Exposing the LASIK Scam

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 Post subject: I just came back from the psychologist
PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2006 4:22 pm 
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I have to admit I had never realized how depressed I have been due to all of this LASIK ordeal (terrible dry eyes). I has been two years since my problems started and I have gone through denial, rage, and I think I am finally experiencing acceptance. The onlything I can say is that if it wasn't for communities like this I don't think I would have been able to deal with the terrible emotional pain this bad LASIK outcome has caused on my emotions.

I wrote in a previous post about a friend that had retinal detachments and is now contemplating catarats surgery (alll because of LASIK). That almost trew me to the floor of depression, I just couldn't deal with that anymore so I had to go to the therapist to vent my distress.

I can only pray for all of us and ask God to help us find remedies for our difficult situation. Today I am calling a local blood bank to get autologous serum to instill it in my extremely dry eyes. Anyway, good luck to all and may we find relief in a near future.

Zelly,

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2006 1:26 am 
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Jessica,

Life is hard enough without the everyday stress of painful dry eyes and/or horribly aberrated vision. (In my case it's "and"). :(

I experienced all of those emotions, too. Denial, panic, anger, sadness. I think I'm past most of those emotions with the exception of anger, and from time to time I still feel sorry for myself. I wonder how anybody expects people like us to "get over it" when we have constant daily reminders -- pain and visual impairment -- unable to live normal lives.

I'm angry because I was not informed. No one told me that my pupils were way too large for LASIK. No one told me that my contact lens intolerance was a sign of pre-existing dry eyes -- a contraindication for LASIK.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not angry 24 hours a day/7 days a week. Most of the time I just deal the complications. But sometimes when I'm really having a hard time visually or a horrible dry eye day, I think about the surgeon who did this to me and I get really mad for a moment.

I think now what bothers me the most is just the knowledge of how bad LASIK really is, and that they continue doing this to patients. It angers me that patients are not informed. I truly believe that most patients, the overwhelming majority, would choose not to have LASIK if they were really informed. There are so many people out there who are suffering because of this unnecessary surgery, because they believed the hype and trusted the doctor. It was hard for me to accept that these doctors really don't care about patients -- they left medicine to get rich with LASIK. And it seems there are no limits on what they'll do or say to protect their golden goose.

It also makes me angry that patients who are not totally pleased with their result (mild dry eyes and/or mild night vision disturbances) are out there promoting it to their friends and family. They say it's great, but they leave out the part about the dry eyes or the starbursts and halos at night.

It always amazes me to read those patient satisfaction surveys in which nearly 100% of the patients surveyed say they are satisfied, but a fourth or a third or nearly half say their night vision is not as good as before LASIK. And most of them have some degree of dry eyes. Were they informed of this? If not, are they so happy to be rid of their glasses or contacts that they believe the trade-off was worth it? That's ok if they are happy with the trade-off, but at least tell people about the trade-off instead of recommending it without any mention of the down-side.

Recently I boarded a plane and sat down by the window and reached into my bag for some reading material. I pulled out one of those LASIK patient satisfaction surveys and laid it on my lap and just gazed out the window waiting for the plane to start backing from the gate. A man sat down in the seat beside me. I was not really in the mood for conversation, so I just said hi and turned my body toward the window and continued looking out. I knew that the man would probably notice the article sitting in my lap, but I figured he wouldn't know what "laser in situ keratomileusis" meant. Well I was wrong. I guess his curiousity got the best of him, so after a few minutes he got the nerve up to say "I had LASIK, and it was great!". Oh, no! Just my luck! To get stuck by a 20/happy for the 2 hour trip. I gave him a look and said "You don't want to talk to me". And I turned away from him again and decided that I would resist the urge to tell him exactly what was done to him. Well, I guess he just had to know who I was and what I knew. He made another remark about LASIK, trying to get me to converse with him. I gave him some short answer, like "LASIK was the worst mistake of my life, and you really don't want to talk to me". OK, I had warned him, and warned him again. If he kept questioning me, I was going to really "inform" him. Of course he kept probing, and I finally let him have it, fully expecting him to become hostile and defensive, but at that point I didn't care. I figured when he had heard enough, he'd shut up and leave me alone. But for 2 hours he listened intently to everything I had to say about LASIK. I really wasn't trying to scare him, but I did not withhold anything either. I let him have it. I talked for two hours. As we began to descend, he voiced concerns about his eyes long-term. He mentioned seeing some halos at night. He mentioned dry eyes. Wait a minute! Didn't he just say 2 hours ago that it was great??!! He said he would never have an enhancement or any further unnecessary eye surgery! All I did was tell him the truth. With LASIK, truth is scarier than fiction. I'm amazed that he wanted to hear it. Maybe he needed some validation for some things he was experiencing, and no one else he had ever encountered would or could give him that validation. Something tells me that he won't be one of those 20/happies promoting LASIK anymore.

_________________
Broken Eyes

"The price good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men." Plato


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 Post subject: Lasik performed in Panama even before USA (Goodness!)
PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2006 3:08 pm 
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Broken eyes: I totally relate. In my case I've been so exhausted dealing with dry eyes that I have not campained against lasik as much as I would, but I was able to make a good friend of mine which was considering the surgery turn it down (small victory). I am so sad because here in Panama (Central America) the doctors totally dismiss dry eyes due to LASIK. They totally defend the procedure as a positive improvement on patients quality of life (yeah right)!

Did you know that refractive surgery was done here in Panama before it was FDA approved and practiced in the States. Apparently this procedure was going on for a few years before the States here in Panama and Colombia and a great number of americans flew down here to have it performed. I know a great deal of people that swear by it, but there are a handful of people that are not that happy at all. One has ectasia and the other retinal detachment and cataracts. Another has diminished vision in one eye, and another dry eyes. What do all of these patients have in common: they were not warned about the possible "side effects". Believe me, I don't blame the doctor, I made a choice, but if I had know maybe I would have refused to have it performed.

Latelly I have had terrible mood swings that have driven my boyfriend crazy, I am blessed that he is sticking by me, although he was the one to recommend that I visited the therapist. My therapist stated: "you are grieving a terrible loss--the loss of your visual health and that is not a small issue, only people that are going through the same pain can understant" and that is so true, I am so grateful that I can virtually cry my eyes out in these forums and tell my fellow ocular surface challenged friends my pain and they can totally relate.

I hope that pretty soon we have good news and can actually improve our quality of life after all of this pain and suffering!!

Best wishes

Jessica.

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Jessica


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2006 1:49 am 
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I can relate to that. In my case, the outcome so consumed me that I asked my psychiatrist to prescribe an anti-obsessive medication in addition to my antidepressant. It worked and my life is more balanced now.

Maybe LASIK docs need to prescribe 'downers' to their unhappy patients. They will still have the crappy vision, but they won't care.

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LASIK right, PRK left March 1, 2003


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 Post subject: I had suffered from depression but they won't treat me.
PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2006 9:06 pm 
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Hi I am Paul from the UK.

I have had two consultations and tests. My physical properties of my eyes are appropriate for LASIQ or LASEQ and/or Wavefront, i.e. I have all the ticks in the boxes. Pupil size is good, night vision tests OK, eye irritation tests OK, cornea shape is OK, and prescription is < -1.50.
Here goes....
Optical Express of the UK (who turn 50% of potential patients away), without even checking with my GP or my old Psychiatrist, took my money after passing all their tests with flying colours, and then gave me hope, but right before the day of surgery, then decided to deny me treatment on grounds of a history of depression - having declared this upfront on the application form.
How ironic. You poor lot, having been given hope, and then treated by so called laser surgeons', they cock up and then they give you depression. Why dont you sue them? Because Optical Express of UK feared I might sue them if my treatment went the wrong way, i.e. it might have had a detrimental affect on my mental health.

Should I sue on grounds of discrimination? Employers arent allowed to discriminate on grounds of previous mental health.

OR

Is this a blessing in disguise for me?

At the moment I feel cheated and am depressed because they denied me treatment.

Also avoid Ultralase of UK - over priced and also a bunch of unprofessional and indecisive idiots.

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Paul A Good


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 Post subject: Definitely a blessing in disguise
PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2006 4:55 pm 
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Since corneal refractive surgery harms every eye (nerve damage,
thinning and weakening of the cornea, induced corneal distortions even with wavefront treatments) I'd say you've dodged a bullet. Congratulations. Refractive surgery is a gamble. Why gamble with your vision.

I wish you all the happiness life with good correctable vision can offer!

Congrats on being screened out of refractive surgery. I'm jealous!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2006 7:34 pm 
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OK.

However, I have completed all the tests for a third company. All three agree I am suitable for LASIQ. (1) Has declined because of depression. (2) Has declined because htey say VENLAFAXINE causes dry eyeness. (3) Has given the go ahead and ignored history of depression. I also enquired of a fourth - they declined because my medication and so contr-aindicates LASIQ. My GP says otherwise. No reason why I cant have LASIQ. All the people I know who have had LASIQ - over two years - have had no problems - are they really lucky?????

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Paul A Good


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 Post subject: words of advice
PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2006 12:07 pm 
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Location: southeast Virginia
You said that the second doctor declined because your med causes dryness. How is your tear production? I had schirmer's scores of 2 and 3 before surgery but barely ever used artificial tears because I was used to it. My eyes seem to be getting worse over the years in terms of comfort. The dryness also makes it impossible to wear the contact lenses that might help my higher order aberrations. This is something you should think about.

Beyond that, my advice is to have a surface ablation in one eye, wait several months for the result, and if you are happy with that, go ahead with the other eye.

Also make sure that your corneas are thick enough that you could have 1-2 more surgeries should the first one not turn out.

Of course, I would advise you not to have surgery at all, but if you are going to, take the above precautions.

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LASIK right, PRK left March 1, 2003


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 Post subject: Paul, there is a reason you are being declined
PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2006 6:15 pm 
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Paul, refractive surgeons WANT to do surgery on a lot of patients so that they can make boatloads of money. The fact that you have been declined at several centers should be a HUGE hint that you are likely a bad candidate for refractive surgery.

If you question people who have had refractive surgery carefully enough you will find that most have SOME issue with their surgery.
Their eyes may be a little too dry, or they see some annoying stuff around lights at night... or their night vision just isn't as crisp as it used to be.

Peer pressure, denial and pride are often at work when patients deny their dissatisfaction with a refractive surgery procedure. It is hard to admit that you made a permanent decision that was a bad move.

If you had access to 1000 refractive surgery outcomes at the 12 month point and could compare pre and post-op refractions, contrast sensitivity, and the level of corneal distortions you would likely be really really happy with your glasses or contacts.

You can't apply a laser to a healthy cornea without damaging nerves and thinning/weakening it structurally. Also lasers almost always *induce* distortions in the cornea called higher order aberrations. Even wavefront treatments induce distortions, contrary to marketing claims.


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 Post subject: Reply to Waterlilly
PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2006 6:43 pm 
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Quote:
Maybe LASIK docs need to prescribe 'downers' to their unhappy patients. They will still have the crappy vision, but they won't care.


Psychiatrists try really hard to stabilize patients first with antidepessants. But antidepressants don't work for everyone. Sometimes a psychiatrist will describe benzodiazepines (think of valium and many sleeping pills) for patients who do not respond to antidepressants.

These drugs sort of 'chill you out' a bit so that the anxiety level is less.

The downside is that they can be addictive. Patients who can get by on a low dose of benzodiazepines and don't seem to have an increased need for the drug over time to achieve the same results may find relief with these drugs.

It is definitely worthwhile to find a good psychiatrist who will work with both your head and your meds to help you through a post-refractive disaster.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 06, 2006 3:28 pm 
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Hey everyone,
I go and talk to someone too, but so far it hasn't helped with the realization that for the rest of my life, my vison will stink Since 2/8/06, my life has been spiralling out of control. I don't balance my checkbook, it's too hard, I don't clean the house, I can't see. I barely pay my bills, I'm too depressed. I don't go out and play with my kids anymore, I'd rather sleep on the couch. I've been drowning my sorrows in beer, and that definately hasn't helped. I have to get my life back on track, but not sure how. I just wish I could get to the point of acceptance already. The worst part is that none of my family want to talk about it anymore. I had a conversation with my sister the other day and I told her "just because I don't talk about it all the time anymore, doesn't mean it went away." I went to my eye doctor the other day (not the one that did the surgery), and my eyes are regressing. He told me my astigmatism is back, but I already knew that. I'm so angry and sad, all this pain and suffering, for what? So some doctors can get richer. Sorry AI guess I'm just having one of those days. Thanks for letting me vent, it's more thatn my own family will let me do.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 06, 2006 9:49 pm 
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Sorry to hear about your troubles.

I had LASIQ done on one eye back in March. It gave me no problems at all even to this day. I have 20:15 vision in the eye I had it done to.
I have kept to MOnovision because I didnt want to have to wear reading glasses before my time.

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Paul A Good


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2006 10:48 pm 
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I can get by during the day alright, provided places with flourescent lights are always somewhat blurry. But I still have a hardtime at night. Like my eyes automatically go into shutdown mode comes 9pm or so. Then my depression kicks in.


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 Post subject: Hi Xpatient
PostPosted: Thu Aug 10, 2006 12:25 am 
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Have you seen a doctor about getting some antidepressants? Consider buying MANY lamps and inviting friends over as a distraction. Make lots of phone calls. Play music. It is really tough being house bound at night by LASIK.

With some adaptation measures around your home and adjustments in your lifestyle it can be made more liveable. Do you have a pet? Pets really help!


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 Post subject: hope it improves Diana
PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2006 3:55 am 
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I relate to exactly how you feel.My family is tired of hearing about it too although my complications never leave me.It's very disheartening.It's our own private little hell we suffer so a greedy lier can get richer.
I have suffered dizziness,vertigo,headaches,nausea and dry eyes for well over a year as well as a drifting prescription and increasing astigmatism.(which I never had before)My life was totally devastated by lasik and they denied everything.
It's an invisible disability and if it weren't for the objective testing I had done which clearly proofed nystagmus,I could be making it up as far as anyone would know.
I can't help but wonder how many more like us are out there.I would guess many thousands.
The huge amounts of money must be supressing all this from the main stream media,money is after all,the overriding priority today.
I hope and pray this situation will change. :)


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