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My son committed suicide 20 Aug 2016 22:04 #41

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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 #42

  • 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 #43

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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 #44

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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 #45

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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 #46

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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.

Informed consent vs manipulated consent 19 May 2016 05:56 #47

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KC - I'm sorry to hear this happened to you. We like to think we are protected by strict regulations where in fact this industry seems to see the customers as opportunity to make money, without the care and responsibility attached.
I remember my own consent process which I now see as 'manipulated' not informed. And very rushed, without a chance to challenge facts stated in the sales room, nor a chance to further investigate the risk factors on the clinical form. My patient information pack, given to me as 'everything you need before the procedure' contained promotional material and a map, I couldn't even check what was in there due to having just been given eye drops at the consultation. At home I searched online for customer feedback but found the positive, caring face of Optical Express. If I had found OERML I would have cancelled the op - my procedure was a birthday gift and purely elective, I wouldn't have taken the risk. I signed the clinical consent form minutes before the surgery, clipboard on my lap, my glasses in the waiting room in my daughters bag. I read it all as carefully as I was able under the circumstances - I was anxious, especially when a nurse told me I was next. But I felt the risk factors didn't really apply to me - after all, during my consultation and the sales appointment everyone referred to me as 'perfect candidate'. I trusted the people in the room - the optometrist seemed knowledgeable, told me an anecdote about his wife and how LASIK she'd had only 'last week' was as close to a miracle as you can get, no pain, no complications. I thought it was a bit early to say but he was the professional in the room. My concerns related to medical conditions I suffer from, and now know should have rang alarm bells, were dismissed as irrelevant as risk factors. Nobody mentioned the pupil size - until recently I had no idea mine was classed as big. Nor did I get told my need for reading glasses would come overnight, +2, a shock for someone who expected a normal age related process. Dry eye was only an issue for people with current dry eye problems - not me then. As the branch manager was present at my sales appointment, I felt reassured - surely if she spotted any underhand or unethical practices, she would address them immediately. Instead she pressured me to decide on the spot, and pay, as the price was likely to jump very soon - this was a one off special offer.
Like you KC -I'm grateful it didn't turn out worse. I'm also very anxious about my future - the complications are increasingly having an impact on my day to day life. The multiple reading glasses of different strengths, the visual disturbances, constantly dry eyes, photo-sensitivity - all instead of one pair of reliable glasses. It was no special offer. Especially now they are changing terms of aftercare, I'm likely to keep paying out for the rest of my life - and so is a taxpayer.
When I came for one of the post op checks, the sales assistant wouldn't meet my gaze. Previously chatty, she busied herself behind the desk and hardly spoke to me. What makes a person break every rule, how do they go on with their daily life with the knowledge they mislead and cheated people who trusted them. I couldn't.
All the best to you KC.

Thousands of patients suffer surgery failure. 18 May 2016 20:51 #48

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Having read some of the horror stories and having had a very negative reply to my complaint from Optical Express I am now ready to share my story if it might help you with your demand for proper regulation of this industry. I recently listened to the 2014 BBC 5 Live interview and agree that what is needed is informed consent. In my case there was a complete lack of this. I was simply told I was an ideal candidate for Lens Replacement surgery. I did not see my surgeon until 3 minutes before my operation, at which point he asked if I had any questions. Having waited almost 6 hours I suggested we had better get on with it. So no assessment was undertaken by my surgeon prior to the procedure. The only "cooling off" period was the 6 hour wait and that was BEFORE I saw the surgeon.!
I wrote a letter of complaint and received a very detailed reply with a long list of points most of which were a fallacy as none of the things they said happened had actually happened. The long consent form was handed in when I got there and not discussed. My distance sight was not good enough and had to be enhanced by a Laser procedure 6 months later. This did improve the distance but at a cost to the reading element.( I now need a +2.5 prescription). So I now have lots of reading glasses as they are never where you need them. As my distance is almost perfect I consider myself very lucky bearing in mind what could have happened.I agree that we seem to go into this naively with a lack of informed consent and that really needs to change. OE refused my request for varifocal lenses (I offered an existing frame to save costs) to put me back to where I was before the operation. So no goodwill there either.
The sales guy was wonderful, the promised outcome seemed wonderful too. However, the reality left a lot to be desired. Perhaps under the Sale of goods Act they could be sued for "goods not as described". I was promised I would only need glasses when in a darkened restaurant.

I will look upon this as a very expensive mistake (£4000) and am grateful that it didn't turn out worse than it has. Knowing what I now know I would never agreed to go ahead.
admin: Re 'Perhaps under the Sale of goods Act they could be sued for "goods not as described".

Currently there are a number of people doing exactly this! If you send email with your phone number I'll be happy to advise This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

NB: The Sale of Goods Act has been replaced by the Consumer Rights Act :kiss:

Thousands of patients suffer surgery failure. 30 Apr 2016 22:25 #49

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Joe Tye's very helpful facts about LASIK, have no doubt helped a great many people make the right decision over the years, so I have the deepest respect for him......I wish I had found his videos etc. before I had my eyes treated! One thing I'd like to point out though, is that while glasses and contacts are obviously safer than surgery, reason no:10 for not having LASIK states that some leading surgeons have replaced lasik with surface treatments, but these are by no means a safer alternative. I had lasek, a surface treatment, but it left me with so many complications that my life is a living hell. Years of terrible pain and terrible eyesight, and now getting worse.
If you are thinking of having any type of refractive surgery, please don't risk your precious eyes.

Useful stuff if you're thinking of having LASIK 30 Apr 2016 13:25 #50

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if only I'd seen this before my op. I would have walked away even after I paid the balance - in a long run it will cost me far more. It's hard not to bang one's head on a brick wall… my Mum is a nuclear physicist and she was against this procedure, but what does she know - I regrettably trusted OE!

Valuable info from Joe Tye