Contact Lens Prices Out of Sight? A Cost versus Benefits Analysis of LASIK Surgery

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The prospect of waking up in the morning and being able to see clearly without reaching for a pair of glasses can become a reality after the LASIK procedure. Recent studies show that LASIK surgery is a highly predictable method to obtain better vision in a safe and efficient manner. Board-Certified Ophthalmologist Dr. Babak Shabatian explains how LASIK surgery can be a cost-effective corrective procedure for adults who wear glasses or contacts.

The cost of contact prescriptions, contact lens solution and glasses is often much higher than the cost of LASIK surgery, although it might initially seem expensive

Since it was first approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1998, LASIK surgery has revolutionized vision correction procedures with its ability to eliminate the need for glasses or contacts. LASIK has steadily gained in popularity with about 700,000 patients seeking the procedure annually. Approximately 145 million Americans are dependent on glasses or contacts to see clearly, and Los Angeles LASIK Surgeon Dr. Babak Shabatian said LASIK surgery is a possible option to correct vision problems. Qualified patients might find the cost of paying for glasses or contacts is eventually higher than the LASIK procedure, said Dr. Shabatian.

“The cost of contact prescriptions, contact lens solution and glasses is often much higher than the cost of surgery, although it might initially seem expensive,” said Dr. Shabatian.

The LASIK procedure is an outpatient surgery which is intended to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism in adults. The surgery has allowed millions of people worldwide to see clearly without glasses or contacts for everyday activities. During the procedure, the eye is numbed with topical anesthetic and held open with an eyelid holder, before a laser is used to reshape the cornea to improve how the eye focuses light onto the retina. A very thin flap of corneal tissue is lifted and folded back, and then an excimer laser is used to sculpt the corneal tissue. Once the laser has reshaped the cornea, the flap is put back in place without any need for stitches. After LASIK surgery, recovery time varies, but can patients can expect to have their vision improved right away.

Research has repeatedly shown the safety, efficacy and predictability of LASIK results, in the vast majority of patients who have been able to see clearly after the procedure. A study published in the journal Acta Ophthalmologica found that LASIK was safe, efficient, and produced predictable results, with 85 percent of patients obtaining 20/20 or better vision, and all patients having 20/25 vision or better after six months. Although all surgical procedures have inherent risks of complications, most patients are very pleased with their results. The FDA also has an ongoing study, The LASIK Quality of Life Project, to monitor and improve the safety and effectiveness of lasers used in the LASIK surgery.

Los Angeles LASIK surgeon Dr. Shabatian provides the following analysis of the costs versus the benefits of LASIK:

1) Vision insurance - A comprehensive eye exam is usually covered under vision insurance, although many consumers don’t have this type of coverage. Because LASIK is an elective procedure, it is usually not covered by health insurance.

2) Cost of corrective lenses, contact lens supplies, and solution - The costs of either glasses or contacts, and associated supplies or accessories, add up over time, and can be expected to increase with age-related vision impairments and inflation. Some LASIK patients will continue to need to wear glasses for reading or other activities, particularly older adults, but patients can still expect significant improvements.

3) Quality of life - Patients can expect to see clearly without glasses or contacts while driving, playing sports, working on the computer, or other activities.

To learn more about the potential benefits, risks, as well as complications of LASIK, visit


Dr. Babak Shabatian
Dr. Babak Shabatian is a Board-Certified Ophthalmic Surgeon who practices comprehensive ophthalmology with a focus on advanced cataract surgery and LASIK. He received his medical degree from Boston University School of Medicine and was Chief Resident at the prestigious North Shore – Long Island Jewish Hospital. He completed fellowship training in retina and vitreous diseases at SUNY Downstate and Kings County Hospital in Brooklyn, New York. He is frequently invited to lecture on topics of refractive and advanced cataract surgery. He has performed thousands of procedures with excellent and predictable results, and has a sense of compassion and positive energy with his patients. Dr. Shabatian states that eye surgery gives him the opportunity to transform lives in minutes, and he is committed to ensuring that his patients have a great experience at every level of their care.

About CaliEye
CaliEye has a team of committed, experienced professionals who offer only the greatest quality of care and safety to every one of our patients. Dr. Shabatian has performed thousands of procedures in Southern California using only the most state of the art equipment. CaliEye will address all of your questions and concerns with the highest level of respect and understanding. To learn more, call (310) 909-8880 or visit

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