Exposing the LASIK Scam

One Surgeon at a Time
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 Post subject: Patient Doing Well
PostPosted: Sat Nov 26, 2005 1:52 am 

Joined: Thu Nov 24, 2005 9:06 pm
Posts: 297
Reprinted with author's permission, and edited at author's request.

"I have been helping another man who was considering a retreatment. He had lasik a little over a year ago and was never thrilled with his results, but overall considered himself a success because he hasn't had to wear glasses. His eyes are a little dry -- but hey, he had LASIK, right?!?! I gave him a list of things to ask when he went in to discuss a retreatment and a list of tests that needed to be performed. I told him to get all his records and bring everything to me to review prior to his making a decision about a retreatment. I reviewed his records. Turns out the guy is blessed because he has very small pupils. He was a low hyperope. After lasik he said his left eye was never good. All through his post-op records the OD recorded "doing well", even though he was complaining about the left eye. Well it was easy for me to see what happened to the left eye. They induced a diopter of cylinder and the treatment is quite decentered, despite the use of an eye tracker. Did they ever bother to mention any of this to him? Of course not. He asked me what he should do. I told him he has plenty of tissue for a retreatment, but I would never recommend it. I looked at his current refraction (he has regressed a little and has the 1D induced cylinder) and said "Please, just go get some glasses. The glasses will help you", and his reply was along the lines of "I didn't have lasik just to end up wearing glasses again!"

"doing well"...

Those words sum up the victimization of patients. No matter how bad the situation, the doctor writes it off, dismisses it. I have seen these words in a patient chart before. A few months ago I reviewed the files of another LASIK casualty. Her pre-op records show she had lattice degeneration, a retinal disease. The doctor knew it and did lasik on her anyway. Within a few weeks her retinas detached. She had several subsequent surgeries to repair the retinas, but they kept detaching. During all of her lasik post-op exams, the doctor recorded in her chart "patient doing well", even though she was complaining of poor vision and a shower of floaters. I could not believe my eyes.... "patient doing well".... with retinal detachment due to his gross negligence! "patient doing well"."

 Post subject: Controlling the propagation of the 'Patient doing well' LIE
PostPosted: Sat Nov 26, 2005 8:41 pm 

Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2005 1:06 am
Posts: 621
Ensure that you doctor clearly understands any ways in which you are NOT doing well, and insist that this information is CLEARLY recorded in your charts.

First tell your doctor calmly, and in very clear language what your vision is like and what it's like for you now to have to live with that vision - make sure he/she knows how the surgery has changed your life.

If you have chronic discomfort from the surgery, tell your doctor.

Take notes while you talk to your doctor... if he/she tells you symptoms will go away in X number of months, make sure he/she gets a reminder of his words and full report of your 'progress' when this time has elapsed. If you are silent it will be easier for him/her to perform refractive surgery on the next person.

Tell all of the office staff about your visual problems. If they misled you in any way, remind them of this and make the consequences of their actions clear to them.

Be certain that all of your complaints are recorded in your charts - see below!

Some distilled wisdom collected here and there from the writings of a savvy friend may help many of us 'help our docs' keep accurate records that stay in our charts and ensure we always have copies of them. Here goes:

1. Whenever you have any kind of scan, ask them to print you an extra copy right away. If a measurment is being taken ask immediately what it is, and what the normal values are. Write them down and date them. Include the technician's name. Ask also for a copy of that day's notes before you go.

2."To control what does enter the chart, you can provide a typed brief summary of your situation with a bullet list of "questions I would like you to answer" and give it to the tech to put in the chart. Title it with the doc's name and visit date and obviously keep an identical printed copy for yourself. This will clearly and concisely get a summary of your symptoms and circumstances in the chart. It is also critical that when you are filling out the usual questionnaires you write on it somewhere "please see notes I provided dated X regarding my symptoms". This obligates the doc/tech to get that information from you and keep it in the chart. If the chart turns up in court later and the document isn't there, the doc is in big ! time trouble."

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