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Lasek problems 20 Sep 2016 13:41 #41

  • year + on and still in pain
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1 year after Lasek surgery and I’m still in pain and have blurry vision! OE refuse to give me my money back AND they want to charge me for any more treatments/appointments!

They are the worst!

CONSULTATION - Thursday 25 June 2015, Optical Express in Eastcheap.
Seen by refractive technician Andia Ciucas and optometrist Elisabeth Vaurazeri. Told I was a perfect candidate for either LASEK or LASIK treatment, with the choice of both procedures.
I thought I had most of the relevant information from Ms Vaurazeri and at this point felt reassured by her expertise, and that Optical Express was a reputable large company. However, I was then told I would be given the rest of the information later when I choose which treatment to take.
I was then taken to a room by the receptionist, who, I now realise, had no idea about what the procedure entailed or it's effects. She was completely unqualified to give me the vital information on my decision to choose LASEK or LASIK and it is unacceptable that she should persuade the client to make an important life choice. She pressured me to book immediately as then I could claim £300 off with a voucher that would expire if I waited. I was misinformed me in so many ways. I was told LASIK takes two days and LASEK five days to heal.

I had LASEK - but was later told it could take up to a year to heal. I could not open my eyes without extreme pain for five days and therefore kept my eyes completely shut for four days after surgery. I was in bed for 7 days, off work for 21 days. It’s now been 13 months and I still wake up with pain and my vision is still blurry, halos, not able to see properly in the dark.
This is not five days recovery!
I would have never have done this if I’d been fully informed of the real facts, which I was not at the time of handing over my money. I was tricked into this without having the right information.
Before the treatment I was worried about the decision I had made, I tried to speak with someone for an entire week before surgery, but no one was able to speak to me or give me a direct number to an adviser. At this point I was already worried I had made the wrong decision, however I had paid my £400 and already spent hours at the consultation etc.
Each time I spoke to a receptionist they told me they did not have the information and that someone would call me back within 48 hours, but of course no one did. This is a common occurrence, I never get any call backs. I was rushed into the surgery and giving my money before the surgery. From the 25th June until the surgery on the 15th July my money was taken and I never got a call back from the Optometrist. I was only given further information to read a few minutes before my surgery.

SURGERY - Wednesday 15 July 2015, Harley Street.
Was given only a few minutes to fill out some forms, was not given these forms in advance to carefully read through and make a considered choice. I had already paid the full fee, not much chance for second thoughts.
Surgeon Manek Patel. I was in and out of the operating room within minutes. I was not given any verbal instructions afterward, just plonked on a chair and soon out of the clinic. Didn’t even really understand what had just happened.
Two hours after my surgery, I thought I had got blind. I had to somehow get home from central London by myself so I had to call a friend to collect me. At this point I could not open my eyes and was in excruciating pain, even with the drops and painkillers.
That night I have fever and vomiting, I called the emergency helpline to tell them that I need help and that I don’t think I can make it to the next day post op check up. they told me that I absolutely should try to get there. No other advice.

POST OP AFTERCARE APPOINTMENT - 16 July 2015, Shaftsbury Ave
The receptionist told me the wrong location and the wrong time! Terrible administration and aftercare.
I was in agonising pain, could not see or open my eyes. They told me it would improve and I’d be able to open them them the next day and wouldn’t have pain.
That evening I had a fever and vomiting again because I was in so much pain. I called the OE emergency helpline and they just told me to wait for tomorrow to get better. A pointless, unhelpful emergency helpline.
Next day, and for the next four days I still couldn't open my eyes, I couldn't even move my head or let any light into my eyes, I just stayed in bed, trying not to move, or be sick.
My friends had to come to my flat every day otherwise I would not have been able to eat or move. All I could do was stay still and try to sleep off the agonising pain and hope to wake and be better.
I was in bed for a week, I could not watch anything or have my eyes open for long, I was in so much pain. My body was in complete shock, I felt like I had been in a car accident or something similar.

Even if my eyes were fine now (which they are not) the surgery would have not been worth the trauma and pain I went through.
A few weeks after my surgery I went back to work, where the staircase is a bit darker than the corridor, but I'd never had a problem with it before surgery.
I fell up the stairs as I could not see the steps as my eyes cannot adjust from going light to dark quickly, still a problem today.

Frustratingly, on three occasions after my appointments Optical Express sent me follow up emails to congratulate me - ‘I am delighted to hear that your eyes are healthy.’ - this was after I had been crying in their premises with regret, worry, pain and eyes that that had not healed.

I lost count of how many appointments I had and how many bottles and captures of eye drops and ointment I am still going through. My eyes are sick of feeling eye drops falling onto the eyeball.

No one managed my expectations or prepared me for the worst. Days after my surgery I still could not see and was in pain, they told me that once I would take out the bandage contact lenses I would be able to see perfectly. I had them taken out and could only see a blur. I was then told give it a three more days and I’ll be able to see fine, then I went back, no change, they said give it a week, then a month, then three months - and finally told me it could take a year. From 5 days to a year – wow that is a difference!!!

Months after the surgery I was told I should do heat compression, massaging and take Flaxseed Oil – I’ve been doing that every day for well over 6 months. Yet the pain is worsening and my vision more blurry. Every morning and every night before I sleep I use the eye drops and ointment, but I still wake up with agonising stabbing pains in my eyes every single morning.
I have to use eye drops throughout the day to stop headaches from occurring, so my eyes don’t sting, dry up or feel like sand is in them. My vision is blurry I cannot see writing on signs when I’m driving, or at the train station looking at the board notices. I have severe halo and ghosting, my eyes are still very sensitive to the light, I get headaches and pain if it’s too bright, my eyes feel like they are constantly burning. If going from dark to light suddenly then my vision doesn’t feel like it can catch up with the change. I cannot be at a computer for long as it strains, burns and hurts my eyes, which makes my office job very difficult and slow. Spending a day in the office looking at a computer is too strenuous on the eyes now, which I’ve never had problems with. I had never experienced dry eyes before either, so this is very hard for me to feel that my eyes are worse in almost every way because of your surgery. When I am doing strenuous physical activity I feel a build-up of pressure on and around my eyes. This worries me because as a contemporary dance performer this is unpleasant and a massive distraction.

I have given it over a year and I am extremely upset and frustrated. Day by day my eyes seem to be getting more painful and blurry with increased ghosting rather than less. I do not want to keep going back to OE just to be told to give it another month, another year - or decade!! I don’t know how to stop my eyes from being the blurred and so painful, but there’s no way I would let OE near my eyes again with a laser - which was suggested by their staff.

Left with so much pain, grief, frustration, and damaged vision, I totally regret having having this surgery.

OE won't let me see surgeon who damaged my eyes! 19 Sep 2016 19:19 #42

  • Gill
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I’m 36 and in November 2015 I had laser surgery at Optical Express in Glasgow performed by David Teenan.

Left with problems I’ve been back and forth seeing the optoms - along with my 2 yr old child. At an appointment 2 months ago I was told that the Clinical Director had decided I need to be examined by the consultant.

Two months went by and no-one contacted me. So this afternoon I called Optical Express to remind them but they told me David Teenan no longer does "review" appointments. That I will see Jonathan Carr who now does all the review appointments across the whole of the country.

I cannot believe that I am not allowed to have a meeting with the surgeon who operated on my eyes and left me with problems. I am complaining to the GMC as this cannot be right!

I really wish that I had gone with my first instincts which were to run a mile from Optical Express as I felt the sale was their first priority. Most of the OE staff I have encountered have proved that it is 100% their priority, and the whole foundation of OE's system. There is no standard of customer service and no continuity of care from any of their staff.

Surgery Regression 26 Aug 2016 14:00 #43

  • Jenny H
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Having worn glasses since the age of 5 and contacts from 14 years I had laser eye surgery with optical express on 18th May 2011 on leaving university. The surgery was done at the Shaftesbury Avenue branch in London by surgeon Rodney Blumenfeld.
Everything was perfect for the first few years minus some dryness but then I noticed that I was unable to read road signs. I went for an eye check in March 2015 and they told me that I should wear glasses for driving but I was still under the legal limit so didn't have to. They put new lens in my old glasses for free.
Since then I found it necessary to wear glasses for driving and TV watching. I felt that I should also wear them for work but resent paying £150 for a nice new pair.
My vision is now bad enough that I need to wear glasses for everything. Optical express will not pay for me to have further laser surgery or to help me fund glasses and contact lens. They would also not offer a refund for the surgery.
I was hoping that you could give me some advice on how to proceed. At the age of 29 I do not think the surgery should have regressed so quickly. I was certainally not told prior to surgery that this would happen and it is not written in the documentation that I have.
The £3000 I spent on surgery has averaged out to a higher monthly cost than contact lens would have over the same 5 year period. Having been glasses and contact free for this short time I feel very upset and angry at the wasted money I have spent and ending up back in glasses and contact lens anyway with no compensation from optical express.

Problems after surgery! 26 Aug 2016 13:36 #44

  • Nik D'symonds
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I'm just wondering if you can offer any advice with a problem following laser treatment on my wife's eyes.

After a consultation at the Trafford centre my wife was assured that laser surgery would give her better vision. She went to have surgery on 15th July 2015.

On arrival the surgeon, Antonio Uceda-Montanes, said she would have to have ‘iDesign' - at extra cost! Was not told about this in shop! Had it done and continued follow up appointments.

As time went on my wife suffered with constant dry eyes and her left eye wasn't correct. Kept going back and back, but they just gave her more drops and told her to keep going back.

Then eventually tried a contact lens to see what it would be like with an enhancement, but there was no difference.

She then was told by phone call that they had given the wrong lens for her astigmatism, she asked for them to order the correct one. She went back again, had to chase up again through head office and was then told that no such contact lens that exists!

After this error OE profusely apologised and after my wife chased this up for a whole year they eventually referred her to a surgeon for the enhancement consultation .

On 23rd August the surgeon Mr Mohammed Kazmi said he could do enhancement, but couldn't guarantee better vision, and that my wife was never going to get better vision with laser in the first place due to her age (45).

That was the first full information we were given of what would happen after laser eye surgery or during, otherwise she would never have had it done in first place! And it has failed!

What are our options and what advice can you give?

Nik D'Symonds

My son committed suicide 20 Aug 2016 22:04 #45

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Max Cronin's tragic story is sadly not unique!

There have been a significant number of suicides in the US documented as being caused by the devastating results of laser eye surgery.

As a UK patient advocate since 2012, thousands of people suffering complications after refractive eye surgery have contacted me (incl lens exchange in recent years) searching for answers, wanting help, advice... and many of these people have expressed strong thoughts of suicide.

The fact that none have yet been documented in the UK doesn't mean that they haven't happened. And with our government desperate to avoid the scandal entirely, and the press and media repeatedly silenced by the industry, who’s to know?

One of my clients recently withdrew from legal action against OE due to crippling depression and PTSD (I prefer Roger Davis' term, 'Refractive Surgery Shock Syndrome’/RSSS).

A highly intelligent man who first contacted me in 2013, by 2016 he was no longer fit to work and unable to pay his mortgage.

About to have his house repossessed a few months ago, on the morning of the court hearing to this end he contacted me, and told me that he could see no future and intended to end his life. (Thankfully he did not.)

Depression is an illness (I have personal experience) and victims tend to isolate themselves and avoid social contact - often making unrelated excuses to family and friends to do so. Friends tend to either think they should leave the person alone, or find it easier to choose to believe the excuses, because they don’t understand depression and can’t deal with it.

Add to that the pain and desperate unhappiness suffered by the victim, also usually blaming themselves for allowing someone - even paying them! - to ruin their eyes, which was my first reaction post surgery, and it becomes a vicious circle as the person sinks deeper into the black hole of depression.

NB: I always advise people they MUST get help from their GP, preferably anti depressants, a valuable crutch until they’re able to cope without.

As regular OERML readers will know, I have fallen into the black hole a few times over the past five years, but am happy to say that (for now) I am coping without medication. That’s not to say I won’t succumb again - I probably will, but when I do I’ll reach for the anti-ds, because my experience shows that without medication there is no other ladder to aid escape… at least not for me!

If you haven’t yet done so, please watch US ophthalmologist Dr Paraj A. Majmudar’s sickening and tasteless performance as Dr I. M. Suicidal at the 2012 ASCRS convention!

Accompanied by his equally disgusting colleagues, Carlos Buznego, Jodi Luchs, Shachar Tauber and Bill Trattler, they make fun of the laser eye surgery patients who subsequently suffer with depression!

I intend to post contact details for all five surgeons on this Forum soon, for anyone who would like to voice their contempt to them directly.

My son committed suicide 18 Aug 2016 22:23 #46

  • Nancy Burleson MD
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My son, Max Cronin, age 27 years old, committed suicide as a direct result of complications he suffered after PRK laser eye surgery.

He left suicide letters stating this and kept details of his complications.

He experienced vision loss, constant eye pain, dry eyes, haze, and loss of quality of life resulting in depression and his suicide. He was unable to work or continue his life goals due to problems with his vision after surgery.

This is an elective procedure and the risks and possible long term complications are understated by the surgeons/companies selling it. As a medical physician, I can definitely state that complications after these operations can - and do- lead to suicide.The resultant complications and negative quality of life increases the likelihood of depression, attempted suicide, and suicide.

Nancy L. Burleson MD FACOG
Gonzales, Texas

Lucky me! 15 Jul 2016 10:44 #47

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Just looked at your notes, Maria.

Absolutely disgusting. To say that you're lucky that you don't drive shows nothing but contempt for you.
This makes me so angry.

I would suggest you contact them, ask to speak to Mehul Demani and ask them directly why they have treated you with contempt.


Lucky me! 09 Jul 2016 11:28 #48

  • Maria
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My full clinical notes arrived today from Optical Express:

I may have dry eyes, MGD, problems with reading, light sensitivity, halos, ghosting and eye pain... but hey, lucky me - at least I don't drive!

Loss of colour perception 10 Jun 2016 21:10 #49

  • Caro
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Hi Maria,
I am an artist and colour is so important to me that I once bought 3 different brands of brilliant white emulsion, in order to find one I liked........this was before Optimax trashed my eyes! Now colour has drained from my world and it's a nightmare.
It is a fact that nearly all laser treated eyes lose some contrast sensitivity, and in some cases the loss will be significant, yet surgeons and providers never explain that this means you will also lose some colour perception (as in my case). It is unbelievably arrogant and irresponsible to assume that we won't mind/notice.
The public should be told about this so that they can decide if the treatment is right for them.
Had I known that I would lose even the tiniest amount of colour perception, I would never have had my eyes done, but, like most everyone else here, I was not fully informed!!

How much more rubbish is this going to get... 10 Jun 2016 12:37 #50

  • Maria
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I'm having a bad day.
Last night my eyes were very sore, worse than usual and I had to apply my gel every hour until I ran out. The tube lasted only 3 days!
In the morning I couldn't see the text on my computer and in order to reply to an email I enlarged it until I had a couple of words on the page, making it impossible to compose a coherent reply. I gave up.
During the weekly shop (kids have to eat) the strip-lights seemed a lot harsher and when it came to checking eggs for cracks, I simply couldn't see the difference in colour or texture between the box and the egg. I felt around, mumbling that they should use different colour boxes. When I came home I realised the boxes were different.

What i could see ( kind of, this is actually clearer than my actual vision was at the time - I'm just rubbish at distorting images online)

But the eggs look like this in real life

What's going on ?!!!
My dad is an artist and as a child I was able to distinguish between very subtle shades dad mixed up for me. And I wore glasses then. I'm sad to be losing yet another skill I once took for granted.