Laser Eye Surgery in Vancouver: Everything You Need to Know
More and more Canadians are choosing laser eye surgery to correct their vision. Laser eye surgery is a popular procedure that corrects vision problems caused by refractive errors, including astigmatism, hyperopia (far-sightedness) and myopia (near-sightedness) as well as presbyopia (age-induced far-sightedness). For those who dream of better vision without glasses or contact lenses, laser eye surgery can be a life-changing experience. While it is considered safe and effective with a high success rate, it is a big decision that should be carefully researched with many factors to consider including the best service providers, surgery cost and financing options. We’re sharing the key elements that you should examine to help you make your decision.
Vancouver’s Best Laser Eye Surgery Centres
When deciding on where to get your laser eye procedure done, we recommend doing all four of the following, if possible: 1) Check out online reviews 2) Speak with those in your network who have had laser eye surgery in Vancouver 3) Get recommendations from your eye doctor 4) Visit each one of your shortlisted options in person Below are our top 3 recommended laser eye surgery locations and doctors in (and around) Vancouver.
Pacific Laser Eye Centre
Location: 1401 West Broadway, 5th floor
Online rating: 4.6 stars and 96 Google reviews
Recommended ophthalmologists: Dr. Simon Holland (4.3 stars and 57 votes on RateMds) and Dr. David Lin (4.1 stars and 28 votes on RateMds)
Location: 101-1281 West Georgia Street
Online rating: 4.6 stars and 134 Google Reviews
Recommended ophthalmologist: Dr. Ghislain André Boudreault (4.7 stars and 37 votes on RateMds)
London Eye Centre (New Westminster)
Location: 918 12th St, New Westminster
Online rating: 4.6 stars and 107 Google Reviews
Recommended ophthalmologist: Dr. Nawaaz Nathoo (4.8 stars and 25 votes on RateMds)
It’s also worth noting that all three of these clinics have been voted as “Best Laser Eye Centre” in the Georgia Straight’s annual Best of Vancouver awards.
Cost of Laser Eye Surgery In Vancouver
When it comes to cost, you can expect a wide range. Laser eye surgery starts around $500 and can go up to thousands of dollars per eye. The average price runs at around $2000 per eye. Pricing varies depending on a few variables. Factors that may influence the cost of the surgery include the surgeon’s experience, the type of laser technology that is used, the strength of your vision prescription and the overall procedure involved.
Always find out what is included in the cost of the surgery beforehand. We also recommend finding out about any associated costs that may be incurred before or after the procedure.
Some laser eye surgery centres provide complimentary consultations and eye testing before and after the operation. Costs that aren’t usually included in the surgery are prescription medication, protective glasses, bandage contact lenses or potential future vision enhancement surgeries that may be required.
Financing Your Laser Eye Surgery
Laser eye surgery can be a significant expense for some people and unfortunately, MSP does not cover the cost of the operation. The only exception is cataract surgery which is covered by the provincial health plan. But before you decide that it isn’t within your budget, know that you might have a few other financing avenues.
Some laser eye centres offer payment plans. Lasik MD, for example, offers an interest-free 2-year payment plan as well as a 5-year payment plan. Ask the prospective laser eye centres about payment plan options.
Because laser eye surgery is categorized as an elective procedure, it isn’t typically covered under insurance policies. However, those who have a comprehensive health benefits package through their employer may be able to take advantage of full or partial coverage for vision correction procedures. It’s worth speaking to your benefits representative to find out if you are covered.
Health Spending Accounts
If you’re a small business owner with a Health Spending Account (HSA), you’re in luck. Laser eye surgery qualifies as an eligible expense under a Health Spending Account (HSA). Therefore the entire cost can be deducted as a pre-tax expense, instead of an after-tax personal medical expense.
Suitable Candidates For Laser Eye Surgery
Not everyone is an ideal candidate for laser eye surgery. The qualifications of a suitable candidate for laser eye surgery usually include the following:
You must be at least 18 years of age
You should have low prescriptions of under six diopters
You should have a stable eyeglass or contact lenses prescription for the past 2-3 years
You should have minimal astigmatism and normal corneas
You should not be pregnant or nursing
You should have no significant ocular disease or injury.
You should have a strong immune system (which rules out those with collagen vascular disease, lupus or rheumatoid arthritis) to avoid complications during the healing phase.
Pre-Surgery Consultation And Post-Surgery Care
Ask your eye doctor for a laser eye surgery consultation or a comprehensive eye exam to find out whether laser eye surgery is recommended for you. Your eye doctor will inform you of expected outcomes, potential risks, probable healing duration, temporary lifestyle changes and any other factors that would best prepare you for the procedure.
Post-surgery visits with your optometrist help ensure a full recovery, with check-ups required at 1 week, 1 month, 2 months, 3 months, 6 months and finally 1 year after your surgery.
At Della Optique, we provide both pre and post-operative services. Book your pre-operative consultation here.