Exposing the LASIK Scam

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2007 11:22 pm 
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Also -
The following is a letter I wrote to my eye doctor and several media outlets in the Philadelphia area. About 70% of it is my own thoughts, and 30% of it is borrowed from Elvira Texas. I hope she does not mind - but the way she put into words the raw emotions this surgery bringds out was so ..... accurate. I faxed it to him on Monday, September 10, 2007. In my heart I am hoping for a reply, an apology, some acknowledgment, but I know it's not coming...

Also, please note that the orginal had "You" instead of "laser eye surgery" throughout the letter. My family asked me to change it since it might seem threatening to the doctor. That was not my intent at all, it was just my angery overwhelmed the letter so I had to tone it down....



Anthony D. Pizzo
Philadelphia, PA 19148


Dr. Michael Aronsky
Refractive Surgeon
Kremer Laser Eye Center / TLC
200 Mall Boulevard
King of Prussia, PA 19406
Fax: (610) 337-1153



Dear Dr. Aronsky:

Doctor Aronsky, over 3 and half years ago, laser eye surgery robbed a 20 year old boy of his innocence. April of 2004 was, by far, the most life altering experience I have ever had. This surgery ruined over 20 years of hard work and dedication.

In April of 2004, you performed wavefront guided laser eye surgery on my virgin corneas. At the time, my scoptic pupils were measured at well over 8mm. The optical zone imposed on my corneas for my surgery was 6mm. Therefore, you operated on my eyes, knowing that anytime my pupils dilated over 6mm, my eyesight would be worthless. Since no aberrometer at the time of my surgery was able to evaluate corneas over 6 to 6.5mm, any ?blend zone? given on my eyes was worthless. Only 6 of 8.25mms of my eyes received the full treatment from the surgery. It is my estimate that I spend over 75% of the day with my pupils larger than the given optical zone, thus rendering my vision absolutely worthless the majority of the day.

For the rest of my life, I will suffer from pure visual hell. At the age of 23, I have severe glare, star bursting, double vision, severely dry eyes, trace cataracts, severe light sensitivity, severe floaters (a result from the combination of PILOCARPINE and the microkerotome used for the mutilation of my cornea flap), and a decentered ablation. In addition, within my optical zone, there was an increase in high order aberrations (HOA), including coma. On top of all this, I now have irregular astigmatism as well. All this is a DIRECT result from the surgery.

One can only imagine the psychological side effects this has caused for me. I have since been completely unemployed, as of several months after the surgery. I left to study
aboard because I believed you, and even trusted you after my surgery. You told me that another surgery could help. So I waited to be sure, I waited for the surgery methods to improve. Instead of working, I went back to school, and tried to read and study as best I could considering the circumstances. I used the motivation of ?fixing? my eyes to fuel me through graduate school. I looked forward every day to being ?healed.?

However, after my arrival back in the U.S., after being out of the country for one year, I went directly to your office to hear if you could help me. You said that another surgery could possibly help. You wanted to destroy more of my corneal tissue and perform a surgery to fix what you had caused. Your intention was never to increase my optical zone, which I now know is the real problem, which you NEVER ADMITTED TO AND REPEATED LIED ABOUT. You said the typical response that I am ?one of the 1 or 2% of post refractive surgery patients with unsuccessful results ? but keep waiting, your eyes needs to heal over time.? Real textbook wording on how to avoid a lawsuit and allow my statute of limitations to pass by.

Any financial settlement brought about from a litigation case against you would have been fair and just. It would have helped restore some stability in my life and allow me to put myself back on my feet. But your cunning tactics to let the statue of limitations pass me by was remarkable. Through your lies about healing time to your lies about not knowing the cause of my problems, you covered yourself well.

But as a result, you ruined my life and my family?s lives as well. I have cutoff all contact with my family, since the only emotion I harbor now is depression. I write this letter to you with that same emotion.

We both know that there will never be a solution to my problems. With the overwhelming risk of ectasia on my already thinned and weakened corneas, combined with my large pupil size, I will never be a candidate for further surgery. I am forever a prisoner within my body.

I have no employment, nor can I maintain employment. I rarely drive, read, write, or do any of the other things I once loved.

Having lasik surgery has been the worst mistake of my life. It has literally cost me my life. I have cried every day for over the past 36 months. I have tried several anti depressants without any success since all of these cause mydriasis, making my glare, starbursts, and double vision much, much worse. My life is ruined; unfortunately I am not the only one paying the price. My mother is ill and now her life is ruined. These years were supposed to be the best of my life. I was 20 at the time of the surgery, I wanted to see the world independently and live free. I wanted to be a normal young man.

However I made the mistake of believing and trusting what a doctor and his well trained staff told me. I believed a doctor who took an oath to do no harm. Even though I signed
the consent form, as another lasik victim says ?the consent form does not give the doctor the right to do surgery on someone who should not have the procedure.?

The consent form you sign has you taking all the risks and the doctor taking none. I thought that that is what I was paying the doctor for, his expertise, knowledge and integrity to screen me as to whether I was a good candidate or not. I had a wonderful life and I just now exist from day to day.

Before the surgery, I had a huge circle of friends, I no longer have any friends except maybe one and the new friends that I have come to know because they too are lasik casualties.

I have not had one happy moment since I started having complications. I am in a severe depression. I have been to my family doctor, a grief counselor and a psychologist, nothing helps. Whether I stay up late or not, it takes me anywhere from 2 to 3 hours to fall asleep and then I have nightmares. It has been over 36 months that I have had a normal night?s sleep.

Lasik not only ruined my eyes, it also ruined my life and that of my family. I started working when I was 12 years old to help my family out financially. I did not come from a well to do background. In my 23 years of life, this was the first luxury item that I was going to purchase for myself. This was the largest amount of money that I was spending on myself for the first time in my life. I never dreamed or imagined that it would blow up in my face and ruin my life.

I do not want to go out because I cry and cry. Prior to lasik, I went everywhere, the store, parties, to visit relatives, the vacations, you name it. I was rarely home and had many friends. I had a simple, wonderful routine. Now that we have the time, I do not want to go anywhere, I do not want to do anything, my eyes feel like they have a constant infection, I am always exhausted due to lack of and poor sleep, I usually do not care what or if I eat. I cannot even watch TV comfortably, because my eyes hurt. I basically do not care about anything. Because of my lasik complications, I have become a prisoner of my body and in my home. So far, nothing, absolutely nothing gives me relief or comfort.

My family will never truly understand what I am and have been going through these past few years. The only people who can truly understand are those people that have suffered bad Lasik outcomes and have been wonderful in spending hours and hours talking to me and trying to help me.

This letter comes to you years in the making. This surgery ruined my life, my mother?s life, my father?s life, and my brothers? lives. It ruined my world.

I have no employment, I have a tremendous amount of debt, no insurance, no ability to address my complications. I am simply unfit to work. And now, at the age of 23, there is no hope of salvaging my life.

Your former patient,

Anthony D. Pizzo


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2007 2:14 am 
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Dear Anthony;

I just read the letter you wrote to the doctor who operated on you and I am truly horrified by it. You are a young man who has a lot to live for. There is technology to help you regain a good portion if not all of the vision and comfort you have lost. If you wish to e-mail me privately, I will do my best to guide you to qualified and caring doctors who will work with you.


Edward Boshnick, O.D., F.A.A.O.
Miami, Fl
www.eyefreedom.com
e-mail: ed@boshnick.com

_________________
I specialize in treating post-refractive surgical problems


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2007 12:41 pm 
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I don't know how much more of this I can take. Anthony, your letter has me in tears. I am so sorry this happened to you at such a young age.

(((((((((hugs)))))))))))

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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: Wed Sep 12, 2007 3:06 pm 
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Anthony,

Your letter was very well said and heart wrenching. I have no idea how a human would be able to sit down, read that letter, and then go on with their day to day life being able to not only forgive themself, but to go on continueing to do the very same thing to hundreds of other people. I really feel for you...and you know that already!!! It's absoultely terrible what you, and many others have to go through because of LASIK.

We already chit-chat through e-mails, but I'm pretty bad with any e-mail that is not work related. I'm going to PM you my phone number. Just remember there are people out there that know how you feel, and we really care about you and wish the best for you, even though your Dr. did not since it wasn't cost effective for him.

:::HUGS!!!:::


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 Post subject: Anthony, there is hope...
PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2007 12:03 am 
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Anthony,

The most serious case of post-LASIK complications I have ever known found relief with the right contact lenses. In this young man's case (he was also 20 when he had his surgery) the 'right' lenses were scleral lenses.

Hang in there.

Do you have my number? If not, PM me and I'll give it to you.

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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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PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2007 11:21 am 
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"I haven't seen a shred of data to indicate that any treatment of excimer laser induced higher order aberrations are safely and effectively reduced by further excimer laser surgery."

Scientist, I have just pm'ed you with a link to my pre-op and post-op wavefront scans. As I stated earlier, Coma was reduced from 1.18 to 0.34 RMS, Spherical aberration from 1.00 to 0.27 RMS, Other aberrations from 0.75 to 0.35 RMS

But these are only objective measurements, the most important thing is that I experienced a 90% improvement of my HOA symptoms. If anybody would like to have a look at my scans, do pm me and I will send you the link.

But I am not going to argue with you whether retreatment is safe or not. Because further refractive sugery is not and never will be completely safe. I am acutely aware of this since it is a retreatment which caused my HOA problems in the first place! In the end, I feel the choice of whethe to have further sugery really boils down to the individual person. Each patient is different, some can live with a bad outcome whereas others cannot.

Anthony, just don't lose hope on this. Things should get better one way or another with time.

Cheers

Derek


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2007 12:27 pm 
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zadaw,

I have a couple of questions about your retreatment. Was it a surface treatment with MMC or a flap lift? At what scan diameter were the HOA measured?

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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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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2007 12:46 pm 
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Broken Eyes, I have pm'ed you with download links to my pre and post-op scans. You should be able to see which diameter were my HOAs measured.

My flap was relifted, this was almost after 4 years. My surgeon did not get good results with surface retreatment.


-Derek


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2007 12:30 pm 
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Derek,

I just saw your wavefront scans. The diameter was 6.5 mm. How large are your pupils in the dark? What is your residual stromal thickness?

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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: Tue Sep 18, 2007 3:49 pm 
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I believe my pupil diameter was 7.00mm. I do not know what is my residual stromal thickness. The treatment zone was 6.5mm, I do not know what was the previous treatment zone.

-Derek


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2007 12:30 pm 
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zadaw wrote:
I believe my pupil diameter was 7.00mm. I do not know what is my residual stromal thickness. The treatment zone was 6.5mm, I do not know what was the previous treatment zone.

-Derek


Anthony's pupils are a lot larger than yours.

You should have an Artemis scan done to determine your residual stromal thickness. I would NEVER consent to a flap lift retreatment because my original surgery took my RST down to 300. We have learned that many patients below 300 have developed ectasia.

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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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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2007 1:27 am 
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Is the only solution to ectasia a corneal transplant?


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 Post subject: ectasia
PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2007 1:43 am 
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speaking as someone who has a "mild" case of ectasia...it seems like the biggest indicator for ectasia is pre-op corneal irregularity, i.e. genetic keratoconus

that said, zadaw's rsb must be thin, and he should definitely get regular periodic topographies and look for any progressive irregularity.

I would jump on any sign of changes and get corneal crosslinking done (called C3-R in the US)

I had this procedure done recently, and it seems like my vision has stabilized in the last 3 months, after watching things deteriorate for several months prior. I will be getting a topography to confirm this shortly...

all in all, I think zadaw's results are worthy of celebration and certainly I hope that things remain stable for him. being past age 35, he's probably fairly safe in the ectasia/keratoconus department, as this tends to affect younger corneas before there's natural collagen stiffening...

as for anthony, his pupils are smaller than dkantis' I think, who seems to have benefitted from his recent topo guided ablation with a large treatment zone with dr. stojanovic

I would think that it would be worth getting an opinion, if not done already. Of course, rgps should probably be tried first...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2007 1:51 am 
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The first few days in October I will be heading to Miami to visit Dr. Bosh to try out some contacts. I am very excited about this.


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 Post subject: Re: ectasia
PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2007 12:28 pm 
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libscor wrote:
as for anthony, his pupils are smaller than dkantis' I think, who seems to have benefitted from his recent topo guided ablation with a large treatment zone with dr. stojanovic

I would think that it would be worth getting an opinion, if not done already. Of course, rgps should probably be tried first...


I personally believe that having a surface treatment with MMC is NOT SAFE. The stuff is toxic, and kills corneal cells. They really don't know the long-term effects of MMC. There are studies that show it penetrates the cornea and possibly the anterior chamber.

Read below:

Am J Ophthalmol. 2006 May;141(5):799-809.

Corneal keratocyte deficits after photorefractive keratectomy and laser in situ keratomileusis.

DR STEVEN E. WILSON:

Quote:
I encourage you to use the same technology to look at patients who are having mitomycin prophylactic treatment for prevention of haze; probably 90 percent of refractive surgeons are using mitomycin without any long-term data as to the effect. It is clear the reason mitomycin works so well is that it eliminates 100 percent of all corneal cells in about 20 percent of the anterior cornea. Similar to your concerns, I think they are even magnified in those patients because data after six months in the animal model shows that none of those cells have returned. What happens in the future since we have limited experience with these types of patients? In 10 to 20 years, are we going to see anterior corneal necrosis or other problems?

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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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