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Topic History of : Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE)

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05 May 2019 08:55 #328

KT

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Oh my!!! After reading your story it’s exactly the same as mine. I also only had reading glasses and they told me I was the ideal candidate for RLE and I wasn’t suitable for laser surgery.

After receiving the paperwork from OE it turns out I had been suitable for laser.

I was supposed to have multi focal lenses in my eyes but it turns out they put in Extended depth of vision lenses, which meant after surgery I most likely would still need reading glasses.

Never in a million years would I have had this surgery if I’d known that..... what would have been the point?

I have all the same symptoms.... dry eyes ( they put in punctual plugs to see if they helped, but wouldn’t give me Lipiflow unless I paid for it) halos, starbursts etc. The first night I went out driving it was like being in a Sci-fi movie. All the halos round the lampposts were everywhere and I came home and cried for 4 hours, I just wanted to walk in front of a bus.... I was so upset.

These people don’t care, all they’re interested in is the money.

David Teenan was my surgeon and I know that he is being sued by dozens of people (me one of them) so how is he still allowed to operate?
27 Apr 2019 15:09 #327

Nicks Story - RLE procedure

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My partner Nick had gone to Optical Express to enquire about surgery after a recommendation from a friend. His eyesight was in very good condition prior to the operation; he had excellent long vision but wanted surgery so that he did not have to wear glasses to read as he kept losing his glasses. I will now attempt to break down the whole sorry saga that has unfolded over the past few months.

October 2018 - Nick attended a consultation with 'refractive counsellor' Ayesha Wilkinson at Optical Express in Sheffield (Meadowhall branch). He initially asked about laser eye surgery but Ayesha Wilkinson immediately dismissed this, saying that it would only last a few years at best and he would need repeat treatments to maintain perfect vision (Oh the irony!). Instead, would he consider RLE? He was told that for a mere £6000 he would have "perfect eyesight" within a month of the operation. The 'refractive counsellor' then switched to salesperson, stating that this was a special discounted rate and that it was not available to all customers, though we all know that is most certainly is. Nick saw the optoemtrist Amandeep Gill, then paid a deposit, with full payment due a few days before surgery, scheduled for a pre-op consultation with the surgeon in Manchester.

Nick then attended a pre-op consultation at the St John St branch of Optical Express in Manchester. His surgeon was Dr Aasheet Desai. Given a thorough eye examination he was told by Dr Desai that his long vision was excellent and it was only his short-vision that required treatment. He was told about the RLE procedure and given the opportunity to ask questions at this point. Nick asked Dr Desai if the procedure would affect his long vision as that was currently perfect. Dr Desai stated that his long vision would not be affected, that lens exchange would only affect short vision if your long-sightedness was being corrected, and as Nick was having his short-sightedness corrected this would not be an issue. He was told that one eye would be operated on Friday and then the other eye on Saturday as there needed to be 24 hours between procedures. At this point Nick asked Dr Desai how long it would take to see significant results from the RLE surgery. He was told by Dr Desai that some people can see instantly, and for some people it can take up to 3 weeks. At no time during this consultation was Nick informed that the healing process would take significantly longer.

About 3 weeks before the scheduled surgery dates on 16/17th November 2018, we received a phone call from OE stating that they had a cancellation and could put the surgery forward to the 3rd November. In addition, as there had been a cancellation, BOTH eyes would now be operated on the same day. We contacted OE and voiced our concerns about this as we were explicitly told that the procedure should be carried out over two days, and it also states this on the paperwork; however this was dismissed by the person we spoke to at Manchester and instead we were told that the OE had recently changed its terms and conditions regarding operating on two eyes on one day and that this was now allowed to happen.

3 November 2018 - Nick goes in for RLE procedure. It was very busy and we were told that the surgeon had another 14 people having the same procedure that day. Nick had a few pre op checks with an optometrist prior to surgery. During these checks a nurse entered the room with a the file of a patient having RLE the same day, and the lenses. The nurse stated that they had run out of a certain strength lens for this patient. The optometrist said that it wasn’t a problem and they would “Stick a 1.5 strength lens in instead”. Nick was alarmed at this but assumed that the optometrist knew what he was talking about. He had his surgery and was sent home to rest with eye drops, eye covers etc.

I should mention at this point that Nick's eyesight has never improved since the operation on the 3rd November. As previously mentioned, Nick had excellent long vision and only wore glasses to read. He chooses not to drive at night now as the glare from lights is too intense. His long vision is poor and he has double vision (ghosting), blurring, glare from lights, and floaters in his eyes on a daily basis. He can see close up to read but there is still blurring around letters. Nick spoke to OE in Sheffield about his impaired ability to drive at night and they have confirmed that he is “within the legal limits” and said that “if anything happens (i.e car crash) not to worry, as on paper you’re within the DVLA requirements to drive”.

Within 2 weeks of the RLE procedures Nick complains of a painful popping in his right eye. We thought it was just part of the healing process but were reassured by OE that there was nothing to worry about when Nick attended his first post-op appointment 2 weeks after his surgery. He was told his eyes were “healing nicely", and when Nick mentioned that he was experiencing glare, halos and double vision he was told this was a normal part of the healing process and it was his brain adjusting to the surgery and to wait another week or two.

I should mention about the "neuroadaption process" being thrown at us numerous times now. As an academic researcher in the field of psychology, I am aware of this process but I said that this was NOT mentioned in any part of the terms and conditions. If this is such an important part of the healing process then why is this not mentioned in ANY of the documentation?? When I aksed this question I was given a medical explanation of the inner workings of the eye instead, not what I’d asked. We were sent away with stronger eye drops and told to wait another 3 weeks when we should see a definite improvement.

1 month after surgery, and with no improvement Nick attends a check-up at OE Sheffield. Once again, he was told by a male optometrist that he had 20/20 vision but that the healing process could take up to 6 WEEKS.

6 weeks after surgery and no improvement in Nick's condition. He is once again told the same story about his brain getting used to the lenses and that glare, haloes, blurring and ghosting are all part of the healing process. Given more eye drops and told to make an appointment for 2 month’s time.

2 months later and no improvement in the condition of Nick’s eyesight. Told by a male optometrist to “stop panicking” about the condition of his eyes. He is also told that if anything is still wrong at the 3 month stage it could be easily sorted out by tweaking it with laser eye surgery in-store. Nick leaves with more eye drops and is not happy. Nick asks to speak to Dr Desai who performed the RLE procedure and was told this was not possible as he has to wait at least 3 months for a referral. Nick’s repeated requests to speak to Dr Desai were all refused.

10 weeks after RLE procedure… Nick demands another appointment with a different optometrist for a second opinion. Seen by a female optician who tells him that it is not possible to offer him laser eye surgery in-store and he has been misinformed. Nick is told he will just have to wait and “see how it goes”. Nick also asks what percentages of people have problems after RLE like his and she told him 10 percent of patients still have significant problems up to 3 months after surgery!!! Neruroadaption and dry eyes are mentioned yet again and more drops are administered. We do not know who or what to believe at this stage as we are getting conflicting information about what can be done to sort Nick’s eyesight out.

3 months after RLE procedure - Nick goes into OE Sheffield and demands to speak to the male optometrist who said he could correct his eyesight with laser eye in-store. He offered no apologies for giving Nick the wrong information, instead said that he was going to refer Nick to the surgeon who performed the RLE procedure. An appointment was made to see Dr Desai at OE Manchester.

26th February 2019: Nick travels to Manchester for his 4.15pm appointment with Dr Desai. The receptionist could not find any details of this and stated that he would have to make another appointment unless he had proof of this appointment! Luckily, Nick had the email from OE confirming his appointment. However, Nick had to wait over two hours to be seen by the surgeon as he had to be “squeezed in” due to him not being on the system for an appointment that day.

Dr Desai stated that the problems Nick was experiencing were completely normal and that it was his brain that had the problem with the lenses and there was no problem with the lenses themselves. Nick was also told that it could take up to SIX MONTHS for his eyes to fully heal. Nick was then told to return to OE Manchester in two month's time. One month later, Nick was extremely worried as there absolutely no improvement in the condition of his eyes and he demanded to see Dr Desai again. By this time, Nick has started to take anti-depressants because of the situation and has told me he feels suicidal and is scared he is going to go blind.

Nick attends another appointment at OE Manchester and explains all of this and his current state of mind. Dr Desai then suggests that Nick tries some different eye drops as “a last resort” which will dilate the pupil and hopefully improve his eyesight. The drops were soon discontinued as Nick suffered from extreme eye pain akin to a burning sensation, which caused Nick to cry out in pain when he administered the drops, followed by severe headaches.

26th March 2019 – Nick and I attend an appointment at OE Manchester to see Dr Desai once again. We are placed in a waiting room with three other couples. One lady had had a laser eye procedure which had caused her to have permanent floaters in both eyes. She was seen before us and she left the consulting room in tears. She told us that she had been told that there was nothing that OE could do to help her with her problem unless she was willing to have a YAG capsulotomy which she did not want to have done in case her eyesight further deteriorated. Another gentleman had had RLE surgery on one of his eyes a few days ago and it had caused a fog over this eye that he described as like “looking through cling film”. He was refusing to have the other eye done until they sorted out this eye. Another lady had been to see OE over the past 15 months complaining of grit in her eyes. She kept getting fobbed off by OE and repeatedly sent away with eye drops (Unfortunately, we did not get to hear the outcome of her consultation as we were in next).

We told Dr Desai about the continuing problems with the drops, blurring, haloes, depression, double vision etc and the best he could offer Nick at this stage is another Intraocular (IOL) procedure to remove the existing multifocal lenses and replace them with monofocal lenses which could restore Nick's vision to how it was pre op, although Dr Desai stated there could be no guarantees that this would be a success. Dr Deadeye (as we now call him) said he would have to seek approval from OE head office for the IOL procedure but we would have to "keep chasing it up” ourselves.

We were also told that the healing process "varies" from person to person and in fact can take "weeks, months or YEARS for your eyes to adapt properly" and sometimes "NOT AT ALL". However, we are fully aware of the risks that this procedure carries and have zero confidence in it working. We ask about the 12 month OE aftercare and we are told that any procedure after that time will have to be paid for, regardless of whether OE were at fault. The consultant also mentioned that he was not employed by OE directly and therefore couldn’t comment further about refunds or complaints. We leave with Nick resigned to the fact that he will have to live with his eyesight permanently damaged unless he wishes to undertake the risky IOL procedure, which neither of us are confident of OE performing.

April 2019 - 5 weeks after the last appointment and a lot of chasing later and we still have got no further. We have received a copy of the terms and conditions from head office, the same as other people on this forum. However, I am still waiting for head office to explain where on their terms and conditions it explicitly mentions the process of neuroadaptation. The response we were also sent by head office was full of medical jargon, that unless you possess a degree in medicine or are an optometrist, the average customer would not understand it. Therefore I have asked for a letter explaining this in layman's terms. So far no response.

So what do we do now? I have a suicidal partner who has had his eyesight ruined by OE and they have made us practically beg for any help.

Nick now has an appointment with an NHS specialist next week for an independent opinion and we are considering legal action against OE.
05 Apr 2019 17:42 #326

admin

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There's currently much discussion on the new MBEF Fb group* concerning horrific visual problems members have suffered as a result of refractive lens exchange (RLE/NLR) - including blindness!

And with adverse incidents escalating, I thought it timely to advise people unaware of the facility to report their issues via the Yellow Card Scheme on the MHRA website :kiss:

You will need your lens ID, which should have been given to you at the time of surgery, but if not, contact the provider and ask for the ID card to be emailed to you asap - one per eye.


yellowcard.mhra.gov.uk

Please note that there is no cost for lens ID cards.

*Visit www.facebook.com/groups/MBEFoundation/ to join.
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16 Mar 2019 07:56 #325

Anon

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I booked a consultation at Optical Express in St . Vincent street in Glasgow in 2017 to enquire if I would be suitable for laser treatment as I only wore reading glasses and I kept losing them. They were so friendly and helpful....lovely bunch ; or so I thought....oblivious that this was the beginning of their sales tactics) After tests they said I was unsuitable for laser surgery but ....surprise surprise as I only had glasses for reading I would be an ideal candidate for lens replacement. They said it would really improve my eyesight and I wouldn’t need to wear glasses again. I didn't feel my my eyesight was too bad but I was getting frustrated at having to take my glasses on and off and on and off - especially at restaurants for menus etc (when I had forgot them) - but this issue seems oh so trivial now. They gave me documents to sign and I was to return with them a week later for surgery. I looked through them but didn’t really understand what I was really consenting to. I should have asked more questions and researched OE's capabilities. At this point, I only had the T&Cs to inform me. The staff at the clinic made this procedure sound as simple as having a haircut. It was going to be fantastic (their words) as I was going to be one of the first to have these premium lenses.

I was very quickly called to pay for my treatment and the whole process felt very rushed. Although I had been given written T&Cs, the complications of this surgery was never explained to me in person and any question I asked was made to sound so trivial - like it would never happen to me. No one explained that starbursts/halos/ghosting could last forever and could take up my whole eyesight.

At no time before surgery was I informed of any risks. It might sound naive now but I trusted that this was a common minor procedure.if someone had sat and gone through risks etc I know for a fact i would not have gone ahead. For example......I didn’t have a clue what even dry eyes were. I certainly do now unfortunately.

They painted a rosy picture of a simple operation, minor surgery, a quick procedure that would change my life.....it certainly did, but not for the better. They also said I could choose a pair of sunglasses half price. Wow!! Their hindsight was better than mine. I most certainly need them.

The surgeon called me by telephone and asked me if I had any concerns, I said it concerned me the thought of halos etc. He asked me if I’d ever had a floater in my eye and said the halos, starbursts etc were just like floaters.....if I ignored them I wouldn’t see them. I trusted that he was telling me the truth. How wrong was I. Blatant lies.

I didn’t speak the surgeon on the day of surgery.

Prior to the surgery my apparent astigmatism was never mentioned. During surgery the surgeon put 2 incisions in my eyes without discussing with me before or after surgery. It was only when having a consultation with an independent ophthalmologist surgeon that this was disclosed to me.

Post treatment is where I feel the negligence started to show. I immediately knew there was something wrong with my eyes. I called OE as I was so concerned and they reassured me that it was normal to feel this way but it would not take me long to adjust. I continued with hope after their reassurance. They were wrong.

The first time it really hit home hard was when I tried to go out driving at night. I had been advised by OE that this should now be safe to do so and I should carry on my normal duties. I couldn't believe it - I couldn't see! I was in floods of tears and I was frightened - all my eyes were showing me were circles and bursts of huge bright lights the sizes of houses! It was only a traffic light. The lights from streetlamps, traffic lights, cars - they were all filling my vision and I could not see. It's the most frightened and terrified I have ever been in my life. This is when I knew for definite that something was not normal. To date I am still unable to drive in the dark.

In addition to this, I had been suffering from severe dry eyes and blurred vision. From dusk onwards I have circle effects/moving circle/bubble constantly coming towards my eyes which is really distressing. I now understand that this is a reflection of my multifocal lens.

Over the next few months, I attended more appointments that I can count at this stage, to no avail. Every time I went to OE they told me that it was normal and to give my brain time to adjust. They would give me eye drops to help with the dry eyes. Even things like OE telling me I can no longer use eye drops with steroids as it could damage my eyes, then ordering me eye drops with steroids in them... if I didn't know what to look for on the bottle, I wouldn't have known and who knows what damage could have been done. All the while, I had nothing to even slightly relieve any symptoms.

Time passed, I have not improved.

I continuously asked for options as to why this has happened, how it could have happened and what to do to rectify the issue. It was, and is destroying my ability to lead a normal life. No one seemed concerned.

Through constant persistence, I managed to get OE to acknowledge I had a serious issue with dry eyes. OE initially booked me in for punctual plugs, but I had heard of lipiFlow and asked them if they would be willing to try this. Their initial answer was no because of the cost (I have this answer in an email). I asked them what kind of dry eyes I have as the treatment given should depend on that. After all the appointments I have had concerning my eyes, they did not know. I then asked to be booked in for an assessment. They then advised that I had both types of dry eyes but would only be willing to try punctual plugs because of the cost.


At the moment I have severe dry eyes, posterior capsule opcafication , posterior vitreous detachment , cloudy vision, ghosting, halos, starbursts, halos, blurryness, floaters and light sensitivity. I’ve had to change the bulbs in my house, I also sit in the dark at work as I can’t bear the lighting and when shopping I constantly feel as if a torch is shining into my eyes with the lights. I cry most days as I find having between having the gel moving in front of my eyes and the constant dryness so distressing. I really don't know how they can sleep at night knowing that this surgery causes all these symptoms.

I am now a stage where they have offered me YAG laser treatment. I have no confidence in OE to perform this treatment as they have left me with worse eyesight than before my surgery.

I genuinely feel they were just trying anything to keep me quiet and "hope" that it works.

I cannot believe they are allowed to put people through this torture - I am tormented every day with the thought of opening my eyes as I know I won't be able to see normally.

I feel coerced, misinformed and poorly treated in regards to my whole experience with OE.

On one of my visits I was told that they try to get you booked into the clinic ASAP after your consultation so you don’t change your mind.


I have spent the last year so distressed because of something I am not convinced I needed, something that has complications far beyond what was explained, something that may not even have been what was originally explained to me.

I feel I have to explain my situation better so people can have an understanding of how these people have genuinely ruined my life as I knew it.


If you offered me a million pounds or my eyesight back to where it was before optical expressed ruined it....I would take my eyesight in a jiffy.

It makes me so sad to think that’s my precious sight had gone by these people who have no morals. It’s all about the money,

Any reputable firm would not have provided surgery to someone who didn’t need it. If they had said at any point I would still need reading glasses after surgery, there’s no way I would have even considered it. Why would I spend £6000 to be back to where I was before surgery with all these
additional problems.’
08 Mar 2019 11:48 #324

JS001

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Hello, new poster here. I realise I'm probably not in the target audience for this forum but I'll ask anyway

I found this site while researching cataract surgery & obviously I'm now concerned with the issues that are raised. My situation is that I'm 59 & need cataract surgery - it's not a vanity thing as I now have limited vision in one eye & severe myopia in the other. While I have been accepted for NHS treatment of the cataract they will not treat the second eye, nor will they correct my astigmatism with a toric lens implant. Hence I'm being forced down the private route.

The essence of my question is how do I find & select where to go? I have had a couple of consultations & quotes, one with a Professor at [redacted] & the other with a consultant surgeon at [redacted]. Both time I saw the surgeon for 25 minutes or so, neither have said they can guarantee perfect vision & I've made it clear i don't want multifocal or monovision lenses.

What more should I do give myself the best chance of success? Are there any sites like this where there is unbiased advice?
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admin: To be clear, you are not being 'forced down the private route', this is entirely your own decision. And if you don't need cataract surgery in your second eye, and can see with prescription glasses, then your best chance of success is to leave well alone.

Given that this site warns against unnecessary refractive surgery - lens exchange or laser - I doubt that any damaged patient will advise you differently, and as two surgeons have told you they can't guarantee perfect vision I am amazed that you are still considering risking your healthy eye
:kiss:
01 Mar 2019 15:21 #323

FJ

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I also asked the same question about why he had not had surgery himself, to which he seemed quite irritated, and gave me the same answer as yours, before moving quickly on. In retrospect, there were so many clues that I was being taken for a ride on this, but I was just too trusting. I had also asked one of their optometrists why ophthalmologists all seem to wear glasses, and his bizarre reply was that they like wearing glasses!
I should have smelled a rat, and still beat myself up daily for not doing so.

A Roberts wrote: Hi

Too cut a long story short, I had NLR at the Bristol clinic on 11th October 2018 and returned the following day to have the second eye done by Doctor Alex George. It was extremely busy and the surgeon was operating on 22 patients in the same day! I was very nervous and asked Doctor Alex George why he had not had surgery, and he had said that his prescription wasn't suitable!

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OERML & My Beautiful Eyes Foundation rely on your support to expose the horrors of this unregulated industry.

Your help is very much appreciated!

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