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Bilateral Lasek x 2 09 Jun 2015 12:01 #61

  • Hyde
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I’m 55 and last September I made the mistake of choosing Optical Express to perform Lasek treatment on both my eyes. The result of this was that I could not see well enough to drive - or to read!

When this was pointed out to Optical Express I was offered a second Lasek treatment.

This was done less than 6 months later and at first appeared to be better in as much that I could focus to read a bit. But I still could not see well enough to drive, or read subtitles on TV.

Dr Luca Antico performed all operations.

My eyes were changing prescription quickly so Optical Express gave me a 'temporary' pair of single vision glasses which let me (just about) read number plates, but only in good lighting conditions.

I also have trouble with sunlight being too bright so they gave me a pair of single vision dark glasses. I’m told I probably have photophobia, which I didn’t have before Lasek.

Looks like I am another example of Optical Express' surgery failures.

20:20 Vision or Your Money Back 04 Jun 2015 15:02 #62

  • Lilian
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After many years of spending money on expensive spectacles I decided to try Optical Express and get 20/20 vision without spectacles.

I went to the Belfast clinic and this was the result.

Stephen did the initial examinations on the 31/5/14 and the optician then recommended laser on both eyes. I was well aware that I would have to wear glasses to read but everything beyond that would be "crystal clear" as one of them put it. David, the manager who sold the surgery to me, told me it was his last reduced deal of the day if I paid £395 cash immediately and signed a 10 month loan agreement with Hitachi @ £260 per month. All now paid up.

I had the operation on Saturday 7/6/2014 carried out by Waseem Aziz (I think that was his name).

I attended all the post op appointments, used the drops prescribed to me, but was told on 28/7/14 that I had 20/20 vision on my left eye but that my right eye still had not settled down.

Helen, another optometrist, advised that I should have further surgery and offered me two options, but I wanted the advice of the surgeon who did the operation. On 20/1/15 he advised against any further surgery as he could not guarantee what the results would be. The way he explained it was, when its a large amount to pare off it is much easier than trying to pare off a small amount.

Speaking to Robert on the telephone later I complained that I had paid all that money and did not get the results I was promised and what was I to do. In a very condescending manner he told me, "well you will just have to wear glasses then".

I have been to Optical Express again since then to have my eyes tested as they are getting worse and I go through terrible discomfort, even though I use the eye drops given to me more than 20 times per day (at least once an hour) and more frequently when in office and using computer. I have now been given 2 pairs of glasses, one for when reading and computer work, and the other for all other times. So when someone walks into the office I cannot see who they are and have to change glasses, never mind reading road signs or reading any kind of signs more than 18” to 24” distant from me.

On 11/5/15, when last in Belfast, I asked about varifocals and Clare, another optometrist, and she said she would have to check if they could give me a discount. I decided I was not giving them any more money and as I needed varifocals I would get them from my local opticians.

So this is where I am, very frustrated, with 2 pairs of glasses and over £3,000 out of pocket including all the bus trips to Belfast at nearly £19 each trip.

I cannot describe quite how disappointed I am with the results, and will now take them up on their advertised offer of, '20:20 Vision or Your Money Back'.

It will be interesting to see what their response is.

The Worst 21st Gift I could have given my son 26 May 2015 14:18 #63

  • M Metz
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A lot of young men and women want to be free of spectacles and contact lenses, as was the case with my son. So for his 21st birthday I bought him laser eye surgery, believing all that I had read and was told - that it would be a miracle that would change my son's life for ever, and I was convinced by the guarantee of "lifetime" care also.

Five years later my son's eyesight is deteriorating fast, it is now worse than it ever was. He has blurred vision, halo night vision and constant headaches. The one time follow up that he had, which he had to organise himself, is less than impressive - "dry eyes use drops..." Really? Is that what we paid nearly £3,000 for, worse eyesight after five years and no real aftercare.

Sadly I feel at a loss as to where to turn and I'm sure Optical Express being the large corporation they are offer little to no help. I have looked all over their website and could find nothing on help and follow up. In my search I came across this site and am hopeful for any advice or support as I feel absolutely devastated right now...

Thousands of patients suffer surgery failure. 24 May 2015 13:51 #64

  • Jane
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Simon, I feel very emotional reading your post as I am in the same situation. I had Lasik at Optimax in 2012 and have suffered every day since. Not only me but my family have suffered enormously too. I have been in the lowest place with severe depression because of this eye surgery nightmare.
I have seen independent specialists whose diagnoses range from 'central islands', to 'dry eye', and reassurances that everything will be ok with my eyes. They are not ok, I have daily eye strain, sensitivity, blurry vision (even though my eye prescription is zero). I have a lot to live for, and now have to try and get on with life with this 'invisible disability'.

I completely agree with your words 'I wouldn't wish such a test or journey on anyone'!

Writer Jan Fearnley's horror story 23 May 2015 14:56 #65

  • Disgusted !
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Why would a surgeon make multiple attempts to attach the suction ring during lasik ops instead of aborting the procedure? No doubt because they only get paid for completed ops and therefore will plough on regardless of the permanent damage they are inflicting on patients.

This is criminal assault and it should be prosecuted as such by the courts.

Talented children’s writer Jan Fearnley tells her horrendous story of how her cornea was ruined by repeated suction attempts during lasik ops at ULTRALASE (now owned by Optimax CEO Russell Ambrose).

Thousands of patients suffer surgery failure. 23 May 2015 09:58 #66

  • Caro
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Hi Simon, I cried when I read your post as you could be talking about my own experiences and problems so I appreciate just what you are going through, although it was Optimax that trashed my eyes and life 8 years ago. I didn't try acupuncture but did try so much else to ease the pain, including cranial osteopathy, which didn't work. Optimax not only refused to pay for the osteopath and my many other related expenses, but they also wrote to my GP saying that I had seen the osteopath for something else, when in fact my GP had a report from the osteopath, so he was quite shocked by their dishonesty. I suffer from PTSD but have also become more philosophical, because the unscrupulous and dishonest people who have made so many suffer will eventually pay for what they’ve done.

5.5 years lasik nightmare from optical express 22 May 2015 22:27 #67

  • Simon5
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I had Lasik surgery in 2009 having got bored with the faff of contact lenses and glasses. I had the usual initial consultation where I was told I was suitable and should 'book now' for a discount. I went for the surgery and had a gut feeling to run when I sat waiting feeling like a number in a production line in a dirty waiting room, from memory shared with dentist surgery. Sadly I didn't run and was operated on by the now infamous Joanna McGraw who I have since read about in various places including a news article in the Daily Mail in September 2014.

I am determined not to make this post too long but little did I know I had started the worst and toughest journey of my life, visiting low places that I never knew existed. Initially (1 to 6 months) I returned post op explaining my discomfort but I couldn't go in to an Optical Express after a while for the flippant way they dealt with me and I found myself in tears when I spoke about my eyes which were on my mind 24/7. I paid to see independent specialists of my own accord. I eventually found the courage to contact Optical Express again with a very frank open and emotional letter…

I got appointments through OE as a special case to see their specialists including Jan Venter in London, which was frankly insulting the way I was fobbed off… a young man who was previously a confident and outgoing person in a state of breakdown due to eye pain. My friends and family noticed my depression and eventually I was unable to function properly on a day to day basis and have spent periods on strong antidepressants and drugs for neuropathic pain since. What is wrong with my eyes… well it's mainly the left one where I remember the procedure was more painful on this side and it took multiple attempts to suction on to the eye properly....the diagnosis starts with dry eye but it's so much more complex. I have a heightened sensitivity in the left eye, changeable and unpredictable with anything from nerve pain on the eye, like an uptight tension that can spread through you radiating from the eye, or foreign body sensation, or sensitivity and dryness. It is known as corneal neuropathy or undiagnosed facial pain, or by some specialists I think see it as nothing. It is unpredictable and can break you no matter how hard you try to be positive and smile on.

It has changed me, I now accept it and realise it may never go away, however had I realised this in the first year or two it would have been too much to bear, because then I was still hopeful. There were times I took comfort in the fact that I could escape the pain if I really had to, but then I didn't want to further break the hearts of those close to me who were already heartbroken seeing how I had changed. I owed it to others and myself to fight and be positive, and I tried, but a lot of the time I failed. I am not in that dark place anymore, I have a lot of great things in my life and enjoy life. My journey has involved fighting back against the industry, trying to forgive and forget, counselling, hypnotherapy, accupuncture, massage, personal training, reducing workload and work stress, diets, eye wipe and drop routines, steam goggles, supplements, antidepressants of different types and combinations....

I am now I different and more mature person who has lost an arrogance I once had. I like to think I am a better person for it, but then maybe that's my subconscious way of accepting what's happened to my eyes. Either way I wouldn't wish such a test or journey on anyone, a problem that may never go away and get worse with age. It's an invisible disability, I take my hat off to anyone who lives with chronic pain and remains positive.

LASIK is advertised as a minor surgery which will improve your sight - and possibly your life. It is however a corrupt industry that will brainwash you and treat you badly and leave you broken without a second thought if you don't suit their statistics which they want to collect from you for their bullshit advertising.

Be thankful for your healthy eyes, I clearly didn't appreciate mine enough when I decided to have lasik!

Thousands of patients suffer surgery failure. 28 Apr 2015 16:34 #68

  • Jilly Gaff
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Good morning Sasha, I thought that I would tell you a little of my history with OE.

I didn't rush into it, I did my research and read reviews. It took me two years to save for the surgery, which also gave me time to really think about this life changing procedure. I trialled contact lenses and was so pleased with the difference they’d made to my sight and I couldn't wait for the surgery.

The day of the surgery (mono vision) was September 2011, an afternoon appointment and I arrived on time. I went through all the pre laser checks as one would expect and then I was taken upstairs to the laser suite, situated on the top floor of the Norwich store. I sat in the waiting area until a nurse came out wearing scrubs and went through my notes to double check that everything was in order, and said, “The surgeon may want to see you before you go in for surgery because he may not go ahead with the surgery”. This is where I could kick myself now for not asking why he may not want to proceed, but I was so nervous at the time. Anyway, I went into another room to see the surgeon (I cannot remember his name). He checked my eyes and gave the ok.

As for my eyes now, 3+ years later, I cannot go through one hour without applying eye drops. I had never used these before the surgery and had never suffered with dry eyes either. If I don't use drops my eyes become blurry and irritable and I get eye strain headaches too. I have told OE repeatedly about my dry eyes and lack of tears, but each time it's shrugged off as one of those things and age being the big excuse. I've also mentioned that when I'm out in the open air and if it's a windy day, my eyes do not water as they always did naturally protecting my eyes pre laser. I have to repeatedly yawn if drops are not available just to give relief and help me see. My left (reading eye) is the worst. Strangely though, OE have bent over backwards to provide eye drops, why would they be so generous if, as they say, it's an age thing?!

Another problem I've had throughout this ordeal is not being able to focus on people walking towards me, I'm not sure if it's because I've had the mono-vision but I’ve also told OE this who excused it by saying it's because my eyes are dry. It's embarrassing because I walk past people I know, not recognising them, unable to focus. I paid all that money and can't see. I also get ghosting when trying to read, which I explained at a number of appointments only to be told that I had a slight astigmatism. News to me as I was never told this pre surgery, by them or by any other optician in the past. I never had a problem with ghosting while trying to focus pre surgery.

August last year I thought that I'd been patient for long enough and asked for a refund because the surgery hadn't worked. No consideration on their part, just a very clear NO. However, they did offer an ‘enhancement' but I said I’d go away and think about it, because to be honest, given the past three years I was frightened to go through the surgery again. Anyway, after careful consideration I agreed and made the first appointment, one of three review appointments where each exam should be consistent with each other. This took me to 8 December 2014, the final review appointment. The appointment was arranged for 1.30pm. I always arrived 15 minutes before my OE appointments. I got to OE only to be told that I couldn't be seen until at least 2.30pm. Not happy as we'd travelled from Cromer, but anyway, we agreed to come back at 2.30pm and I saw the optician at 3pm. Half way through my appointment she sent me to another room for yet another scan, then returned to the waiting room only to be told that the optician had taken in another client for a full consultation. I was told they were working from a ghost diary hence the wait. Ok, not happy now. Assistant tells me that I can wait until the optician is free or I could go home and the optician or a member of the surgical team would call to discuss what happens next. They never did call or write.

End of February this year I sent yet another letter of complaint. Several apologies later I receive a call from the Norwich store assistant manager wanting me to arrange an appointment and go through the whole three appointment review yet again. Enough I said, I'm not happy with the way I'd been treated and I did at that point again ask for a refund. The assistant manager said that she would email ead office relaying our conversation and my not so unreasonable request. Absolutely nothing from Norwich or Head office, so I wrote another email of complaint and threatened to go to Watchdog. The same day, which was Easter bank holiday Monday, I received a call from head office, surprise surprise. Pierre was the very polite gentleman who called me, probably trying to calm muddy waters. He mentioned me going to Harley Street, but I said I was unable to make an appointment at that moment because I needed to discuss it with my husband as he would be escorting me. I asked if he could put all the details about Harley Street, surgeon etc and contact details to make the appointment into a letter, which he assured me he would, but he never did. (Although he did send eye drops.)

Here I am now, unsure whether I should have surgery and unsure whether I have the right to be angry with OE. I'm frightened to let them touch my eyes again, but on the other hand I can't leave my eyes like this. When I've spoken to them in the past they've made me feel like I'm the one being unreasonable and I'm not sure now if I am being petty.

I'm tired of it Sasha, I could cry sometimes. I truly regret having laser surgery at OE. Even if I don't get any further with OE, if I walk away from this, I do hope that my story helps other people who are considering laser surgery to rethink who they let do it. All I can say is, by all means have surgery but not with OE, save and save and have it done with someone who cares, someone who doesn't treat you like a batch number on an endless conveyor belt who's only interest at the end of the day is PROFIT.

I will keep you posted with any developments, and thank you so much for your help so far!

Jilly x B)

Chronic dry eye symptoms after LASIK 28 Apr 2015 13:55 #69

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Finally, a research paper not funded by those with a vested interest in its results :kiss:

This is a US based study recently published online, "Chronic dry eye symptoms after LASIK: parallels and lessons to be learned from other persistent post-operative pain disorders"

The introduction says, "While patients are typically satisfied with outcomes after their procedure side effects do occur, mainly in the form of unpleasant ocular sensations described as dryness, burning, and discomfort. These symptoms, regarded as components of dry eye, range in severity, but the effects on quality of life may be significant.

There is a growing literature suggesting that these manifestations of ocular discomfort, commonly described as symptoms of “dry eye,” are better understood as corneal pain

So tired of hearing the majority of surgeons claim it has nothing to do with laser eye surgery, I look forward to a similarly unbiased study of MGD!


Thousands of patients suffer surgery failure. 23 Mar 2015 16:59 #70

  • CARL M
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