Refractive Surgery & Vision Correction
Find your care
Why choose UCLA Health for vision correction?
Refractive surgeons specialize in diagnosing and treating conditions that affect vision. Our specialists are part of the UCLA Health's Stein and Doheny Eye Institutes, which rank among the top in the nation every year for ophthalmology care by U.S. News & World Report.
Highlights of our program include:
Groundbreaking discoveries: Specialists at the Laser Refractive Center pioneered several techniques for treating vision problems. LRC was one of a limited number of sites selected to participate in US Food and Drug Administration clinical trials of excimer laser technology, the foundation of modern LASIK and PRK. The LRC was the first site in Los Angeles to apply laser treatment to correct myopia (nearsightedness) and astigmatism (irregular eye curvature). LRC doctors also developed widely-used nomograms for PCRI/AK.
Advanced techniques: We perform a variety of advanced techniques to correct vision problems, including laser technology. Our specialists use the most effective approach to achieve each patient’s vision goals.
Research focus: Our specialists are active researchers who continually advance care by studying new treatment options. By participating in clinical trials, we can offer access to promising new therapies for eligible patients.
Cost transparency: We publish surgical costs on our website and don’t have hidden fees. Our out-of-pocket costs are lower than the national average, even for advanced treatment options.
Our services and costs
Our doctors perform vision correction surgery at the Laser Refractive Center. This full-service vision correction facility is as beautiful and welcoming as it is advanced. Since the Center opened in 1995, our specialists have been at the forefront of discoveries in refractive surgery. We use state-of-the-art technologies and advanced techniques to treat conditions that impair vision.
We offer a free screening consultation to determine if you’re eligible for laser vision correction. You should bring your best pair of distance glasses to this appointment. If you wear contact lenses, bring information about the:
- Base curve
If you’ve had previous eye surgery, please bring all relevant details about the operation. You may request an operative report from your previous surgeon.
If you wear soft contact lenses, you must stop for at least three days before your appointment. If you wear rigid contact lenses, you must stop for at least three weeks before your appointment. With both types of lenses, the longer you can stop wearing them before your appointment, the better.
During the consultation, our ophthalmologists perform tests, including:
Biomicroscopic examination of the anterior segments: Doctors evaluate the front surface of the eye.
Refraction measurement: This test evaluates the severity of a refractive error.
If you move forward with surgery, you’ll meet with an eye doctor for a preoperative examination. There’s a $500 nonrefundable deposit due at the time of this service. We credit your deposit toward your overall surgical costs, but it’s not refundable if you don’t have surgery.
Your eyes will be dilated for the preoperative evaluation. Bring sunglasses to your appointment. You may need to arrange for someone to drive you home after the evaluation.
During the preoperative evaluation, our surgeons repeat the two tests from the screening evaluation to confirm their initial findings. They’ll use additional tests such as:
Corneal topography and thickness measurements: The doctor measures the thickness, shape and curvature of the outer eye surface (cornea).
Dilated pupil examination of the posterior segments: The doctor uses eye drops to enlarge your pupils and examine the back of your eye.
Intraocular pressure checks: The doctor evaluates the fluid pressure in each eye.
If you’re eligible and want to schedule surgery, our surgery coordinator will meet with you to make an appointment.
Costs of laser refractive surgery
Cost transparency is a priority for our team. We publish costs on our website and there are no upcharges in the office. All prices are final and reflect our use of the latest technology.
Procedures and total cost per eye
LASIK - $2,500
PRK - $2,500
SMILE - $2,500
PCRI/AK - $1,500
Corneal crosslinking - $4,600
Note that corneal crosslinking may be covered by some insurance plans. If it’s available to you, you may also pay for laser refractive surgery with funds from a health savings account. We offer discounted services for patients interested in surgery with a UCLA Health ophthalmology resident or fellow. If you’re interested in this option, you may speak with your doctor to learn more.
Refractive errors we treat
We diagnose and treat all refractive errors, including:
Astigmatism: Imperfect curvature of the eye, often causing blurred vision
Hyperopia (farsightedness): When distant objects appear clear but close objects appear blurry
Myopia (nearsightedness): When close objects appear clear but distant objects appear blurry
Presbyopia: A type of farsightedness associated with the natural aging process
Vision correction treatments we offer
Our specialists offer nonsurgical and surgical treatments for problems that affect the eye’s shape and impair vision. Nonsurgical treatments for refractive errors may include corrective eyeglasses or contact lenses.
Laser refractive surgery
We offer a number of vision correction surgeries (laser refractive surgeries), including:
LASIK and PRK: Surgeries such as laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis (LASIK) and photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) correct nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism by changing the shape of the cornea.
PCRI: Peripheral corneal relaxing incisions (PCRI) improves astigmatism by flattening parts of the cornea to make the eye curvature more uniform.
SMILE: Small incision lenticule extraction (SMILE) corrects nearsightedness by changing the shape of the eye.
Our expert refractive surgeons tailor treatment to meet your vision goals. We use the latest vision correction technologies, research new treatments and train the next generation of leaders.