Question: I had cataract surgery and paid an extra $1200 per eye for toric lens implants to be put in. Was that a good price?
Answer: Patients having Cataract Surgery with advanced technology Lens Implants such as Toric Lens Implants to correct astigmatism need to understand and need to realize that what they are paying for in the incremental charges for these types of Lens Implants is NOT simply the cost of the Lens, but the significant amount of time and testing necessary to test, measure and calculate the best possible Lens Implant prescription and type to get the best possible results. This may require additional or supplemental biometry or eye length measurement, corneal curvature measure with one or more instrumental methods including corneal topography, in many cases aberrometry and further a careful and thorough analysis of tear film quality and quantity as this can have a meaningful impact on the visual outcome.
This testing requires staff, time and instruments-this costs money-above and beyond the cost of the Lens Implant itself and is often not a covered service by Medicare or insurance companies. To determine whether you got a "good price" ask yourself the question-"Can I see with good clarity at distance so I no longer am dependent on glasses?" If the answer is yes then you probably got a "good price" as you received the outcome you desired and thus "good value for money paid".
You are not alone in this question as many patients believe it is within their purview to "shop" for Lens Implants and seek the best price rather than targeting their efforts on getting the best results. This is a huge error in judgement. If you needed a heart valve replaced and the Cardiac Surgeon indicated that he or she could use the valve the insurance company provided and it would cost you nothing-BUT it would only allow you to do most things, but it wouldn't fully correct your heart defect. Or, you could pay $2,000 for an advanced technology heart valve that would give you cardiac function equal to a 25 year old...would you shop for the "best price on a heart valve". There is a growing and serious problem with patients "shopping price" as they are not equipped to make effective decisions regarding selection of medical devices used as surgical implants or otherwise.
This is NOT like buying a car or television where you can have buyers remorse and return it if you make an error or don't like the way it performs. Patients would be best served to find the best Cataract Surgeons who are trusted Cataract Surgeons and let them guide the most appropriate decisions in getting the best possible results. Rest assured that there is no free lunch and certainly no bargains in quality health care of any type-cataract surgery, heart surgery, brain surgery, orthopedic surgery or any other surgery that uses implantable medical devices.
Important Note: The information presented on the About Cataract Surgery Blog or provided in response to a request for information in the Ask Cataract Surgeons section on aboutcataractsurgery.com is not intended to diagnose or treat eye problems, eye conditions or eye diseases including appropriateness of treatment, risks, complications or side effects as related to Cataracts, Cataract Surgery of Lens Implants. In particular a response to an inquiry made on the Ask Cataract Surgeons section of aboutcataractsurgery.com is not meant to take the place of the professional medical care provided by your eye doctor, ophthalmologist and Cataract Surgeon surgeon. Contacting us via e-mail or any other means is not a substitute for medical care.