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TOPIC: Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE)

Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE) 16 Aug 2014 22:44 #231

  • Mr Starburst
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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.

Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE) 16 Aug 2014 21:21 #232

  • Robin
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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 :angry:

Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE) 16 Aug 2014 16:41 #233

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How many people who have undergone or are considering RLE are aware of what's in the link below?

Probably no-one at all I'll bet!

The refractive eye surgery industry sell these types of operations as being simple and safe, when in reality they are neither!


Payment 16 Aug 2014 09:25 #234

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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.

Can I ask how much all this has cost you Robin?

NHS Logo 16 Aug 2014 08:13 #235

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Last month the NHS logo was displayed on the Optical Express website! This made me VERY VERY angry :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.

"Floaters" after RLE 15 Aug 2014 19:14 #236

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Hi Robin
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 :(

"Floaters" after RLE 14 Aug 2014 22:29 #237

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Hi HazelJ

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.
The following user(s) said Thank You: HazelJ

Ruined Eyesight 14 Aug 2014 19:10 #238

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I have had no contact with OE since last December when they yet again cancelled an appointment I had made to get plugs fitted which they recommended. I then started legal proceedings against them, suddenly - out of the blue I get a call from my surgeon Alex George. I refused to speak to him on the phone as I want a record of any thing they have to say to me. Turns out I have symptoms of floaters! Looking up the definition up it means, 1. Coming down with an illness! No I don't think so! 2. Something horrible is about to happen! That's a bit closer but it's already happened because of OE lol! I am not a stupid person, I regret letting them anywhere near my eyes, but like most of us you presume that as they're surgeons you can trust them. I also cannot understand why a person in this day and age is allowed to mutilate people and get away with it, hopefully with Sasha and this website it will become a thing of the past. ;)

Ruined Eyesight 13 Aug 2014 19:18 #239

  • Michael Sainsbury
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After having lenses fitted to my left eye on the 8th May 2013 and the right eye a week later I had blurred vision and told this normally goes in one to two weeks. But no change after two weeks, then told it could take six weeks. No change after six weeks and I was sent to Harley St for a CT scan.

They told me there was no problem, even though I had severe ghosting, extreme glare from lights and blurred vision, which lasted for about four hours after I’d been working all day. (I’m a tattoo artist) They told me that my surgeon (Dr Jan Venter) had said I need Pilocarpine drops - but he hadn’t even examined me. They had none in stock so posted these to me, with no usage instructions included and I'm not sure that’s legal. At the clinic they’d just told me to use when my vision was bad.

I remember clearly, literally just before starting the first op, Jan Venter saying to me, 'Why do want to ruin your beautiful eyes', and then he laughed. I thought it was his sense of humour.

Every time I phoned to say my vision was still bad they just sent out more Pilocarpine. I used these most days for about four to five months, even though they gave me terrible headaches and made me feel quite depressed. I didn’t really have a choice as this was the only way to get my vision to a point where I could drive home from work.

In January 2014 I went back to Harley St to complain about the blurred vision and glare and was seen by Dimitri Kazakos. He suggested Yag laser to reduce the glare in the left eye, but after this procedure it was worse. Kazakos then told me it can take up to a year and a half for the eyes to heal properly. So OE have changed the healing time from two weeks, to three months, to six months, a year, and now a year and a half!

It is now obvious to me that my eyes have been damaged.

In June I went to Harley St and had a heated discussion with Dimitri Kazakos who said there was nothing wrong with my eyes. When I asked to have the lenses removed, he said that might make my eyesight worse.

When I had my first consult with the optometrist at Optical Express in High Wycombe she said only 1 in 200 people had problems with the is procedure! She also told me the healing time was one week, but when I pushed her on this she said maybe two weeks. Actually I was off for a month. She also told me I would lose about 10% of my long distance vision, another lie as I have lost my intermediate vision.

When I asked her what would happen if there was a problem she told that they would remove the lenses and my eyesight would return to what it was before the op. I now know this is not possible as until yesterday no-one had ever explained to me that my natural lenses would be removed for this procedure.

I have also frighteningly discovered that I may be stuck with this lens as they are sometimes impossible to remove after having YAG laser!

After complaining at least twenty times I have still not been seen by the operating surgeon Jan Venter. It is now fifteen months since my surgery and the blurred vision, glare and ghosting is no better.

Optical Express have ruined my eyes. I was completely mis-sold these lenses and I have no intention of letting Optical Express get away with it.

Ruined Eyesight 13 Aug 2014 14:10 #240

  • Paul G
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Like others who have commented here I was also mis-sold IOLs. Since then I've had YAG and Lasik with poor results. I only wish I had seen this site prior to being sold a product that not only did I not need, but a product that has given me inferior vision.

I only needed glasses for close work previously and my eyes were healthy and comfortable, I was sold IOLs based on the promise that they would rid me of glasses and give me good near vision, I was not told that they would ruin my intermediate vision and cause problems with low energy or flourescent lighting. When I enter a shop or hospital with fluorescent lighting my quality of vision instantly drops by 50%. I now have 2 pairs of reading glasses at different strengths so I can see at near and intermediate vision by switching between them.

After IOLs were fitted I had poor vision and had to wait months before getting YAG treatment on both eyes. Months later, still with poor vision, I had Lasik on my right eye. At the post op check up the next day I found out that OE somehow screwed up and over corrected causing me to be completely short sighted in my right eye. This caused me headaches and night driving was horrendous. I then had to wait 4 months for another Lasik correction on the eye to get normal vision. I've been left with completely random vision in different lighting, sensitivity to light that requires me to wear sunglasses whenever outside, dry eyes that no amount of drops tried so far has any lasting effect, and blurring due to floaters.

I now realise that OE cannot do anything for me and have pretty much lied to me from day one. They constantly fob me off with different drops that have not worked and I have complained about my poor eyesight in different lighting only to be told that this is a known problem with the type of lens I have (Lentis MPlus). I would never have had them fitted if I had been told that at the start.

OE are only interested in your money, they have no concern for your welfare and no concern that they are damaging peoples eyesight.

I have suffered pain, anxiety, depression - all caused by OE and I'm struggling to come to terms with it all. I'm so angry with myself for being duped into getting IOLs in the first place.
I just hope people come across this site before considering a visit to OE and stay well clear.

All my treatments and follow ups were done at Glasgow and Edinburgh.

To all others in this forum in the same situation as me - thanks for sharing your experiences, this does somehow help me come to terms with it a little.

I have my medical file from OE and am considering legal action.

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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