eye and retina

Experiencing floaters or flashes of light in your field of vision? Chances are that you have a retinal detachment. It means your retina is pulled or lifted from its normal position. If not treated, such displacement can lead to blindness.

Fortunately, you can fix the said condition through surgery. Of course, after confirming that you are indeed experiencing retinal detachment.

That said, how much does retinal detachment surgery cost?

Average Retinal Detachment Surgery Cost

Most hospitals or optical centers in the US don’t publish their retina surgery rate. But according to HowMuchIsIt.Org, the average price to about $2,000 to $9,000 (per eye). This is the probable cost of the procedure provided that you are not covered by insurance. It will most likely include the hospital and professional fees.

Cost Factors

One factor that affects the retina surgery rate is the severity of the damage. With early detection, your ophthalmologist may find a tear in your retina and will fix it before it can lead to total detachment.

Repairing a tear requires methods that are different with the ones for retinal detachment. Thus, the former’s procedure costs will also vary.

However, those who are already diagnosed with retinal detachment may undergo one of three surgical methods. The cost, thus, will depend on what procedure will be performed by your doctor.

Your geographical location also affects the cost. It can be depending on the US state you’re in. Or it will vary based on the country you choose (if you opt for a medical tourism)

Retinal detachment vector diagram

Sample Prices

The best way to know the exact detached retina surgery cost is through asking the optical center or hospital. Unfortunately, you will likely get a pricing only for the surgery and the doctor’s fee.

That said, you should expect to pay more for other expenses such as fees for laboratory tests, anesthesia, and check-ups. These payables depend on where you wish to undergo the surgery.

Retina Orange County, an ophthalmology center based in California, posted their pricing online. The list shows the costs of different services including exams and office procedures.

As for services related to retinal detachment, the optical clinic has the following prices:

  • Repair of a complex retinal detachment: $3,955.86
  • Laser repair of retinal detachment: $1,671.76
  • Prophylaxis of retinal detachment: $1,222.02

As this is only a sample, the above optical center might change their prices anytime. The same is true with other clinics. So, if possible, know the costs beforehand so you can choose what you think will be the most cost-effective.

Medical Tourism

If you’re looking for a cheaper detached retina surgery cost, you may opt to get a surgery abroad. And if you’re good in searching for a health center, chances are that your retina will be fixed by a professional while you only pay half the price.

That said, it’s also rare that hospitals abroad post their pricing online. Fortunately, there are references such as HealthTourism.com that may aid you to at least find what hospital or optical center to ask.

One of the centers with available pricing on the said site is Sourasky Medical Center. This public university hospital is located in Israel. Their retinal detachment surgery costs about $2,350.

Another option with available prices online is the Artemis Health Institute in India. Their retinal detachment surgery costs about $2,600 per eye.

All other hospitals abroad listed on the site did not post prices. Nevertheless, the costs are available upon request.

Note that the above prices will likely cover expenses related to the surgery. Checkups before it and aftercare are not included in the expected costs. Transportation is also not included.

Additional Costs

Retinal detachment surgery may not work the first time. That said, you may end up needing a second treatment, and that spells a new set of expenses. Necessary tests, like checking the retina using an ophthalmoscope and ultrasound will also add up to the cost.

Furthermore, a hospital surgery that requires a general anesthesia will also increase the total price.

Retinal Detachment Surgery With Insurance

Most companies will likely cover the procedure as long as it is medically necessary. Note that you need a medical insurance to get a coverage. Having a vision insurance might not be enough as this plan will only pay for glasses, contacts, and an eye exam but not for health-related vision problems.

If you already have a medical insurance, review your contract with them. Much better, call them to confirm how much of the procedures cost is covered by your plan. Also, make sure that your hospital and insurance company are well-coordinated to avoid discrepancies. That said, do not forget to log all transactions and keep all hospital bills and receipts.

Being covered by insurance will likely cost you as low as only $100 for the surgery.

What To Expect?

Most retinal detachment surgeries are out-patient procedures. That means you don’t have to stay overnight in the hospital after your retina is fixed by an eye surgeon.

What will happen during the surgery itself will vary depending on the method your doctor prefers to use. For a retinal detachment, you may undergo pneumatic retinopexy or use of a gas bubble to press the detached retina. Or your treatment will involve a piece of silicone sponge, rubber, or semi-hard plastic (scleral buckling surgery). Or the specialist may opt for a vitrectomy or the removal of the vitreous gel from your eye. Your surgeon will choose a procedure depending on your retina’s condition.

The procedure will also likely involve using general anesthesia. The risks associated with that include breathing problems and reactions to some medicines.

While most retinal detachment surgeries are successful, it is not 100% certain that you will recover your full vision. That is especially true if your case is severe and complex.

Also, it may be difficult to restore vision if you are suffering from other eye problems.

According to the National Eye Institute, results are best if the surgery is performed by your surgeon before the macula detaches. That said, you should seek medical advice as soon as you experience the symptoms related to the condition. Better yet, maintain a regular eye check-up to detect problems before they become worse. 

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