The practice of many laser vision care providers and almost all corporate LASIK eye surgery centers is to up sell LASIK surgery. Basically, you go for LASIK surgery expecting to pay x and you leave getting custom bladeless wavefront guided wavefront optimized femtosecond laser assisted all laser LASIK for x + $1750. You are basically told the surgery that prompted your visit isn’t the best you can do for yourself. For a few thousand extra dollars you can get top of the line surgery. “After all…..these are your eyes!”, they say.
If you elect not to pay extra you get standard LASIK. If a surgeon really feels this is not the optimal surgery why is he/she performing a second best procedure electively on eyes that are entirely healthy except for some nearsightedness and astigmatism? Granted, different surgeons have different preferences and some like one laser platform and technique over another. I just don’t want an eye surgeon or a laservision corporation giving second best care if you don’t pay the extra money.
I’ve been asked to buy a warranty on a piece of electronics for y extra dollars. I don’t mind this practice because I am getting exactly the product I want. The extra money is for insurance that it won’t break before it become obsolete. I’ve been asked whether I wanted leather seats, a sun-roof, and undercoating for z extra dollars. I don’t mind that practice either because I am getting the car I want and I am choosing to pass on some luxuries that I don’t find important. When a surgeon tells me I have to pay more for the safer, more effective, and visually superior procedure I’m good with that. The fact that that same surgeon will perform the less safe, less effective and visually inferior procedure if I don’t have the money is just plain wrong. I feel those laser vision providers and LASIK Centers should instead send those patients home without surgery. If you can’t trust your doctor to provide the best care who can you trust?
Some people describe this as bait and switch. I would prefer bait and switch because it means the LASIK patient gets the best possible care. They just mislead you into visiting the center and then change the price. That is much better than pay me or get second level care.
In fact, the official name for this model is Tiered Pricing. At national meetings world famous surgeons have no compunction providing as many as four levels of care. While this does not technically violate the Hippocratic Oath, “Do no harm”, I suspect if Hippocrates was living today he would prefer, “Do what is best”.
This is just one reason I charge $3000 total for both eyes regardless of the procedure: LASIK, epi-LASIK, SBK, or Advanced Surface Ablation. You should not have to pay extra for the best procedure for your eyes.