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TOPIC: Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE)

Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE) 30 Apr 2015 18:42 #111

  • justin bowker
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Last year I received an unsolicited call from Optical Express saying if I entered their competition I could win a free op if I went in for an eye test. I went along and they told me I needed lens replacement in both eyes.

August 2014 I had lens replacement in my left eye at Optical Express in Manchester and approx 3 months later my eyesight deteriorated to a fuzzy blurred image that was not made any better with glasses. In fact I have lost my distance vision in that eye.

I complained to OE and after countless phone calls nagging them to do something they arranged for me to have YAG laser treatment. I had it and it made no difference. Unfortunately I have since discovered that because I had the YAG nothing more can be done to correct my vision, and this has been confirmed by OE today. They failed to tell me this would be the case if I had YAG laser!

So now my left eye is pretty useless and it seems there's nothing I can do about it. I read a Guardian article online about problems wiih lens replacement and the website "Optical Express ruined my life" www.theguardian.com/society/2015/jan/03/...-clinic-faces-claims and I told OE about this, and asked if hundreds of other people had the same problem as me. They denied all knowledge and told me they had sued the website and it had been taken down. Obviously they were lying as it's still here today. I also asked to speak to an optometrist but they wouldn't let me, simply said someone 'will call you back', but surprise surprise, no-one has!

Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE) 15 Apr 2015 13:21 #112

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With the recent publicised concerns regarding refractive lens exchange, one would expect surgeons to be ultra cautious in their recommendation of what is in fact cataract surgery, removing healthy natural lens simply to lose reading glasses!

Yet on Saturday, Dr Samer Hamada (employed by the NHS and private practices) will be giving, "an 'insight' into the various methods to improve distance and reading vision using premium lens implants such as toric lenses, multifocal lenses, trifocal lenses and Visian Implantable contact lenses.” - for the OVER 40s!

To the best of my knowledge, even Optegra only offer Clarivu (cataract surgery) to the over 50s!

I met Dr Hamada on two occasions, the second time in February 2014 at the AvMA 'Essential Ophthalmology' conference for lawyers, when he gave a presentation re medicolegal issues in eye surgery negligence cases.

At that meeting he appeared to be in absolute agreement with my concerns about the high street industry practices, so I was extremely surprised when he went to work at Optimax.

It seems money trumps ethics more often than not in this industry.

I would not be surprised to one day read that laser eye surgery is being offered to 10 year old children by exploitative surgeons!


Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE) 15 Apr 2015 08:50 #113

  • John Humphrey
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Hi all

I will try to keep this as brief as possible, but it would appear that I'm one of the many taken in by the Optical Express big sell only to be devastated at the results.
Because of the nature of my work and that I used to regularly forget my reading glasses I made the decision to have a consultation with OE to see if I was suitable for lens replacement surgery and if it would be the right course of action for my condition.
My sight was very good and distance vision near perfect considering my age (57). I only wore reading glasses because of age deterioration but found it annoying when having to keep taking them off then putting them on throughout the day so the thought of never having to wear them again was a very attractive prospect.

My consultation was at OE Cardiff branch in June 2014. My eyes tested by several different people depending on which machine, but I eventually had an audience with one of their optometrists who said that she was happy for the surgery to be performed.

I was asked to watch a video that was supposed to point out the side effects and pitfalls of eye surgery, which I did before I was offered some very attractive discounts on the strength that my ex wife worked for one of the banks that they give extra discount to. I found this a little surprising but as I was saving £700 it seemed like a good deal. I should mention that the video never mentioned that I might suffer any of the serious side effects that I am!

They don't do lens replacement at Cardiff so I was booked into the Bristol branch for 8 and 15 July 2014 and when I arrived on 8 July I was asked if I'd completed the consent form and I explained that I'd never been given a consent form. I was asked to hurriedly initial all of the boxes and sign a form before they commenced with surgery. I then had a very brief meeting with the surgeon Dr Alex George when I highlighted that I had not time to read through the consent form in any depth and his response was an abrupt "do you want to go ahead or not?”.
He was the doctor so I thought he knew what he was doing and having come this far decided to go ahead.

Immediately after both operations I felt that there was something wrong. My reading vision was improved but not perfect and certainly not 20/20. I was concerned about everything around me being blurred and mentioned this at every appointment I had with the optometrist. I explained that I couldn't make out people’s faces from as close as 15 feet away to which his retort was "well it's sometimes better not to be able to recognise people, that way you don't have to acknowledge them”! He did also tell me on one visit that had he done my assessment he wouldn't have recommended that I have the surgery. Unfortunately he wasn't at work that day or I might not be in the position I am now.

Since having the surgery I also feel as if my eyes are thickened and I'm always aware of having something in them. Of course I was assured that everything would die down but if anything the problem has got worse.
I have had several appointments with surgeons and optometrists, been given spectacles to trial and also trialled contact lenses. All these did was to exacerbate the problems to the point that I could not live with them. This trial was prior to them giving me laser correction.

The surgeons have been totally unhelpful and very rude and defensive during my visits but everyone has now washed their hands of me and they don't answer any correspondence. I have had two appointments made that they have not honoured their part of the bargain.
So in desperation I am where I am. My life feels that it has been ruined by OE and they couldn't care less about the devastation they are wreaking on the general public.
I have since found out that I had the MPlus X lens implant and that this is a defective lens they are apparently still using to this day. How can a medical organisation of this size get away with blatant malpractice for so long without being stopped?

All I want is to be able to see properly again even if it means just going back to what I had before the operation and having to reading glasses.

We must unite in bringing this organisation to their knees to stop them making vast amounts of money from the suffering of others.
The following user(s) said Thank You: HazelJ

URGENT! 08 Apr 2015 19:03 #114

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Did you have lens replacement surgery at Optical Express Westfield clinic at any time in February or March 2015?

Regardless of the results, if you did, please contact me for important information: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

FYI: A Femtosecond laser machine is used to cut an insertion point for the lens in the NLR procedure, it is not blade cut.

Before posting this I ’talked' with an Optical Express ‘Live Chat Advisor’ (twice), and both times I asked him to explain the difference between RLE and NLR.

Both times he told me it was, “Intra Ocular Lens surgery”, and repeatedly asked, "Is this something you have considered for yourself recently?

He also repeatedly suggested I should go in for a free consultation, still not explaining the difference between RLE and NLR.

I would have got more sense out of a robot!

Meanwhile, OE's website provided this information:


Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE) 03 Apr 2015 15:28 #115

  • Mr Starburst
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If they saw this information would anyone seriously contemplate having non essential RLE surgery, which is exactly the same operation as for cataract removal,

"Ophthalmologists make every attempt to maintain the integrity of the capsular bag so that the intraocular lens can be positioned correctly within it. But the capsular bag is extremely thin — approximately the thickness of a single red blood cell — and can sometimes rupture or break".

"Some cataract surgery complications occur quite a while later. For example, a detached retina can occur months or years after a perfectly successful cataract procedure”.

No wonder these ops are disguised and marketed with pretty brand names like "Clarivu".

Sh*t plastic lenses ruined my eyes! 03 Apr 2015 12:56 #116

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I had very blurred vision in my right eye after unsuccessful lens exchange (RLE) in 2013, performed by Jan Venter at Westfield in White City, so I contacted Optical Express who told me to go to the Reading Broad Street clinic on a Sunday in February. It was freezing cold, raining cats and dogs so I parked as close as I could and walked the rest of the way. Trouble was OE had moved and the idiots hadn't bothered to tell me.
Luckily Specsavers had moved in to the building and they kindly phoned OE and said that they had one of their patients who didn't know where they hell they were. I was given directions to Queens Rd premises and set off on foot, but I couldn't find it. Not surprising really as there is no sign or plaque on the building, and when I did eventually find the place I was soaked through and chilled to the bone.
I went completely ape sh*t for about 1/4 hour and the other clients must have thought I was demented, but hopefully they won't suffer as I have done.
The upshot was that I was sent to Harley Street to have Yag Laser on my right eye (I had the left one done last September). It has taken away the blurriness but not the halos around lights, or the starbursts, or the double vision at around 30 metres.
To top it all I have just discovered that because of the Yag procedure it would now be very risky, probably too risky to have these sh*t pieces of plastic removed. No-one told me this!
Rant over.

Skin growing over my eye 25 Mar 2015 15:51 #117

  • donna
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I went for my appointment with OE optom Colin Berry who confirmed there is skin growing at the back of my right eye and this would need YAG laser. He also said that my left eye also has a small amount of skin growing over it and this would probably need YAG laser at a later date.
Why in gods name did I let them touch my eyes???
Colin Berry said that I did not need to rush and that he would "drop me a wee email to confirm I had been to see him and this would let me get in touch with him when I wanted to go for surgery".
I have not received an email and have had no further communication with OE.
Great customer service!!!!!

Cataract surgery = RLE 24 Mar 2015 11:37 #118

  • Caro
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Even with cataracts, you should not rush into this sort of surgery, until it is strictly necessary. My mother has very visible cataracts, but even at this stage she still has good driving standard vision, and was wisely advised not to have surgery unless it becomes strictly necessary. I wish other health care providers were this ethical with their patients.

Skin growing over my eye 19 Mar 2015 22:57 #119

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Aaaarrrrggghh, I scream in sheer anger that the eye butchers have ruined yet another patients vision, and caused them to suffer excruciating physical pain as well. I expect advice will already have been given to not countenance letting this revolting money grabbing business anywhere near your eyes again, as many oe patients have found out that these idiots can't even get 1st time surgery right, let alone fix things when they go wrong. They know they will ruin peoples eyes prior to surgery, and they know they aren't in any way able to fix their own f**k ups, yet they pile on the agony by 'trying' to do so. They are nothing more than outright criminals, who should suffer a lifetime of hell as their damaged patients do !
The following user(s) said Thank You: HazelJ

Skin growing over my eye 19 Mar 2015 20:48 #120

  • donna campbell
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I had RLE four and a half years ago. This is a procedure that I was told was safe and that I would never get cataracts.
When I first got it done I had nothing but bother, gritty and painful eyes, could not see properly. OE said it was "dry eyes". On one occasion after strictly following the advice given to me by OE regarding putting eye drops in my eye at night time, I awoke one morning with excruciating pain.
The cells on my eye had ripped off onto my eyelid and I had to go to my local OE to get the lowest prescription of contact lens to protect my eye until I could go to the clinic at Silverburn for them to put 0% contact lens in my eye to stop my eye lid further damaging my eye.
I had never in my 48 years had dry eyes before surgery. In the end I stopped going to OE because I felt the optician Claire Hannan (Stephen Hannan’s wife) was very condescending when speaking to me and made me feel OE had basically washed their hands of me.
I had to return to OE recently as my right eye has now started clouding over. I told the optician Georgina Blair that I was having bother with my right eye. I said it felt blurry and foggy and that it was sore at times and felt very dry in the morning and at night. My left eye had floaters in it which I did not have before.
After she examined my eyes she said there was skin growing on the lens on my right eye and this is what was causing the problem.
Tomorrow I am going for an OCT scan on my eyes and am told I will be then referred to an OE surgeon to have YAG Laser!!!
Will update after appointment tomorrow