Lasik is not the fail-safe procedure the industry claims it to be.
Ray Tsai, M.D., who was the leading Lasik surgeon in Taiwan, recently announced he would no longer do the procedure because he is seeing people developing serious complications 8-10 years after having had it done. According to the China Times, “Tsai said that many patients receiving Lasik surgery have suffered significant losses in eyesight 10 years after the surgery, suggesting that the surgery led to keratitis, inflammation of the cornea.” Tsai said it was a matter of medical ethics that he stop performing the procedure.
Dr. Morris Waxler, who as Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Chief of Diagnostic and Surgical Devices Branch was responsible for approving Lasik in 1996-8, is now leading the campaign to outlaw the procedure. He has filed a petition charging the Lasik industry with having submitted deceptive data in order to gain approval; with continuing to cover up bad outcomes by failing to report them to the FDA (which they are legally required to do); and with settling lawsuits for the most catastrophic outcomes out-of-court so they never come into the public eye.
More than 600 people – mostly victims of bad Lasik outcomes – have signed an online petition supporting Dr. Waxler’s initiative. The most common theme among these Lasik casualties is some variation of “Lasik ruined my life.” In at least three cases that was literally true, because the petition was signed by a relative of someone who had committed suicide following a catastrophic Lasik outcome.
For an overview of what can go wrong, watch this testimony by Dr. Lauranell Burch at the 2008 FDA hearing. Anyone contemplating Lasik should also watch videos of others testifying at the 2008 FDA hearing on Lasik at this link.