Exposing the LASIK Scam

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 Post subject: LASIK stories that you won't hear from your LASIK surgeon
PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2005 2:42 am 
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I think we should start a thread to tell the stories that we hear of LASIK gone wrong.

Today my sister called to to tell me about one. She was at the mall and ran into a friend of the family. The friend told my sister that her husband had had LASIK, had a retreatment, and after the retreatment his flap wrinkled. Today he had surgery to lift and stretch the flap. The friend said her husband was at home with all the lights turned out and the blinds closed, resting in the dark. Probably sick with worry.

Hearing this story gave me that sick feeling in the pit of my stomach that I feel everytime I hear of another LASIK disaster. There have been so many over the years. I wish I had documented them all. Each story is a personal tragedy, a family tragedy. Sometimes the story involves severe depression, loss of a job, loss of a business, loss of a marriage, even loss of a life (the LASIK casualty who committed suicide). Even the children of LASIK casualties suffer when they see their parents suffer emotionally and unable to do the things they used to do.

To the industry, a "sub-optimal" outcome is a statistic, "one in one hundred eyes". Not a human being with a family and a career and a life.

These stories need to be told.

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Broken Eyes

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


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2005 12:47 pm 
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Another story from my sister. She used to work with a guy who had had LASIK and was happy with his outcome, but she noticed that after LASIK he had a strange habit -- he unconsciously waved his hand in front of his eyes, as if batting gnats. When she asked about his vision, he said that his vision was good, but now he had annoying floaters.

Reminds me of another patient who was unhappy because of the sudden onset of floaters after LASIK. When he complained to his surgeon, the surgeon said, "Well, you probably had them all along, but you didn't see them because your vision was so bad". :shock:

_________________
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: Pharmacist's eyes ruined by LASIK
PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2006 12:05 am 
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Quote:
"Both my eyes have been very seriously damaged by a second hand Summit Lasik unit that was calibrated outside of acceptable parameters by the MD performing the surgery. I will not go into my symptoms, as you have probably experienced all or most of them. Needless to say, I voluntarily left by work as a Pharmacist because I dared not put others at risk due to my horrible vision.
Would like to contact you as am in the tail end of a rotten legal thing. Getting support has been real tough."


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 Post subject: SMEARED VISION/PAIN FROM CUSTOM LASIK DEVASTATES MAN, AGE 21
PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2006 12:37 am 
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Another night indoors at apartment looking at a smeared TV set...and yet I can make out the letters on the TV just fine...most would say I have 'excellent vision' (as one neuroopthalmologist said)...if he was made to see like this he'd cry and scream bloody murder, and yet he makes and records comments like that...not much different than 9-10 months ago, when I spent my 21st birthday 3 days post-LASIK with tremendous migraine headaches and a newly-smeared world, laying in bed with hot compresses and closing my eyes trying not to look around...a pretty fun way to spend a 21st birthday in a college town. They told me it would go away in a few days, then a week, then a month; that it was 'contrast sensitivity' and that it was perfectly normal; that there were 'frequently imperfections immediately following LASIK surgery (that everything being directionally smeared in the same direction in each eye was normal/ok/nothing to worry about!). NEVER would I have imagined that nearly a year later I'd be worse, the vision would be the same (still uncorrected), I'd be out many thousands of dollars, that I'd spend all my time trying to get better completely futilely, that I'd have lost SO much time in my life and missed out on SO many experiences and that there would be NO end in sight, and that I'd soon develop eye pain (especially in the right eye) that would change my life even more.


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 Post subject: Duke refractive surgeon Dr. Terry Kim ruined my vision
PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2006 12:57 am 
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I had LASIK surgery at Duke University - remember Duke? The same folks who transplanted a lung with a blood type mismatch and washed their surgical tools in dirty elevator oil?

The surgery was marketed to employees through employee mail. I was a Senior Research Scientist at Duke at the time (March 2004). I have pupils over 8mm in diamater and had myopia of over 6 diopters. My surgeon, Dr. Terry Kim, made a corrected area for me to see that is drastically undersized. My corrected area is such a small fraction of my pupil area that I can see in only the brightest light. In dim light I am incapacitated with poor contrast sensitivity and horrible aberrations. I have simulations of these aberrations, and pictures of my scans superimposed on my pupil which demonstrate how small the attempted correction is. My surgeon knew when he planned my surgery that there would not be enough tissue remaining for a 2nd surgery if something should go wrong. He didn't tell me this. Well, something definitely went wrong.

My blurry distorted vision fluctuates daily and has regressed so that I must wear glasses - which do not restore normal, comfortable vision. Strangely, I have a letter from my surgeon stating that he is "pleased with my outcome".

My LASIK flaps are also very wrinkled - therefore my day vision is also distorted. My surgeon, Dr. Terry Kim should have spotted this and treated the striae immediately before they set, but Duke chose to ignore them. They were documented by TLC and by other independent doctors.

Since LASIK severs corneal nerves - a fact well known by doctors but typically withheld from patients... I have dry eye which is constant and painful.

I know other patients who have had refractive surgery at the hand of prominent surgeons and are now legally blind. One 27 year old man is having a progressive bulging of his eyes called ectasia. Without corneal transplantation this can lead to globe rupture and blindness. He can no longer drive, grocery shop or read without great difficulty.

Why aren't patients warned that all refractive surgeries induce permanent distortions in the cornea, that the flap never heals (this is true - patients will always have an interface, or split cornea after LASIK) and that permanent nerve damage will result?


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 Post subject: Musings of LASIK-damaged MD on how LASIK is perpetuated
PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2006 1:27 am 
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I'm not religious by any means, but if there is a Hell, there is a special place in it for Refractive surgeons.

I've been trying to understand the phenomenon of LASIK surgery's tenacity despite all the clear indications that it should be abolished. I believe that there are several key elements that refractive surgeons consciously or inadvertently exploit. First, we all hated our glasses and contact lenses. The promise of "perfect", unaided vision is so very seductive. The lure took away much of my objectiveness so I was hearing and reading only the propaganda and little of the real science. The dense marketing overwhelms the objective information on RS. Next, vision is poorly quantitated. Visual acuity is a subjective report by the patient..."yeah, one looks clearer than two...wait, let me see two again". No one really assesses how light is refracted by the anterior eye then interpreted by the retina and brain. The optics of the human eye are not static either. So the patient, ecstatic to be free of lenses, believes he or she is now seeing great just because the 20/20 line can be resolved without glasses. Never mind the loss of contrast sensitivity, loss of night acuity, loss of accommodation, corneal derangement, dry eye..etc. Now you have a population of LASIK patients who WANT to believe their vision has been improved. They go on to be poster children for LASIK and tell their friends and the vicious cycle perpetuates. Those of us that get the worst complications are written off as unlucky bastards.

Getting physicians to organize a campaign might be a start. Let's get the PhD's involved too.

We'll see the day that this tragic surgery is banned. You said you enjoyed Shiraz. Well, I have a bottle of 1998 Penfold's Grange Hermitage in my cellar that I hope to share with you when the plug is pulled on LASIK.


Last edited by Scientist on Mon Jan 02, 2006 1:49 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Dr. Nick Caro's victim may need corneal transplants
PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2006 1:49 am 
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Quote:
After coming home yesterday to find out I may need corneal transplants
thanks to the handy work of Nick Caro I find myself in a deep state of
shock and depression. I decided to look on the web to see if he is
stillpracticing and to my horror and amazement I find out that he not
only is practicing but has had a slew of lawsuits.

I was an early adopter of the Lasik surgery (July 1999). My first
surgery left me still with bad vision. I needed an "enhancement" to
correct my vision, only it didn't correct it. I then needed yet
another "enhancement". That one left me with better vision but the
flap in my eye when put back, was creased. It has been determined by
my specialist that due to my surgery's and the amount he cut I have
Ectasia and have a degenerative outcome.

My question is, what recourse do I have? Is it worth the expense
going after him or will I be just throwing money away because it seems
like he rarely has to pay for his actions. Is there a class action
suit that is open that I could join?


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 Post subject: Patient stories
PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2006 6:34 pm 
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I have heard stories of two other lasik patients that have had ectasia. They shouldn?'t have been cadidates for LASIk. I asked one of the doctors that is a pioneer of LASIK in Panama about ectasia, and he said that you shouldn't have the operation if you have thin corneas, but if something like this happens you only need to have a cornea transplant!!!

Boy if I am sufering with LASIK I don't dare to think how if would be to have a cornea transplant!!!

_________________
Jessica


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2006 1:28 pm 
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Had lasik done in 2004 at Kremer Laser Eye Center in King of Prussia, PA. The team of technicians or whoever is in charge of the charts, etc..got my chart mixed up with someone elses and I got their procedure done. I was way undercorrected. The surgeon couldn't explain why it happened. They didn't charge me for this but to get an "enhancement" (their way of saying, fixing their mistake! :x ) they were still going to charge me! I was almost talked into it, had my next surgery set up, then cancelled a week before. I felt so much better cancelling, so I know I did the right thing. I mostly wear glasses now, weekends I may wear contacts but not at work. It's too dry and my eyes can't tolerate the dryness.

I just found out from my lawyer that TLC recently acquired a large percentage (85% I think) in Kremer. I've noticed TLC is discussed alot on this board.

Edited to add where I got the surgery done and to add the last paragraph.


Last edited by ally1 on Sun Jan 15, 2006 3:56 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2006 11:30 pm 
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ally1 wrote:
Had lasik done in 2004. The team of technicians or whoever is in charge of the charts, etc..got my chart mixed up with someone elses and I got their procedure done. I was way undercorrected. The surgeon couldn't explain why it happened. They didn't charge me for this but to get an "enhancement" (their way of saying, fixing their mistake! :x ) they were still going to charge me! I was almost talked into it, had my next surgery set up, then cancelled a week before.


Please feel free to name your surgeon in the Surgeons section of the web site.

Also, this sounds like a clear case of medical malpractice. If you file a lawsuit, please post a copy of the legal complaint or send a copy to the administrator at <a href='http://www.whois.sc/info/webmasters/email-protection.html'><img src='http://img.nameintel.com/email.pgif?md5=4b40625027dae4283a7ae1af6c993836' alt='Email Protection by Name Intelligence' border='0'></a>


Last edited by Admin on Wed Jan 04, 2006 11:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2006 11:32 pm 
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ally1 wrote:
Had lasik done in 2004. The team of technicians or whoever is in charge of the charts, etc..got my chart mixed up with someone elses and I got their procedure done. I was way undercorrected. The surgeon couldn't explain why it happened. They didn't charge me for this but to get an "enhancement" (their way of saying, fixing their mistake! :x ) they were still going to charge me! I was almost talked into it, had my next surgery set up, then cancelled a week before. I felt so much better cancelling, so I know I did the right thing. I mostly wear glasses now, weekends I may wear contacts but not at work. It's too dry and my eyes can't tolerate the dryness.


Hi Ally1, welcome to "the flap".

I'm sorry to hear about your bad experience. How dare them try to charge you for a retreatment! They should have had to pay YOU a medical malpractice award!

With regards to your dry eyes, I feel your pain, literally. My eyes have not stopped burning since I had LASIK 5 1/2 years ago. I've tried all the remedies and nothing really works except keeping my eyes closed! :?

That reminds me of another dry eye patient who testified before the FDA Ophthalmic Devices Panel on the issue of LASIK-induced dry eyes.

Here's his testimony:

Quote:
'Members of the committee, I am David Shell, mechanical engineer from Arlington, Virginia. I appreciate the opportunity to speak here. The focus of my testimony will be on the inclusion of an incident of LASIK-induced dry eye statistic and to the patient information booklet for the medical device before us today.

Four years ago, I underwent LASIK. Since my surgery, I live in daily misery from burning and stinging eyes induced by LASIK. Artificial tears don't bring much relief. Eyedrops give only temporary relief and cause greater visual distortion when used. My LASIK dry eye is not a minor problem, as downplayed by some ophthalmologists. It's a disability. I estimate that I am blind approximately 10 percent of the time due to my eyes being closed because of the pain. At the time of my surgery, I was told only a small number of patients experience a complication from this procedure.

There is substantial evidence that shows this crippling side effect to be relatively common. For example, an article in EyeWorld stated that 100 percent of patients have dry eye after LASIK. While most patients improve, many do not. Numerous articles in industry magazines and journals talk about how to manage LASIK dry eye. Internet websites, such as www.surgicaleyes.org, discuss this issue frequently.

I know now that I did not have the information that would have assisted me in making a fully informed decision. No one really knows the risk of getting this debilitating condition in terms of percentage or the information is just not getting out. Therefore, a person is unable to make an informed decision about having this procedure. Should not this type of data be available to the public? This type of data is no where to be found in the patient information booklet. My recommendations are as follows.

Premarket approval for this medical device should be contingent upon manufacturer conducting clinical studies on the incident of LASIK-induced dry eye; data to be listed in the manufacturer's patient information booklet in terms of percentage, not just a casual mention that one could get dry eyes from this procedure. We need a percentage.

Adoption of these recommendations will help increase public awareness about this serious overlooked complication. I believe these recommendations are fair and reasonable, easy to administer, and do not impose an undue burden on the industry.

Before I conclude, I want to remind everyone that our eyes are very precious. The standards for safety and effectiveness need to be very high for an elective procedure on one's eyes. Personally, I don't think they're high enough. I didn't need this surgery and ended up with inheriting a lifetime of misery and pain. I'm asking the committee to make certain that any device that purports to correct a relatively minor problem does not create crippling visual defects as a result.
Members of the committee, this concludes my testimony. Thank you very much.

Also, I'd like to add, if anyone wants to try some Dry Eyes, during the break, I have a number of unused vials up here, and I'd be happy to give you one."

_________________
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: Welcome Ally1!
PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2006 1:07 am 
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Hi Ally1, that's quite a story, one I've heard before though. You are SO lucky that you just ended up undercorrected and not BLINDED. Dr. Stephen Slade did the same thing to a patient... mixed up the coordinates and performed a surgery with someone else's settings. He really messed her up, and her laswsuit is posted on this site (Sheryl Sullivan vs. Stephen Slade). Also Dr. Karl Stoncipher of Greensboro North Carolina switched a patients settings on the laser. He blinded the woman. She was a single young mother, not very well off financially. He admitted what he had done and compensated the woman financially (actually there is no way to compensate someone for that, is there).

It's very unusual that a refractive surgeon would actually own up to his mistake.

Ally1, do you have night aberrations from your LASIK? Do you have loss of contrast sensitivity? Any dry eye?

Have you considered a lawsuit?

Glad to hear you didn't go through with the 2nd surgery. Why would you let someone who is obviously careless operate on your eye a 2nd time?

Who was your doctor, so that others may be forewarned?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2006 2:44 am 
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Admin wrote:
ally1 wrote:
Had lasik done in 2004. The team of technicians or whoever is in charge of the charts, etc..got my chart mixed up with someone elses and I got their procedure done. I was way undercorrected. The surgeon couldn't explain why it happened. They didn't charge me for this but to get an "enhancement" (their way of saying, fixing their mistake! :x ) they were still going to charge me! I was almost talked into it, had my next surgery set up, then cancelled a week before.


Please feel free to name your surgeon in the Surgeons section of the web site.

Also, this sounds like a clear case of medical malpractice. If you file a lawsuit, please post a copy of the legal complaint or send a copy to the administrator at <a href='http://www.whois.sc/info/webmasters/email-protection.html'><img src='http://img.nameintel.com/email.pgif?md5=4b40625027dae4283a7ae1af6c993836' alt='Email Protection by Name Intelligence' border='0'></a>


I have taken legal action. I'm not sure if I can post the name of the doctor and place since it's still in the process...but I will once everything is settled. It actually took me about 6 months after my surgery to make this decision. It's like I was making excuses for what they did to me, making it seem like it was less of a big deal, make any sense? But one day something inside me just snapped and I made the decision.


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 Post subject: Re: Welcome Ally1!
PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2006 3:18 am 
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Eye wrote:
Hi Ally1, that's quite a story, one I've heard before though. You are SO lucky that you just ended up undercorrected and not BLINDED. Dr. Stephen Slade did the same thing to a patient... mixed up the coordinates and performed a surgery with someone else's settings. He really messed her up, and her laswsuit is posted on this site (Sheryl Sullivan vs. Stephen Slade). Also Dr. Karl Stoncipher of Greensboro North Carolina switched a patients settings on the laser. He blinded the woman. She was a single young mother, not very well off financially. He admitted what he had done and compensated the woman financially (actually there is no way to compensate someone for that, is there).

It's very unusual that a refractive surgeon would actually own up to his mistake.

Ally1, do you have night aberrations from your LASIK? Do you have loss of contrast sensitivity? Any dry eye?

Have you considered a lawsuit?

Glad to hear you didn't go through with the 2nd surgery. Why would you let someone who is obviously careless operate on your eye a 2nd time?

Who was your doctor, so that others may be forewarned?


I know I'm very lucky it was not worse! I'll have to look at that lawsuit you mentioned. I am surprised that this happens often..getting the wrong treatment. My friend got lasik a week after me..even after I told her what happened she still went ahead with it (same place). She did tell the surgeon (different one than mine) she knew what happened and she said the look he got on his face was priceless. But she did it anyways.

I do find it difficult driving at night..it's hard for me to see the lines in the road and the oncoming headlights make it difficult. I can manage but I try not to drive too much at night. I find I'm more sensitive to the sunlight as well. I do have dry eye, this really annoys me!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2006 3:22 am 
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Broken Eyes wrote:
ally1 wrote:
Had lasik done in 2004. The team of technicians or whoever is in charge of the charts, etc..got my chart mixed up with someone elses and I got their procedure done. I was way undercorrected. The surgeon couldn't explain why it happened. They didn't charge me for this but to get an "enhancement" (their way of saying, fixing their mistake! :x ) they were still going to charge me! I was almost talked into it, had my next surgery set up, then cancelled a week before. I felt so much better cancelling, so I know I did the right thing. I mostly wear glasses now, weekends I may wear contacts but not at work. It's too dry and my eyes can't tolerate the dryness.


Hi Ally1, welcome to "the flap".

I'm sorry to hear about your bad experience. How dare them try to charge you for a retreatment! They should have had to pay YOU a medical malpractice award!

With regards to your dry eyes, I feel your pain, literally. My eyes have not stopped burning since I had LASIK 5 1/2 years ago. I've tried all the remedies and nothing really works except keeping my eyes closed! :?



My eyes seem drier now that it's winter, they get itchy too. Eye drops aren't cheap either..the cost is adding up as time goes on!


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