ICL problems with Endothelial cell count (ECC) 22 Apr 2021 10:44 #1
It’s been 8 days since I went back to Optimax for my lens explant, the worst experience of my life! I am still in disbelief, and I was scared and dreading the procedure but I knew that I had to go through with it even though it was the last thing I wanted.
Before I underwent the implant surgery in 2005 I was informed that the ICL could only move out of place if I received a blow to the eye, but so many years later I have now been told that it can be dislocated by simply rubbing the eyes. Why was I not told this beforehand? I was misinformed and given a false sense of security.
Before my explant surgery I was given anaesthetic drops and an injection in the eye, but I could see the procedure being performed, which was invasive and horrific. After the surgery my left eye was swollen and I was unable to open it all until the next morning. I was so afraid that I would never be able to see through it again.
When I did eventually open my eye the next morning it was completely blood shot, so I kept the eye guard on for several days as I didn’t want to frighten my children.
It has been a very long week and I am now left with good vison in my right eye and poor vision in my left eye. I have been told that I can wear a contact lens in my left eye after a month. But in the meantime I have to cope with this imbalance of vision, and try to get on with everyday life, which is really difficult as I am experiencing double vision and headaches.
The whole experience has left me feeling very low and I question how this was allowed to happen, if I was informed of the ECC risk I would have continued to attend yearly appointments at Optimax rather than with my optician. This risk and the implications were never discussed with me prior to my surgery, and I don’t know if I would have gone ahead if they had been.
So entirely due to lack of communication on Optimax’s part I find myself in the situation I am in today.
Cancelled IOL surgery 10 Apr 2021 14:04 #2
I have worn glasses (short-sighted) since the age of 15 and now at 42 am rapidly reaching the age where I will possibly need reading glasses at some stage over the next few years. Given the pandemic and the fact that I've not been able to go on holiday since November 2019, I was in a position where I'd be able to afford laser eye surgery.
I went to Optimax in Leeds on Friday 9th October 2020 when I had all the relevant eye tests but was told that my cornea were too thin for laser treatment, and was offered the implantable contact lens as an alternative. My prescription is -4.75 in my left eye and - 3.25 in my right eye.
I had paid my deposit and was all set to go today (10th April) but yesterday I opted out of the surgery and cancelled - so what put me off?
In the week leading up to my appointment, I found that the Optimax centre in Leeds were unable to answer (what I thought to be) some very straightforward questions I had. There was, of course, no available specialist to answer my queries and I was also worried that they were wanting full payment to be made some two days before the surgery was to take place. Even now, I wouldn't be able to tell you the name of my proposed surgeon who was going to carry out the surgery. They provided no paperwork with this important information, so that I have been unable to look at his experience and success or failure rates.
A bit perturbed by the above, I set about looking for reviews of Optimax after work on Thursday afternoon, and am glad that I did, but wish I had done this sooner, as I wouldn't now be in the potential position of losing a £1,000 deposit.
Having read some of the horror stories however, especially concerning the possibility of cell damage with these lenses, and the need for an ECC test every year, that was not explained to me, plus lack of aftercare, customers experiencing starbursts, halos, dry eyes, and worsening vision post surgery, I am fully confident that I have had a lucky escape.
The surgeon told me that I could have both my eyes operated on at the same time, which is apparently a big no-no, as well as the possible complications and side effects being buried deep in a six page customer declaration form.
At the end of the day, £1,000 is a lot of money, but it pales into insignificance compared to the stories I have subsequently read on the internet. I would really encourage anyone who is wanting to have surgery to do some serious research before going ahead with the procedure. I was unaware, until finding information on a website that most companies pay their staff commission on sales and the whole eye refractive industry is unregulated.
I was definitely not fully informed and would appreciate any advice you can offer to help me recover my £1,000 deposit.
You only get one pair of eyes, and I for one, will be sticking to glasses and contact lenses.
Many thanks in advance.
Cancelled surgery 29 Mar 2021 19:59 #3
2 weeks ago I went for a consult at Optimax in Leicester and decided to go ahead with surgery a couple of weeks later. I feel like I experienced fantastic service and felt very comfortable to go ahead with LASIK.
During the week between the consultation and deciding to go ahead, I felt like I had done all my due diligence on the company and the procedure.
I now know I had barely scratched the surface.
I paid my money and booked everything in for the following Thursday.
In the meantime I found out about My Beautiful Eyes Foundation and as part of my due diligence I reached out to ask some questions.
Monday morning and Sasha called me and I feel like I’ve dodged a bullet. After a good conversation I felt completely confident backing out of surgery.
Luckily, the clinic were fantastic about everything and at no point did I feel pressured to go through with anything.
As much as I think that refractive surgery is super-sketchy, Optimax did give me a great service.
I think anyone considering Laser Eye surgery should have a conversation with Sasha, if you come out the other side feeling confident of the outcome then I’d be surprised, so many unknowns!
I have to admit, during the first moments of the phone call I was skeptical of her claims and I felt 99% sure I would be continuing with my planned LASIK at Optimax in Leicester on the Thursday.
But after hearing the emotion in her voice after just a few minutes, I spent the following couple of hours going down the rabbit hole researching refractive laser surgery outcomes...
I couldn’t believe what I was reading, it sounded horrific.
I could not in all good conscience go ahead with my surgery on the Thursday based on the unpredictability of the outcome.
I couldn’t thank Sasha enough for calling me.
When Optimax had been telling me that in a few years I will need reading glasses I felt like this is a misleading term as it appears that, from my brief research, that the more accurate warning of: ‘in a few years you will need glasses for anything nearby’ would seem to be more applicable.
I didn’t think it was worth the risk for me, I wear contacts or glasses and both give me 100% crystal clear problem free vision guaranteed.
The woman on the phone at Leicester I spoke to after I decided to back out, couldn’t have been any more understanding about me now not wanting to go ahead with it.
As bad as the surgery is, I cannot fault the front-of-house side of things. They totally understood my concerns and left things really amicable with me if I decided to change my mind.
So far I’ve had them cancel the finance (which I’ve had confirmed by email) and a couple of days later got my £500 refunded to my credit card without any issues.
I hope this is useful to someone else in my position.
ICL problems with Endothelial cell count (ECC) 29 Mar 2021 13:40 #4
I had implantable contact lenses in 2005, my surgery went well and I have had 20/20 vision since. I attended aftercare appointments with a consultant until 2009, as all was fine 4 years after I had my surgery I decided to have regular checkups/eye tests at my opticians rather than going to Optimax, none of my eye tests detected any problems with my sight.
11 years after my surgery I received a letter in 2016 stating that I needed a ECC (Endothelial cell count) check. Back then the letter left me very confused as I had never been made aware of this risk, and thought that it must be a general letter and didn’t apply to me due to the fact that this had never been explained to me during my aftercare appointments.
I believe that a consultant ophthalmologist should have called me to explain this risk and the serious implications so that immediate checks and recommendations could be made in a timely manner. I do believe that Optimax had a legal, moral and ethical duty to inform me of this risk in a better manner than they did, as I thought this was not applicable to me so I disregarded the letter.
In February 2021 I received the same letter, so I decided to book an appointment with Optimax at a charge of £35. My appointment date was Friday 19th March 2021 where I underwent an Endothelial cell count check (ECC). The optometrist told me that my cell count in my left eye was very low, only 665 cells, and that also the lens clip towards my nose had come out of place. This means that the ICL has to be removed from my left eye otherwise it could cause serious problems. Then I will have to go back to using a contact lens in my left eye. This is negatively life changing for me.
The lack of communication from Optimax has left me in a compromising situation where I am having to undergo invasive surgery which could have been avoided if Optimax had been more diligent with their communication, ensuring they make contact with every patient like me to explain these risks rather than just send a letter out of the blue; I do not accept this was good enough.
I am now left feeling anxious and very upset, unable to eat or sleep properly as this situation has severely affected me psychologically. I intend to seek expert advice as I am finding it difficult to come to terms with this situation and do not believe that Optimax have taken accountability for their actions.
I attended an appointment with the Medical Director, Dr Llango, on Monday 22nd March and I was horrified to be told that the lens in my left eye had moved due to the pupil contracting and forcing the lens to move up and down. I believe it may not have been secured properly during the surgery, in turn causing this irreversible damage to my eye.
I have contacted Optimax, and have requested they provide a copy of my original consent form, as I am 100% sure that this ECC risk was not included in the form when I underwent my surgery in 2005. I have also asked them to forward my ECC readings from 2005 to 2009, as I am certain they were never conducted or ever discussed with me during my pre-op or aftercare appointments.
I have informed Optimax that I would like to speak to a doctor with regards to the long term effects the low Endothelial cell count will have on my sight in the future as I am extremely worried. I would also like Optimax to review my case thoroughly and provide me with answers as to why this was allowed to happen.
My surgery date to explant my lens has been set for Wednesday 14th April, but I intend to see an independent surgeon for a second opinion before the op.
Optimax misleading advertising 23 Mar 2021 23:44 #5
Last month, Optimax spent in excess of an estimated £180,000 for three full page colour ads that ran for two days in The Times, Express and Daily Mail newspapers. Eventhough this is clearly an advertisement it is fraudulently not made clear that Harriotte Lane was paid for her gushing endorsement of Optimax.
When asked via Twitter, Harriotte (rhymes with carrot) admitted this to 'My Beautiful Eyes Foundation' campaigner Sasha Rodoy (who was irreparably damaged by laser eye surgery at Optimax in 2011).
Presumably Terry Hollingsworth, also featured in the ad, was paid too, but he has yet to be asked.
This has been reported to the Advertising Standards Authority.
Russell Ambrose claimed insolvency and entered a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) on 27 November 2020, screwing over 22 of his loyal Optimax staff made redundant in the process (having nauseatingly told them ‘Love to you all’ in an email on 5 October).
Struggling without money before Christmas, they each lost £5,000 due to their boss’ underhand actions - and had to claim owed wages from the government!
There is something untoward going on here, because Ultralase is not claiming insolvency even though the two companies act as one, with same surgeons and same premises!
Because of this, our advice to anyone thinking about risking their eyesight to unregulated refractive surgery, you should definitely avoid both Optimax and Ultralase UK because the owner is dodgy and devious and it's uncertain if his companies will still be in business in 6 months time!
It is understood that Russell Ambrose has also defaulted on the legal Settlement Agreement he signed with Sasha Rodoy in 2012 so she is now forced to consider legal action. The fallout from this should be entertaining when lockdown is over as the enterprising activist never fails to surprise the industry with her actions!
If there are any demos planned outside Optimax clinics we'll be sure to let you know.
MY LASEK LIFE 23 Mar 2021 20:27 #6
I had lasek at Optimax Milton Keynes clinic in August 2019.
I am now left with a constant feeling of dread worry and anxiety.
The pain and daily torment from the recurrent corneal abrasions I now suffer from is excruciating.
*Severe dry eye
*Meibomian gland dysfunction
The real risks were not truly discussed with me.
Have they been discussed with you?
DO NOT PUT YOUR LIFE IN THE HANDS OF THESE BUTCHERS.
I was sold a dream! I'm now living a nightmare!
To top that off I've brought my whole family along for the ride!
The surgeon was Dr Sajjad Mughal.
Optimax Reviews 04 Mar 2021 11:23 #7
Lying and manipulative Optimax (sister company Ultralase) tried to take down an honest Trustpilot review claiming it was 'defamatory'.
Asked for corroborating documents to support the truth of the review these were submitted to Trustpilot and it was reinstated.
How it all began! (Pt 1) 26 Feb 2021 17:11 #8
The reason I invested the last 10 years of my life campaigning for government regulation and helping other victims of the corrupt refractive surgery industry
'13 March 2011
Dear Mr Ambrose,
Patient ID: 20675624
On 18 February this year I underwent Lasek treatment at your Croydon clinic, performed by Dr Hoe.
Whilst I was already unhappy with a number of issues, both on the day, and post treatment, they pale into insignificance given the position I find myself in now.
I have 6 pages of keynotes, which will be referred to at a later date – not least because I’m only able to spend ten minutes at my computer before losing vision and experiencing pain.
At no time was I told that due to my age (57) and prescription (-3.50/-4.25), I would simply be exchanging one problem for its polar opposite. That is, myopia for hypermetropia.
My findings are that at least one reputable clinic would have refused to treat my eyes, or at least explained, and physically shown me, what the result would be given my age. Apparently I should also have been offered Monovision.
None of the above was, at any time, offered or discussed with me by anyone at Optimax prior to treatment. Did no one take into account my age?
There is no benefit to me in gaining distance vision as it is heavily outweighed by the massive losses I have suffered by the sacrifice of my perfect near vision.
Had I been told this at any time before treatment I would have walked out immediately and never returned. However, at my initial consultation the optometrist was reluctant to discuss much with me, other than telling me I was suitable only for #Lasek, due to the thickness of my cornea, and the doctor would explain everything else on the day of my treatment.
I had mentioned to the optometrist that I was concerned she wore glasses, but she excused it by telling me she couldn’t have laser treatment due to muscle weakness.
Knowing what I do now, I would not be surprised if that’s her story to pacify patients, that she’s made an informed decision not to risk having her eyes damaged, as I’ve discovered too late have so many of Optimax’s patients.
I thought I asked all the right questions before considering treatment, conducted sufficient research… but it turns out not to be so. Deeper trawling of the internet has put me in touch with other people who’ve suffered thanks to your greed.
Your Finchley Rd clinic presents a slick façade, with attractive Eastern European girls deceptively dressed as nurses, which imbues the belief that one is actually in a safe medical establishment. When in fact their expertise lies in discussing payment options and setting up credit agreements.
On the day of my treatment at [the] Croydon clinic, a man was sitting in the corner slumped in abject misery. Thinking he was nervous I spoke to him. He told me he had to decide whether or not to undergo a third treatment, having had an unsuccessful outcome of Monovision for the second time. I went back in to speak with Dr Hoe and expressed my concerns about this, and other matters, but he was very dismissive, saying that it was a different procedure to mine.
Having examined my eyes Dr Hoe, said, I quote, “your eyes will be very nice for this treatment.”
I was told at Finchley Road that I was only suitable for Lasek, so Dr Hoe confused me when he said I could have the choice of either Lasik or Lasek. He didn’t offer any opinion as to which I should take, or why, and it was only because of my own research that I was aware Lasek had a longer recovery time. Being given that option at the last minute I was in a dilemma, with Dr Hoe obviously impatient to get on with his treatments.
I asked him for the negatives (which surely he should have explained to me without being asked) and he told me Lasek would allow more than one retreat if necessary, but #Lasik would only allow one more retreat.
As I write this I realize how insane it was not to have walked out then – retreatments!? But by that time the well-practiced Optimax conveyor belt has you moving along and it’s hard to get off.
Not thinking for one minute that I would actually need a retreat, I decided it prudent to have Lasek ‘just in case’! Not that I would now consider allowing anyone at Optimax to touch my eyes again.
Whilst explaining the Lasek process Dr Hoe briefly explained the use of Mitomycin-C, and it was only minutes before my treatment that I was called over to the desk to have yet another piece of paper thrust in front of me, the receptionist saying that Dr Hoe had explained it to me, could I quickly sign as I was about to go in.
It was only a few days ago that I read in horror what I had signed! I am now fearful wondering what else I can expect to go wrong in the future. The fact that it states, “Optimax does not endorse the use of Mitomycin-C…” is of obvious concern to me, and most definitely a document that ought to have been shown to me at the time of my consultation, allowing me sufficient time to take it home to read and research.
It was only once the excruciating pain (also not explained to me beforehand) subsided after more than 48 hrs, and I was able to open my eyes for longer periods, that it slowly dawned on me I was unable to see anything relatively close up.
Meanwhile my vision has also deteriorated for distance vision, and I sometimes wear +2.00 readers to watch TV.
By the time I saw the optometrist at my Finchley Road appointment on 3 March I was very upset and she expressed surprise that I hadn’t been told about the reversal of my prescription beforehand, and whilst saying it ‘might’ get a little better, she herself didn’t seem convinced.
She told me that it would take 3 months for my eyes to settle to whatever vision I’m going to have, so I will take no direct action until then. However, I am meanwhile collecting information in preparation, including details of litigation against laser companies in the US.
I have joined a number of online forums and have been contacted by others who’ve had their eyes botched by Optimax.
I will be well armed by May, as I have no doubt that I have irreversibly lost my perfect near vision – which should have been explained to me prior to treatment! It’s an option I would never have entertained.
I’m unable to perform the simplest of tasks without +2.00 specs. I was an avid reader but have had to stop, as I now need +2.75 prescription, which only allows me to read a few pages before the words blur and I experience headaches.
I could possibly see the Eiffel Tower on a clear day, but I can’t see anything much nearer. Each day I discover something else; today I found I’m no longer able to read the controls on the washing machine - even from 1 metre away.
I’m unable to focus on my hands or pluck my eyebrows. I won’t be able to wear make up, as I’m unable to see that close up. I can’t see the caller display on my mobile phone. The list is endless.
In hindsight, I was given contact details for only one previous Optimax patient within my age/prescription to call for her feedback. However, she was unwilling to provide any information and described herself as being unwell. I think that further contact with her might very well show that she is similarly as unhappy as I am.
Prior to treatment I called Finchley Road clinic and explained that this lady didn’t want to speak to me, and I wanted to speak with other patients. The receptionist said she would ask her colleague who’d recently been treated to call me. I don’t think I need to explain the absurdity of this suggestion to you.
I was finally sent a list of previous patients. Eventually I managed to speak to the fourth person on the list as the others were incorrect numbers, or unavailable. It’s only too late that I realise the woman I did speak to was in her late 30s when she had Lasek!
Having studied my Patient Results Forecast more closely, the pie chart data represents feedback from only 10 patients. It then states below that results shown are for 18 patients!
As this satisfaction questionnaire was introduced in 2008, it appears very few people with my descriptors have undergone Lasek since then. Given Optimax’s claim to have treated 300,000 patients – no doubt considerably more since your website’s last update - this is worrying.
Or, could it be, that if you increased the pie sample statistics to more than 10 patients, the bias would be towards the ‘Not Worthwhile’ slice?
A number of statements on your website are misleading and untrue.
“Please note that the suitability information provided by this tool acts as a guideline only and will be verified by our specialist eye doctor during your consultation.”
I don’t recall the optometrist I met at my consultation being introduced to me as a doctor, and as far as I am aware I did not meet an actual doctor until my treatment.
Furthermore, some of my eye tests were performed by your office staff rather than by an optometrist.
Optimax has ruined my life. I am back at that place I hoped never to be again, suffering with clinical depression and anxiety attacks as a direct result of the butchery I’ve received.
I dread waking up each morning & opening my eyes to this relentless nightmare. I was a confident and attractive woman but now I can barely function. I am unable to work and my life is falling to pieces.
My GP has prescribed anti depressants for a minimum of 6 months and offered her full support having heard the entire story. She, like many other people I have met recently, was also considering laser treatment, but not any more!
I have already briefly discussed my situation with a lawyer and will hopefully be able to take future legal action against your company. Besides which there are of course the press, media, and internet – where I sadly found you.
I believe there is insufficient government regulation for clinics like yours, and it needs to be changed; this is not a bad haircut that will grow out, this is forever. You are ruining people’s lives.
In summary, I believe you/Optimax/Dr Hoe have been negligent in your duty of care.
I reserve the right to further detail what I’ve written here at a later date, as for now this letter is a cathartic act, obsessively repeated in my head every morning I’ve woken up over the past few weeks: I will, as advised, wait until the outcome in May before taking further action.
10 years later 18 Feb 2021 16:50 #9
In the next 30 minutes, ten years ago today, I would make the biggest mistake of my life, with irreparable damage to my eyes and life after being sold a pack of lies - by optom Swati Malkan, sales person Rui Pedro (now clinic manager at Focus), negligent surgeon Wilbert Hoe, and Optimax owner Russell Keith Ambrose, who is of course ultimately responsible for the entire sickening set up!
Taking an optimistic view, the irreparable damage inflicted by Optimax en masse became the biggest mistake for the UK refractive surgery industry
Because my experience lead me to launch My Beautiful Eyes Foundation, patient advocacy service and campaign group calling for government regulation, and with the help of others damaged by these risky and unregulated operations, our stories on OERML website forum, and elsewhere, have successfully warned many 1000s of people not to do it, also costing the industry millions fighting legal claims from those for whom its too late.
Ten years is a long time, and I've decided it’s time to disclose some of the details of my ongoing personal battle with Russell Ambrose not yet told, so I intend to publish some of the shocking information only disclosed to me under my second Subject Access Request to Optimax in 2017, proving that Russell lied to me from the first time we met, on Friday 13 May 2011.
I signed a settlement agreement with Russell in September 2012, negotiated in person over 18 months, without legal representation (meetings all recorded), but had I been in possession of the truth, I would have instructed a law firm to represent me, the reasons for which you will understand in my next post.
In the interim, snippets from two of our many emails exchanged over the years...
• 7 March 2011, Russell to a surgeon after trying to convince me that my eyes could be fixed - at least he didn't insult me and call it an ‘enhancement’!:
'I confirm that I am happy to pay for Sasha Rodoy’s re-treatment.
I hope she takes the plunge and puts herself and all of us out of this misery.’
• 8 July 2013, Russell to me: 'If you want to start a war then I will fight it till the end.’
OPTIMAX & ULTRALASE 14 Feb 2021 16:04 #10
For almost 10 years I have frequently and vehemently argued against refractive eye surgery being referred to as ‘cosmetic’, because though sold in a similarly careless manner, this is invasive surgery that changes how we see, NOT how we are seen - a highly significant distinction
I was therefore disgusted to see this advertising for cosmetic eyelid surgery, sold by and performed within the Optimax/Ultralase UK refractive eye surgery clinics, guaranteed to mislead the uninformed into thinking laser and/or lens replacement surgery are cosmetic procedures!
More misleading advertising, because this bio would suggest that refractive surgery is provided by nhs.uk: 'Mr Radwan Almousa joined Optimax in January 2020 and therefore, at this juncture we do not have specific success rates, or patient and surgeon satisfaction figures relating to his time at Optimax. He has, however, performed surgeries for other refractive eye surgery providers and the NHS.'
I called Optimax this afternoon to confirm whether they were still open for cosmetic surgery during lockdown - hairdressers & gyms closed, but according to the company it's apparently quite safe to have cosmetic eye surgery!
Reading from their website, I then asked who else Radwan Almousa was highly regarded by (other than Optimax), and the woman paused before answering, ‘It’d be [people] within his field… he does all sorts, he does laser surgery as well’.
For the record, I had never heard of Radwan Almousa (hopefully more skilled at operating than spelling!), and I know of most of the genuinely ‘highly regarded’ ophthalmologists in this country: www.radwanalmousa.com
I asked where this Jack of all trades would be operating, and the woman told me that I'd be going to the Harley Street clinic, explaining that Ultralase UK is their sister company.
More about this ‘highly renowned’ doctor, seemingly scratching for work by the look of things:
Surgery carried out by industry expert.
Dr Almousa is a qualified Consultant Oculoplastic Surgeon and an expert in the field of Blepharoplasty.'