PRK surgery is a type of laser vision correction that has the potential to improve millions of patients' vision. Because the initial cost of laser eye surgery can seem high when compared to the cost of a three-month supply of contact lenses or new eyeglasses, many patients choose not to undergo these procedures. On average, conventional PRK eye surgery costs about $1,800 and custom PRK eye surgery can cost up to $4,000. However, the procedure has the potential to permanently improve your vision and eliminate your dependency on glasses and contact lenses.
The PRK Procedure
The PRK procedure is similar to the LASIK laser vision correction procedure. During both treatments, the cornea is reshaped to permanently correct myopic, hyperopic, and astigmatic refractive errors. The cornea is the transparent, protective covering of the eye that works with the lens to refract light and produce clear vision. When the cornea is too curved or too flat, light does not reflect properly off the retina, causing blurry vision.
During both the PRK and LASIK procedures, surgeons reshape the cornea with an FDA-approved excimer laser to improve the patient's ability to focus on near and far objects. However, in the PRK procedure, surgeons completely remove the epithelial layer (outermost layer of corneal tissue). In LASIK surgery, the doctor creates a hinged corneal flap that can be closed after the laser-reshaping portion of surgery is complete.
Custom PRK Costs
Because the custom PRK laser vision correction treatment employs use of additional technology, the cost of custom PRK is generally more expensive than traditional PRK surgery. Conventional PRK surgery typically costs about $1,800, while custom PRK surgery can be as high as $4,000.
Laser eye surgery procedures such as PRK are designed to permanently reshape the cornea to correct vision that is blurred due to nearsighted, farsighted, and astigmatic refractive errors. According to a 2008 report published by the National Eye Institute and Prevent Blindness America, more than 45 million people in the United States suffer from refractive errors. The majority of these Americans are good candidates for laser vision correction treatments such as PRK. Unfortunately, because PRK surgery does cost about $1,800 on average, many patients do not undergo treatment. The good news is that potential laser eye surgery patients can obtain vision financing to help them cover the cost of payment.
Consumers purchase a range of products and services that they cannot afford to pay for up front, but can afford over a certain period of time. When consumers want to purchase a car or need to pay a contractor to remodel their home, they typically apply for a loan or financing plan with a reputable company. The lending company will pay for the cost of the product or service, and the consumer will then owe the lender for the product or service, plus interest. Financing plan interest rates generally depend on the consumer's credit history and the amount of time it will take to pay off the loan.
Health care financing companies such as CareCredit offer vision financing plans for patients interested in undergoing PRK surgery. The plans allow you to pay off the cost of treatment over several months.
Contact a PRK Surgeon
Contact a local PRK surgeon to find out if you are a good candidate for PRK and obtain a price quote for treatment. The cost of PRK typically varies depending on the degree of your refractive errors.