Exposing the LASIK Scam

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 Post subject: Duke University Eye Center website review
PostPosted: Sun Aug 05, 2007 11:18 pm 
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From the Duke University Eye Center website:
Quote:
We recognize that not everyone has the medical background, resources, or time to thoroughly evaluate refractive marketing campaigns or to identify potentially misleading information.

I may not have the medical background, but I have first-hand experience, resources, a little time, and a great passion for sniffing out false and misleading LASIK advertising. I also know how to report false and misleading advertising to the FTC.

Quote:
Our ability to treat so called "higher-order" optical aberrations allows us to correct even those distortions of vision which are not correctable by glasses or contact lenses. This customized approach to laser vision correction has also been shown to reduce problems associated with glare and night driving.


This statement is false and misleading. LASIK increases higher order aberrations in all virgin eyes. This has been demonstrated in numerous medical studies as well as FDA clinical trials.

Quote:
No significant decrease in structural strength of the eye (important for patients at high risk for direct eye trauma)


Holy cow, I cannot believe no one has reported Duke University Eye Center to the FTC for making such an outrageously false statement!

Numerous medical studies can be found at these links that demonstrate that the cornea is permanently structurally weakened by LASIK:
http://www.lasikflap.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=21
http://www.lasikflap.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=28
http://www.lasikflap.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=628

Quote:
Blurring of night vision, causing halos or "starbursting" around bright lights. This tends to be more common in patients who have pre-existing glare, high corrections, or large pupils.


OK, so they're honest about the importance of pupil size. The next step would be to accurately measure pupils, and to warn patients with large pupils that LASIK will destroy their vision.

As doctors who are sworn to "First Do No Harm", the doctors at Duke Univesity Eye Center should refuse to perform LASIK on patients whose pupils are larger than the planned optical zone, PERIOD.

Quote:
When the flap is created, you will feel pressure but no pain. Your vision will go dark for just a few seconds.


That's the point in the surgery that you go blind from the suction applied to your eye. Pray that your retinal veins and artery resume blood flow afterwards.

Quote:
Some of the places that offer LASIK at discount prices don't do thorough screenings because they're trying to get patients in and out too quickly. And the procedures may be performed by people who are not fully qualified to do them.

By contrast, Kim says, "As part of a respected tertiary care center, our highly trained, award-winning refractive surgery team has tremendous experience with a large variety of cases. We give prospective patients a comprehensive, two-hour exam not only to evaluate them medically, but to get to know them and find out their needs, expectations, and concerns. This 'Duke difference' has a direct impact on the successful outcomes we have been experiencing here.


Don't you love how they use the fear factor to make you believe that they're better than the LASIK mills?

Well, let's just examine that claim. I had LASIK at a LASIK mill. I was a poor candidate due to my 8mm pupils. I am permanently, severely visually impaired at night. Scientist had LASIK at Duke. She was a poor candidate due to her 8mm pupils. She is permanently, severely visually impaired at night.

The quacks at Duke are no better than all the other LASIK quacks.

_________________
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: Duke University Eye Center website review
PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2007 4:20 pm 
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This statement on the Duke Eye Center website is blatantly false:

Quote:
No significant drop in structural strength of the eye (important for patients at high risk for direct eye trauma)


In an Emory University study, the LASIK flap was found to have only 2.4% of the tensile strength of normal cornea. That's not significant?

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=pubmed&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=16209440&query_hl=11

Quote:
J Refract Surg. 2005 Sep-Oct;21(5):433-45. Related Articles, Links

Cohesive tensile strength of human LASIK wounds with histologic, ultrastructural, and clinical correlations.

Schmack I, Dawson DG, McCarey BE, Waring GO 3rd, Grossniklaus HE, Edelhauser HF.

Emory Eye Center, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA.

Excerpts:

PURPOSE: To measure the cohesive tensile strength of human LASIK corneal wounds.

CONCLUSIONS: The human comeal stroma typically heals after LASIK in a limited and incomplete fashion; this results in a weak, central and paracentral hypocellular primitive stromal scar that averages 2.4% as strong as normal comeal stroma. Conversely, the LASIK flap wound margin heals by producing a 10-fold stronger, peripheral hypercellular fibrotic stromal scar that averages 28.1% as strong as normal comeal stromal, but displays marked variability.


It also appears to me that Duke Eye Center is attempting to push LASIK over PRK, in spite of evidence that surface treatments produce better visual outcomes. Here are some of their claims:

Quote:
LASIK advantages over PRK:

Rapid recovery of visual acuity


What about ultimate visual acuity? Isn't that more important???

Quote:
Less post-operative treatment and follow-up needed


I smell self-serving motives! This cuts their costs!

Quote:
Rapid healing; the protective corneal flap also helps reduce the need for the prolonged medication regimen required for surface PRK


What exactly do they mean by 'rapid'? The LASIK flap never heals. After LASIK patients have a permanent split in their cornea. Corneal integrity is NEVER restored!

Quote:
Preservation of normal corneal anatomy: The LASIK procedure preserves the epithelium, a thin protective layer that covers the cornea; when removed during PRK, it is sometimes slow to heal. LASIK also preserves Bowman's Layer, a structural component just beneath the surface of the cornea that is removed during the PRK procedure.


What about preservation of corneal integrity?

Quote:
Little or no post-operative pain; any initial soreness after LASIK is usually gone by the following morning


In light of this statement, how exactly will Duke Eye Center explain why their former chief financial officer suffers from chronic eye pain resulting from LASIK at Duke? I have chronic eye soreness from LASIK at Duke. I know other patients who have chronic eye discomfort from LASIK at Duke.

Quote:
Capability of simultaneous bilateral treatment (both eyes treated at the same time)


This represents a huge savings for THEM, and deprives you of informed consent for the 2nd eye. Also bilateral simultaneous LASIK deprives you of a 'good eye' for comparison - so you're less likely to notice that LASIK eye surgery actually INCREASES corneal distortions, on average... which are associated with a reduction in visual QUALITY.

The Duke University Eye Center site makes me very angry - it appears to me that it is designed to sell a procedure, and not to fully and accurately inform patients!

_________________
We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark. The real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light. -Plato


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 Post subject: Duke Unversity Eye Center website review
PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2007 6:40 pm 
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Notice the Duke University Eye Center website lists only two disadvantages/complications unique to LASIK - how many complications patients out there are acutely bothered by these issues?

Aren't poor visual quality (especially at night) which is less likely with PRK, corneal nerve damage resulting in dry eye/chronic pain which is less extensive with PRK as corneal nerves are severed during creation of the LASIK flap, and thin/unstable corneas (which rule out many surgical rehab options and can lead to progressive corneal failure, traumatic flap complications and post-LASIK ectasia with risk of blindness) really the issues? LASIK consumes more corneal tissue and destabilzes the cornea to a greater degree than PRK!

From the Duke Eye center website-
Quote:
LASIK also carries the following disadvantages/potential complications

If, during the creation of the corneal flap, this layer of tissue is lost, distorted, or scarred, visual results my be diminished


The LASIK flap is vulnerable to traumatic injury for the rest of the patients' lives, not just during surgery. WebMD states that:

Quote:
?The LASIK flap never heals? the LASIK flap can be easily dislodged from simple contact with the eye such as a finger poke.?
WebMDHealth http://my.webmd.com/content/article/61/68084.htm

From the Duke Eye center website -
Quote:
Lack of long-term studies: Combining decades of experience with proven technologies, LASIK is increasingly accepted as today's standard vision correction surgery procedure


The material before the colon and the material after the colon are unrelated. You would think that Duke Eye Center would go on to explain that no one really knows what will happen to the eyes of LASIK patients 20 years out from surgery. Long term consequences of 'yesterday's standard vision correction surgery' that preceded LASIK, known as RK, does have fairly universal long-term consequences in the form of central corneal collapse with associated hyperopic shift resulting in the loss of near vision. Some doctors are pursuing corneal cross-linking therapies to strengthen the stretching and collapsing corneas of these post-RK patients. What will happen to the 8 million people who have a LASIK flap that never heals cut across their corneas with time? I shudder to think.

However, the patients I know who have suffered LASIK complications at Duke have debilitating, life-altering complications. They are not suffering from a lack of long-term studies. In my opinion, this Duke Eye Center site content is ridiculous - a thinly veiled attempt to hide real and known complications of LASIK that Duke Eye Center patients deserve to know well in advance of surgery, in compliance with laws regarding full informed consent - and therefore it is utterly offensive.

If you would like to see a more complete list of complications that Duke hands to patients minutes before their surgery (when they won't have adequate time to fully digest the information and back out of surgery) here is a link:

Info Duke surgeons don't want you to see till it's too late!

http://lasikflap.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1629&highlight=duke+informed+consent

_________________
We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark. The real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light. -Plato


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 Post subject: Duke University Eye Center website review
PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2007 8:09 pm 
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Also on the Duke Eye Center site:

Quote:
Blurring of night vision, causing halos or "starbursting" around bright lights; this is less common in LASIK than in surface PRK.


I have never seen or heard of a single medical study supporting this statement. Please provide a reference, Duke.

Quote:
Cost: Laser procedures are more costly than more traditional approaches, since they involve expensive technology and an extensive educational process for the surgeon, laser technicians, and surgical assistants. However, most patients feel that the increased accuracy, lower re-treatment rate, and reduced time spent in office visits are well worth the difference in price.


What traditional approaches? No one in their right mind would perform or have RK now!

What extensive educational process does the surgeon undergo? That weekend course they take before they start performing LASIK unsupervised the following Monday morning? Methinks they are attempting to justify fat fees for a 15 minute procedure.


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 Post subject: Duke website & LASIK MD's DO NOT inform patients of risk
PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2007 6:00 am 
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As you can see from the posts above, you can search dukemednews, dukeeye.org, and dukehealth.org to try to learn about LASIK, but there is one thing you will not find on any of those sites ... the RISKS of LASIK.

I suppose you would think ... let me go see Dr. Terry Kim, MD or Dr. Alan Carlson, MD who do LASIK at the Duke Eye Center and find out if LASIK is for me. If you knew what I know, that would be the first step to you potentially making the WORST decision of your life. Once these MD's determine that you are a candidate (and based on some of the damaged patients I know of, their definition of good candidates is quite broad), they will tell you about how safe LASIK is, how you are a very good candidate, how 20% of the patients they screen are not good candidates (yeah right!), and they will minimize discussion of risks, likely limiting the discussion to one or two risks that actually have a plan B.

Dr. Terry Kim, MD or Dr. Alan Carlson, MD are not interested in providing the patient with true informed consent. I suspect that when they look in patients eyes, they see $ signs that cloud their moral judgement and medical oath. If you are considering LASIK, please know that there is no plan B for many LASIK complications. The rate of LASIK complications are much higher than the money hungry MD's tell you. If you have complications, it is quite possible that the MD's and staff at the Duke Eye Center will not be forthcoming about your complications and they will attempt to downplay these complications and perhaps even lie to you. My best advice is to stay away from LASIK and Do NOT Trust the Duke Difference at the Duke Eye Center.

_________________
Let the FDA know about your poor LASIK outcome by reporting it through the FDA MedWatch program ... http://www.lasik-flap.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1620


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