29 July 2021
Should you go abroad for laser eye surgery?
A lot of the comments we hear from prospective patients focus on the cost of laser eye surgery. At Optimax, we are proud to offer one fixed price of £1,795* per eye for all laser eye surgery treatments. This is regardless of your prescription and of whether you opt for LASIK or LASEK. It doesn’t cost us more as a company to treat patients with higher prescriptions, so we keep our price transparent and fixed to reflect that.
People’s main motivation for heading abroad for their laser eye surgery comes down to money. The procedure is often cheaper in some European countries, and people might think that they might get to enjoy a holiday while they’re out there. But is a holiday reason enough to fly abroad for your laser eye surgery? Read on to discover our top 5 recommendations for staying in the UK for your vision correction treatment.
1. Cost of flights and hotels (and travel insurance…)
Yes, you might save £1,000-£2,000 on the cost of the treatment itself, but what about the cost of travelling to and from your chosen country? You’ll also need to pay for somewhere to stay while you’re out there, which could be up to a week if you continue to visit the clinic for aftercare appointments in the days following your procedure. At Optimax, we have 20 clinics around the UK so you’re sure to find one close to you, preventing unnecessary expense when it comes to hotels.
There is also the issue of travel insurance – many companies won’t cover you if you’re travelling abroad for an elective medical procedure. If you stay in the UK, however, you won’t need travel insurance and you can remove this hassle entirely! By the time you add the cost of your flights, insurance and accommodation to the price of your treatment abroad, you’re probably not saving anything on our fixed price of £1,795 per eye.
2. Difficult to attend aftercare appointments
At Optimax, we have a comprehensive aftercare programme for our laser eye surgery patients. You can expect to be seen by an optometrist for your first aftercare appointment after 1 day if you had LASIK surgery, or 3-5 days if you had LASEK surgery. Following that, you will be seen after:
- 7-14 days
- 1 month
- 3 months (and then discharged if your result is satisfactory)
By seeing our patients regularly, we can check their healing progress and ensure that their visual result following surgery is as good as possible. If you went abroad for treatment, how likely are you to visit your clinic a couple of weeks, a month, and three months after surgery? If, for whatever reason, your eyes weren’t healing as expected, how could your surgeon or optometrist be able to give you relevant treatment if they aren’t examining your eyes? A lot of providers here, including Optimax, don’t provide follow-up care to patients treated in other clinics, so you may have some difficulty in seeking further aftercare, should you need it.
3. Healthcare regulations
There is no global regulatory body for laser eye surgery so it’s important to ensure that the clinic you’re visiting – regardless of the country it’s in – is performing surgery safely and at a high standard. In the UK, the CQC (Care Quality Commission) regularly inspects providers of private healthcare, including all 20 Optimax clinics. This ensures that we are providing clean, safe and comfortable spaces, with a high level of care to our patients. Being held accountable by an independent body also provides our patients with peace of mind, compared to them merely relying on word-of-mouth to select a provider abroad.
Further to this, in the UK, all surgeons must be on the General Medical Council’s register. All Optimax surgeons are members of the Royal College of Surgeons or Royal College of Ophthalmologists, which again gives you peace of mind. Other countries don’t necessarily have the same requirements in place and therefore it can be difficult to find out exactly how qualified your surgeon abroad is. You can read about our laser and lens surgeons to learn more about their qualifications and experience.
4. Visiting the clinic beforehand
One of the main benefits of booking your treatment in the UK is that you can visit your chosen provider beforehand. There’s nothing quite like visiting your clinic to ensure that you feel comfortable and relaxed about treatment day. This also gives you the opportunity to meet the team, including our patient advisors, clinic managers, and your surgeon before treatment day.
Coming into the clinic for a consultation prior to your actual surgery allows us to perform a range of tests and examinations on your eyes. This determines your eye health and ultimately tells us if you’re suitable for treatment. If you travel abroad for your treatment, these eye examinations might not be carried out until just before surgery, leaving you having paid for your travel and accommodation but potentially being unsuitable for treatment.
5. No Lifetime Aftercare Guarantee
At Optimax, we offer a Lifetime Aftercare Guarantee. This is our guarantee to you that, should you need any additional care or treatment as recommended by our medical team, it will be provided to you by Optimax. This is something that a lot of other providers don’t offer, particularly when it comes to clinics overseas.
Even if your chosen clinic abroad did offer some kind of aftercare guarantee, in the scenario that you find yourself needing re-treatment, you would still need to fly out to the clinic again and re-start the entire treatment process. Visiting somewhere closer to home is much more convenient and allows you to come in for check-ups if you notice any changes to your vision.
Taking the next step to treatment
Ultimately, where you choose to have treatment is your choice. The above points are just something to take into consideration when it comes to picking your provider. Above all, it’s important that you feel comfortable with your choice and that you are choosing a vision correction treatment that will work for you.
If you’d like to find out more about the available treatment options at Optimax, give us a call on 0800 093 1110, book your free no-obligation consultation online, or request your free info pack. We are happy to chat through your options with you and we pride ourselves on our no-pressure approach when it comes to giving consultation attendees further information. We hope to see you for a consultation soon!
*All prices are correct as of July 2021 but are subject to change. Please visit our treatment cost page for the most up-to-date prices.