Treatments are regularly given away by OE for marketing purposes, so why oh why could they not respond to Ruth B with kindness and “write off” the cost of her surgery given her circumstances? Do legalities prevent them from being able to respond with humanity?
I was afforded a treatment to my second eye free of charge, though I certainly did not ask for this and was HAPPY TO PAY!
It was all very strange at the time and not clearly communicated. My first eye had not been the greatest of successes. This has been a very conflicting emotion for me as I am a grateful person.
This is absolutely tragic, not just for Ruth B, but for Stephen Hannan and Optical Express.
I had lens replacement (RLE) in Sept 2013. Prior to my treatment I had a check up at my local Optical Express clinic and was told they'd seen something in my eye and advised I went to NHS hospital to get it checked.
I went to Winchester Hospital where the doctor told me they couldn't see anything. I went back to Optical Express in Harley Street for further tests and 2 months later booked treatment.
After RLE on my second eye, which did not go smoothly (they left plastic in my eye) they said they were not happy with first eye and at their expense sent me to another hospital, where surgeon Riaz Asaria told me that I had eye cancer, a tumour about 10mm in size.
Shocked does not cover it!!
After Proton Beam therapy in Liverpool I contacted Optical Express asking for refund of my payment for just one eye, as I believe they should not have carried out the treatment.
Surely a 10mm tumour should have shown up somewhere amongst Optical Express' widely advertised "advanced technology" tests I underwent at Harley Street?!
It should actually be against the law to replace the natural lens in any eyes at all unless visually impairing cataracts are present or there is some other compelling clinical reason for doing so.
It is also morally questionable to say the least for 'celebrities' to promote any type of refractive eye surgery, especially as they will almost certainly have been operated on by what could be termed 'top level surgeons' and said ops will, in many cases, have been performed as part of a commercial arrangement where the 'celebrity' promotes the clinic who performed their surgery.
Thank you for that link Mr Starburst which makes very interesting reading.
There is currently a lot of research going on into new lens designs and materials as well as techniques to avoid capsular opacifiation. In fact, this must be the "holy grail" of refractive lens exchange! But until it is found I firmly believe that lens replacement surgery should ONLY be undertaken for visually significant cataracts. Too many patients are experiencing problems for which they were not prepared!
Informed consent? I think not
Robin wrote: Stephen Hannan recommended I undergo this procedure and said OE would pay for it, but only if I signed a non disclosure agreement•. I felt "kicked when I was down" having been through the most stressful and miserable experience of my life and was not inclined to sign a "gagging order" so went through this without their help.
Last month the NHS logo was displayed on the Optical Express website! This made me VERY VERY angry
OE 'live chat advisor' James said "We have a relationship with the NHS where they would be able to refer patients to Optical Express."
Have cataract patients on the NHS waiting list been referred to Optical Express?
________________________________ admin: I mentioned the NHS logo to John McDonnell in early July. He asked the government if OE were paying to advertise on NHS Choices. I'm waiting for updates from John as parliament is currently in summer recess.
I now know that floaters are very common after this surgery but was never told this by OE until post op advice. I have two big ones, one in each eye and lots of smaller ones also I suffer from halos and starbursts I have not had any laser work as I discovered this sight. My long distance sight is worse than before and I also think my near vision is starting to get worse. I think the only reason Alex George contacted me is because of the legal action I am taking and not in the interest of my health as we both know they have no real interest in that
Firstly, I am Impressed that you had a call from your surgeon.
Lens exchange/clear lens replacement (RLE) carried out to improve vision without glasses or contact lenses, (as opposed to being needed due to the presence of cataract), comes with extra risk factors not explained fully to patients in my opinion. Posterior capsular opacification (secondary cataract) is common following lens exchange and can occur very early on, needing Yag laser capsulotomy.
Floaters are common following this treatment, although some people learn to ignore these and they can settle down. It is also known that within a few years of lens replacement many patients will suffer vitreous detachment, which again can cause floaters and if you are very short sighted can cause retinal detachment which is sight threatening and needs urgent treatment. Increased risk of retinal detachment is on the consent form but it really doesn't explain the likely hood of vitreous detachment following RLE or that some patients can be thoroughly visually disabled by these vitreous floaters/opacities.
Following Yag laser I experienced floaters which never went away and became increasingly worse, like a permanent kaleidoscope reflecting light within my eye and making my vision fluctuate constantly. Optical Express did eventually refer me to a wonderful vitreo retinal surgeon. He offered to carry out a vitrectomy to my distance eye to help alleviate my symptoms. I was lucky to be a suitable candidate though this was still not without risk. Fortunately for me the likely benefits outweighed the risks.
Stephen Hannan recommended I undergo this procedure and said OE would pay for it, but only if I signed a non disclosure agreement•. David Mungall made much of how I could have someone accompany me, that they would pay for our hotel accommodation and all travel expenses, and made it sound like a lovely weekend holiday!
If they had just helped out with the surgery they would have had a grateful patient and I would have been happy to get myself there and back and stay overnight if necessary! It just would have been nice to have been looked after. I felt "kicked when I was down" having been through the most stressful and miserable experience of my life and was not inclined to sign a "gagging order" so went through this without their help. Well, they gave me plain glass in my spex to assist with my period of recovery from vitrectomy.(I tried other opticians first, but they wouldn't do this for me).
I do not trust Optical Express with their non disclosure agreements. I want to see an independent Central Agency collecting and analysing outcomes. We need actual statistics! I am very concerned at the increasing number of patients undergoing RLE given all the problems I have experienced and would like to see these stopped until more long term outcomes are available.
___________________________________ admin: •A non disclosure agreement (NDA) is a confidentiality agreement, aka 'gagging order', legally prohibiting a person from discussing or publicising what has happened to them. Had Robin signed this she would be unable to post her story here or discuss with anyone.