Show Me the Difference: Eye Surgery Cost Comparison by Country

map of the world

Paying for anything can be stressful, but it’s especially true for your health, and even more so when you’re debating if you should undergo a health-related treatment or procedure abroad. This is even more so for the eye surgery – where you can always find someone who braggs about getting it cheaper even with higher quality than yourself. In fact, we’d like to really show the evidence that eye surgery could be much cheaper in some countries compared to where you live – like United States or U.K. or even Singapore.

How Big is the Difference in Cost by Country When it Comes to Eye Surgery?

After talking to foreigners inside and outside of Korea, one thing is clear — saving money matters. No matter how specific or diverse or totally out-there a conversation topic may seem, the way people talk about healthcare, at its heart, often comes back around to the question of money. How much will this procedure cost? Does my insurance cover this? Will there be any hidden fees? 

At Jivaka Care, we’re committed to finding the best information for you (which includes the best prices, of course!) to help you navigate these kinds of questions while you’re far from home. Today’s post will do a simple cost comparison to give you an idea of the average prices of the three most popular kinds of eye surgery (LASEK, LASIK, and SMILE) around the world. If you want to learn more about the different kinds of eye surgery first, check out our article here. So let’s get out those calculators, folks! IT’S MATH TIME.

DON’T PANIC. We’ll get through this together

Today, we’ll focus on five of the most popular countries where corrective eye surgery is performed: the United Kingdom, the United States, India, South Korea, and Australia.

map of the world

The cost difference is bigger than you think

Not only are the eye surgeries themselves quite different, but the countries themselves are as well, especially when it comes to something like healthcare costs. Though your personal experience with eye surgery will depend on your current eye condition and the procedure you need, the figures below represent a rough idea of what the three main kinds of eye surgery cost on average in each of these five countries. Of course, if you need a more customized procedure to tackle your vision problems, it will cost more. For example, the price range could possibly double, depending on the amount of work that needs to be done to fix your eyesight. (Source: Docshop)

For now though, the prices below reflect the general cost of the procedure, assuming that nothing complicated is required during surgery. Also, you should be careful when you research, because some sources quoted the cost per eye, which makes some people think that getting the surgery done in the U.S. is just as expensive as in the U.K. or even South Korea. But when you look again, you realize that the U.S. number is the cost per eye, and that is an entirely different story in terms of prices. The numbers cited in the figures below, then, list the average total cost for both eyes.

First, here’s the country-by-country breakdown of the different eye surgeries. For consistency, all prices have been converted into USD.

Table comparing cost difference in eye surgery in different countries.

Eye surgery cost in South Korea is surprisingly low

As you can tell, the U.S. consistently ranks as the most expensive place to get laser eye surgery, and India is the cheapest. SMILE surgery — which is also the latest and least-invasive technique — is the most expensive kind to get, but the healing time is usually much faster and less painful than the others. Finally, compared to other countries, South Korea has well-known expertise in this field, and is the cheapest country after India, which makes it the perfect place for bargain hunters who want a lot of bang for their buck.

Based on these numbers, we decided to get fancy and make some charts to illustrate the average price difference between countries for each kind of surgery. Check them out! [Note: We could not find good, verifiable data for India’s average price of LASEK surgery, which is why there is no number for the first chart.]

Average cost of eye surgery by type:

eye surgery cost comparison by country: SMILEeye surgery cost comparison by country: LASEKeye surgery cost comparison by country: LASIK

See, that wasn’t so bad, right? Math can be fun!

For those of you who are interested in finding out more about what eye surgery is right for you, and what you can expect by getting it done in a place like South Korea, send us a message! You can chat with us 1:1 on Messenger or KakaoTalk, or drop us a line on our website.

Follow us on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and Youtube to stay up-to-date with our services and find answers to your health questions, or check out our website!

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