surgery
Factors affecting the price
Advice on trying to reduce the cost
Cost vs contact lenses
Laser eye surgery costs
Lens surgery costs
Price variations by clinic
Types of treatments
Payments before and after surgery
Factors affecting the price
Advice on trying to reduce the cost
Cost vs contact lenses
- 1st October 2021: Optimax price for IntraLase LASIK increased from £1,795 to £1,995.
- 8th Nov 2021: Monofocal & Multifocal lens surgery prices added.
- 4th Jan 2022: £200 price increase for LASIK surgery in Optegra and £150 increase for London Vision Clinic.
- 2nd Feb 2022: Center for Sight laser eye surgery price reduced to £2,450 to represent InstraLASIK (it was previously showing IntraLASIK Supracor for £2,675. London Vision Clinic price also increased by £150 to £2,750. Optegra Monofocal Lens price increased by £295 to £3,295 and multifocal increased by £100 to £3,595.
- July 2022: Increased the price of Optimax’s lens replacement surgery with monofocal lenses from £2,745 to £2,995.
- Aug 3rd 2023: Changed highest price of LASIK to £3,000
- Jan 27th 2023: Increased price of high profile LASIK (blade-free) treatment to £3,450 (previously £3,250) for Focus clinics. For Optimax and Ultralase, increased prices of monofocal and multifocal RLE from £2,745 to £2,945 and £3,245 respectively. For Optegra, increased multifocal RLE from £3,595 to £3,795.
The cost of “all-laser” bladeless LASIK eye surgery (the most common type of laser eye surgery in the UK) ranges from £1,695 to £3,000 per eye. The price will depend on the equipment used, the prescription of the patient and the clinic.
Range of laser eye surgery prices by treatment type
The range of costs charged by clinics for a the most popular types of refractive eye surgery are shown in the table below which illustrate thatLASIK surgery costsand ReLEX SMILE costs are typically higher that other treatment types.
|laser eye surgery Treatment||From||To|
* This price is from Optical Express. Only 23.4% of individual eyes assessed at consultation had a prescription which qualified for surgery at this low price.
In the price table above ‘Bladeless’ has been used to indicate the use of 3D scanning technology but this will often have a different name depending on the clinic and exact technology used (ie. iDesign for Optical Express, Intralase for Optimax, Wavefront for other clinics). Bladeless /Wavefront Surgery coststend to be higher than standard surgery.
How Much Does Laser Eye Surgery Cost In A Private Clinic?
The table below illustrates the prices charged by popular private clinics in the UK for blade free LASIK eye surgery start at £1,495 per eye.
As you can see, laser eye surgery prices are cheaper at the nationwide clinics (Optical Express, Optegra and Optimax) than at those clinics with only a single location or a handful of sites in the South East (Centre for Sight, Focus and the London Vision Clinic). You can see how the prices have been increasing over time by looking at the updates drop down above.
It is also worth noting that whilst some of the national clinics offer fixed prices by treatment type, other clinics and eye hospitals with fewer clinics will often charge a higher price for higher prescriptions or more complicated cases.
|Company||Treatment Name||Price Per Eye||Deposit||Interest Free|
|Optical Express||LASIK with iDesign||From £1,495||£500||10|
|Focus||LASIK (blade-free)||£2,400 – £3,450||£500||12|
|Center For Sight||IntraLASIK||£2,450||20%||24|
|London Vision Clinic||LASIK (blade-free)||£2,750 – £3,450||£500||24|
Prices per eye accurate as of 27th Jan 2023
Where a range of prices is charged depending on the patient, we have displayed the lowest price.
|Company||Price Per Eye|
|Optical Express||From £1,495|
|Focus||£2,400 – £3,450|
|Center For Sight||£2,450|
|London Vision Clinic||£2,750 – £3,450|
How Much Is Lens Replacement Surgery?
You will typically pay between £1,995 – £3,995 per eye for monofocal lens replacement surgery and between £3,195 – £4,500 for multifocal lens replacement surgery. The price will depend on the clinic and your prescription.
Cataracts surgerywould typically involves the same procedures and you can get more information on cataract treatments and prices here. If you are interested in implantable contact lens prices they are included in our guide tolens surgery costs.
|Clinic||Consultation||Monofocal (Per Eye)||Multifocal (Per Eye)|
|Center For Sight||£500||£3,150 – £3,995 **||£4,100 – £4,500 **|
*18.6% of patients assessed at consultation had one or both eyes with a prescription which qualified for surgery at this price point. ** Higher price is for Toric lenses which are required for higher prescriptions.
|Clinic||Monofocal (Per Eye)||Multifocal (Per Eye)|
|Center For Sight||£3,150 – £3,995||£4,100 – £4,500|
*18.6% of patients assessed at consultation had one or both eyes with a prescription which qualified for surgery at this price point.
** Higher price is for Toric lenses which are required for higher prescriptions.
Is Payment Finance Normally Offered?
All clinics will offer some sort of financing for their refractive surgery treatments to make it more affordable. Many will offer 0% finance over 10-12 months and if you would like to pay off the balance over a longer period in order to reduce the monthly payments you should expect to pay a deposit upfront and be charged between 10%-12% APR.
Always check the total amount you are repaying if you are getting finance – the low monthly repayments are attractive but you can end up paying more than a third more than the amount owed due to the interest rate. Below are a sample of finance deals available for the different treatment types.
|Treatment Type (Prices Are Per Eye)||Deposit||10 Months||24 Months|
|LASIK||10% or £500||£70 (0% APR)||£23 (11.5% APR)|
|LASEK (Wavefront)||10% or £500||£153 (0% APR)||£50 (11.5% APR)|
|LASIK (Wavefront)||10% or £500||£153 (0% APR)||£33 (11.5% APR)|
|ReLex SMILE||10% or £500||£188 (0% APR)||£94 (9.9% APR)|
|Treatment Type (Prices Are Per Eye)||Deposit||24 Months|
|LASIK||10% or £500||£23 (11.5% APR)|
|LASEK (Wavefront)||10% or £500||£50 (11.5% APR)|
|LASIK (Wavefront)||10% or £500||£33 (11.5% APR)|
|ReLex SMILE||10% or £500||£94 (9.9% APR)|
What Influences the Price of Laser Eye Surgery?
There are a number of additional factors that may influence the price you pay for laser eye surgery, including:
- Technology:If a clinic can offer the best state-of-the-art technology you can expect to pay more for these treatments.
- Type Of Procedure:Non-standard procedures such is the minimally invasive blade free ReLEx SMILE are more expensive than standard ones.
- Prescription & Complexity: Some clinics charge higher prices when patients have higher prescriptions or more complex cases. For example, Focus charges between £4,800 – £5,400 for both eyes for most of its LASIK patients but £6,000 for a specialist that is required due to patients having “high prescriptions, referred enhancements or previous surgery elsewhere, or other ocular considerations requiring specialist correction“.
- Location:Those clinics that just have clinics in the South East or London have higher prices than the national clinics.
- Company Size: Clinics with branches across the UK benefit from economies of scaleandcan often charge lower prices. Clinic’s with just one or two experienced surgeons will tend to be more expensive.
- Patient Care:When a clinic has an optometrist or optician carry out the initial assessments, this can reduce the costs compared to the surgeon doing this themselves. However, this doesn’t allow you to meet the surgeon and build a relationship with them prior to your surgery, which may make you feel less comfortable with the procedure.
- Aftercare: All clinics we looked at included are able to cut their costs by charging patients separately for their aftercare (this is something you’ll need to look out for when calculating the costs involved as it won’t be included in their headline price). See the table below for some example aftercare policies.
How Can I Get Cheap Laser Eye Surgery?
Given the cost of laser or lens replacement surgery is substantial, it is understandable people often look at ways to reduce the price if possible. We look at some of the ways this may be possible and if it’s advisable.
If The Treatments Are The Same, Shall I Look For The Cheapest Price?
It’s tempting to opt for a clinic offering thecheapest prices for laser eye surgerybut it is worth remembering that even if you are eligible for the cheapest treatment (many people will not qualify due to their prescription), it can cost you more in the long run physically and financially if it isn’t 100% effective.
Ensuring you’re being operated on by a fully-qualified surgeon in a renowned clinic is the safest way to make sure your surgery is high quality, safe and effective. If you really need to find cheap laser eye surgery, the best way would be to spread the cost out over several months or wait until you have enough to spend at one of the more affordable national clinics.
What are my cancellation rights?
Most clinics will offer a cooling-off period as recommended by the General Medical Council so you should be able to cancel after you’ve booked your treatment. There is no requirement that a clinic offers this cooling off period so it is very important you check their terms and conditions before booking. Also check if deposits can be refunded and under what circumstances.
When are the payments due?
This will vary between clinics and the timings of payments will often be buried in the terms and conditions.
Should I Wait For Discounts or Special Offers?
Theadvertising guidelinesfor refractive surgery by the Royal College of Ophthalmologists (published in April 2017 and reviewed in May 2018) have stated that clinics should not be offering:
- Time-limited deals
- Financial inducements
- Package deals, such as ‘buy one get one free’ or reduced prices for previous patients’ friends and family.
Therefore, it is unlikely the prices you see published on a clinics website will be reduced – in our experience they creep up with inflation.
Is Refractive Eye Surgery Covered By Insurance?
As a general rule, private health insurance companies likeAxa, Aviva, Vitality, Bupa, Cigna and Simply Healthwill not pay for laser eye surgery as it will be regarded as elective surgery (i.e. not medically required).However, there are exceptions so it is worth checking with your provider.
Some examples of where the costs may be covered by insurance include:
- If the refractive error (prescription) was due to a surgical procedure or injury.
- Where the refractive error is very high.
- If a lens intolerance or allergies prevent you wearing contact lenses or glasses.
If you are covered you may not get 100% of the fees paid for as there is likely to be an excess to pay and some policies will impose limits of the amount to pay out.
Can I Save Money Going Abroad For Cheaper Laser Eye Surgery?
A quick Google search for laser eye abroad will bring up various clinics in the Czech Republic, Turkey, Poland, Hungary etc that often advertise cheap laser eye surgery prices than the UK Clinics. However, from a cost perspective you will need to add on the extras would you spend on flights, accommodation, insurance to make a more accurate comparison on price. Also, it is likely you’ll need to take more time off work. Any aftercare requiring a visit back to the overseas clinic should also be calculated as it may be necessary.In short, it may not be cheaper when all elements are added in.
In addition, it is more difficult to know the quality of the treatment and aftercare you will get. You need to do in depth research on the exact treatment you will get, the quality and qualifications of the surgeon who will be performing the surgery, the reputation of the clinic, the ability of the staff to speak English and the healthcare regulations of the country.
In the end,most people decide it is not worth the risk given the cost savings are often negligible or non existent.
Furthermore, with potential language barriers and less rigorous quality checks in place, this can make the surgery far riskier. And, once you return to the UK, getting the right aftercare can be problematic.
Can I Get Laser Eye Surgery for Free on the NHS?
The NHS does not offer laser eye surgery for conditions that will be successfully treated through the use of contact lenses or glasses, e.g. hyperopia (farsightedness), myopia (nearsightedness) and astigmatism.
Eye conditions that are covered by the NHS for laser eye surgery include diabetic retinopathy (when blood vessels in the retina are damaged), some types of wet macular degeneration, thickening of the lens capsule which arises after cataract surgery and some specific corneal diseases, e.g. corneal erosions. You can get more information onlaser eye surgery covered in the NHS here.
Will I Save Money Compared To Buying Spectacles or Contact Lenses?
Whilst the cost for having laser eye surgery on both eyes can be in excess of £3,200it can work out to be a better financial decision than persisting with contact lenses or glasses.
If you spend £180 on glasses every 3 years, £175 per year on contact lenses (including solution) and £20 on an annual eye check up then laser eye surgery should start paying for itself after 14 years (assuming a price at £3,400).
Obviously the timeframes change if you are partial to more expensive glasses or go with a more expensive Harley Street clinic but it is worth working this out based on your personal circumstances.
Final Things to Think About
Cost is an important element in your decision-making process but should not be your main consideration when choosing a laser eye surgeon and/or clinic. When choosing a clinic, look for one that has a high success rate and a reputation for providing patients with the best possible care. Make sure that your surgeon meets thestandards set by the Royal College of Ophthalmologistsfor laser eye surgeons. Many good clinics will have financing options allowing you to pay for the surgery over several months so you don’t need to go with the cheapest.
It will be very wise to refrain from going to the first clinic that offers you an unbelievably low rate. Most of the time, the advertised fee doesn’t include other costs such as screening tests, eye exams, post-op medication and aftercare appointments. Always be aware of hidden costs.
Good research is essential to help you make the right decision. After all, laser eye surgery is a life-altering procedure. It requires a lot of serious thought to make sure you will have no regrets afterwards.
- Prices published on UK laser eye surgery clinics in August 2021.
- Small-Incision Lenticule Extraction (ReLEx SMILE). Medscape. emedicine.medscape.com (updated 27 June 2017)
- LASIK – laser eye surgery. American Academy of Ophthalmology. www.aao.org (published 12 December 2015)