How Much Does LASIK Surgery Cost in Singapore?
Jan 20, 2021
It’s no secret that LASIK surgery is a life-changing procedure, but many people are hesitant to undergo this surgery because of the high cost.
Unfortunately, LASIK surgery can be prohibitively expensive for some people.
It’s hard to know what the best option is when it comes to LASIK surgery. Do you go with a private clinic or the public health route? How much will it cost?
This article breaks down the cost of LASIK surgery in Singapore and compares the options available to you. We also provide advice on making the most of your surgery experience, and choosing the best eye care clinic!
What is Lasik?
LASIK (laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis) is a type of refractive surgery that is used to correct common vision problems such as:
The surgery involves using a laser to reshape the cornea, which is the clear outer layer of the eye. Your cornea is like a camera lens.
If it gets damaged, the pictures it renders become unclear.
LASIK surgery aims to solve that. Here’s how the procedure works:
- First, the surgeon will create a thin flap on your cornea using a laser.
- Then, they will use the laser to reshape your cornea.
- After that, they will close the flap.
The whole surgery takes about 15-30 minutes per eye and is usually done on an outpatient basis. You will see results in a day or two, and you can get back to your daily routine immediately.
Tip: Avoid water and contact sports for the next 30 days – or more, according to your doctor’s advice.
Are there alternatives to basic Lasik surgery?
iLASIK is a newer, more advanced type of Lasik surgery. It uses a femtosecond laser to create the corneal flap. This laser is more accurate than the traditional microkeratome blade, resulting in a thinner and more uniform flap.
The iLASIK procedure is generally more expensive than regular LASIK, but the outcomes are often better.
Advanced Surface Ablation (Epi-LASIK, LASEK, PRK, TransPRK)
These alternative procedures involve removing the cornea’s outermost layer (epithelium) before reshaping the cornea with a laser.
The epithelium grows back quickly, so there is no need to create a flap. These procedures are often used for patients who:
- Have thin corneas
- Are not good candidates for Lasik surgery
- Experience very mild vision problems
Advanced surface ablation procedures generally cost less than Lasik surgery, but they have a longer recovery time and may not be as effective.
ReLEx SMILE (Refractive Lenticule Extraction, Small Incision Lenticule Extraction)
ReLEx SMILE is a newer type of LASIK surgery that uses a laser to create a small, round disc of tissue (lenticule) inside the cornea. The surgeon then removes the lenticule through a small incision in the side of the eye.
However, this method doesn’t work for:
- High astigmatism
- Low myopia
And it’s more expensive than LASIK.
Collagen Cross-Linking (CXL)
CXL is a new type of treatment that slows the progression of myopia (short-sightedness).
The procedure involves using ultraviolet light to cross-link the collagen fibres in the cornea. This makes the cornea stronger and less likely to change shape.
CXL is often done in combination with Lasik surgery or another refractive surgery.
The cost of CXL varies depending on the clinic, but it is generally more expensive than Lasik surgery.
How Much Does LASIK Surgery Cost in Singapore?
The cost of LASIK surgery in Singapore can range from $1,200 to $5,000+ excluding the initial consultations and follow-up. The exact cost will depend on the type of surgery you choose and the clinic you go to.
Private clinics tend to be more expensive than public hospitals. For example, at private clinics, the cost of iLASIK surgery starts at around $3,000.
Personal loans can be an option for those who need LASIK urgently.
At the Singapore National Eye Centre (SNEC), LASIK surgery costs start from $1,498, but the final price depends on your doctor’s seniority.
Here’s a quick comparison of the procedures we discussed above to help you make up your mind:
|LASIK||$2,980 to $4,500|
|iLASIK||$3,874 to $6,750|
|ASA||$3,599 to $4,000|
|ReLEx SMILE||$4,805 to $6,000|
|Post-procedure medication (if not included in package)||$50 to $100|
|CXL (add on)||$1,199 to $3,000|
The most common side-effects of LASIK surgery are:
- Dry eyes may be experienced because the surgery affects your tear ducts. This side-effect is temporary and can be treated with eye drops.
- Glare, halos, and double vision happen because of the way the light is bent when it enters your eye after surgery. These side-effects are also temporary and usually go away within a few months.
- Night vision problems may occur because the surgery changes the shape of your cornea. This side-effect is more common in people with high myopia.
In rare cases, LASIK surgery can cause:
- Corneal flap complications – when the corneal flap is not cut correctly, or it moves during healing
- Retinal detachment
If you experience these side effects, you should see your doctor immediately.
LASIK surgery is a safe and effective way to improve your vision. However, it’s essential to understand the risks and side effects before deciding to have the procedure.
Should You Get Lasik?
LASIK surgery is a good option for you if:
- You are over 18 years old.
- Your vision is stable.
- You don’t have any health conditions that could affect the surgery.
- You understand the risks and side effects of Lasik surgery.
If you’re not sure if Lasik surgery is right for you, talk to your doctor or an ophthalmologist. They will give you more information about the risks and benefits of the surgery.
For instance, LASIK surgery isn’t recommended if you:
- Are pregnant or breastfeeding.
- Have certain health conditions, such as presbyopia or dry eye syndrome.
- Take medications that could affect the surgery.
- Experience very high refractive error:
- Over 1000 degrees for myopia.
- Over 400 degrees for hyperopia and astigmatism.
- Have thin, steep or irregular corneas.
How to Choose a Clinic for Lasik Surgery
When you’re looking for a clinic for Lasik surgery, it’s essential to:
- Find a reputable clinic with experienced surgeons.
- Ask about the surgeon’s credentials.
- Make sure the clinic uses top-notch technology.
- Check if the clinic is accredited.
- Ask about the cost of Lasik surgery and what is included in the price.
- Read reviews from past patients.
Pro tip: Schedule a consultation with the surgeon before deciding. During your consultation, the surgeon will:
- Evaluate your vision.
- Perform a thorough eye examination.
- Discuss your expectations from the surgery.
- Recommend a type of Lasik surgery for you.
- Answer any questions you have about the surgery.
After your consultation, you’ll be able to decide if you want to have LASIK surgery at the clinic.
Lasik Cost at Private vs Public Clinics
The main difference between private and public clinics is the cost of LASIK surgery. In general, LASIK surgery is cheaper at public clinics. However, there is usually a long waiting list.
You may not want to wait that long:
Private clinics usually offer a wider range of LASIK surgery options and use more advanced technology.
The tables below compare the cost of LASIK surgery at private and public clinics in Singapore.
|Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH)||$1,200 to $1,795 + $159/ $164 (consultation)|
|National University Hospital (NUH)||$2,230 to $2,540 + $102 (assessment) + $50 to $100 (medication)|
|Singapore National Eye Centre (SNEC)||$1,498 to $1,766 + $85.60 (assessment) + $117.70 to $132.68 (consultation)|
|Atlas Eye Specialist Centre||$3,659 to $5,359|
|Asia Pacific Eye Centre||$2,986 to $4,805|
|LSE Eye Clinic||$3,198 to $4,375|
|Eagle Eye Centre||$3,250 to $3,450|
|Clearvision Eye Clinic||$3,988 to $5,188|
The initial consultation at private clinics is $100-$135, meaning it’s on par with that at public hospitals. However, the procedure itself costs up to 400% more in some cases. For instance, Lasik at Tan Tock Seng Hospital can be as low as $1,200, but you’ll have to fork out $5,359 for the same procedure at private eye care specialists.
The difference is significant even if you analyse just the lowest overall cost:
- $1,200 at TTSH vs:
- $2,986 at Asia Pacific Eye Centre
Can I Use Medisave to Pay for Lasik Surgery?
You can’t use your Medisave to pay for Lasik surgery unless:
- The difference between your two eyes is about 300 degrees (3 diopters).
- LASIK is used to correct abnormalities from prior treatments, such as cataract surgery.
- Your ophthalmologist determines that you are not suited for contact lenses or glasses.
Can I Use Insurance to Pay for LASIK Surgery?
Does insurance help to cover the costs of LASIK? Unfortunately, insurance doesn’t cover the cost of Lasik surgery. This is because insurance companies consider Lasik surgery an elective procedure, not something you need.
Besides, Singapore children wear glasses very young because myopia is prevalent here. So, your insurance company won’t understand why you need Lasik instead of simply wearing those glasses.
Nonetheless, it is possible to get a loan for your LASIK surgery at a low cost.
LASIK surgery is a safe and effective way to improve your vision. Medisave and insurance companies may not understand its benefits, but they’re there.
Imagine your life post-Lasik:
- Seeing clearly without glasses or contact lenses.
- Having more confidence and feeling better about yourself.
- Participating in activities that you couldn’t do before, such as swimming and playing sports.
- Falling asleep while reading in bed.
Besides, Lasik may not be an elective procedure at all if you can’t wear glasses or contacts. For example, if you’re a cardio fitness instructor, glasses get in your way, and you might not tolerate contact lenses. In this case, Lasik may be your only option.
But you should be allowed to have Lasik even if it’s not your last resort.
Convenience and asthetics are valid reasons too.
Either way, GS Credit can help. Instead of emptying your savings for your LASIK procedure, let GS Credit help you with our affordable monthly installment loans. Make payment at ease, worry-free! Besides, our Medical Loan package is specifically crafted to help you pay for procedures like LASIK.