After years of wearing contact lenses and glasses, in January 2014 I decided to research my options for refractive eye surgery.
17 Feb 2014, I attended an initial consultation at London Advanced Vision Care clinic in Harley St. I met with owner Dr CT Pillai, and his clinical manager Pawel Marcinkowski.
They told me I was suitable for lens exchange, that it would change my life, and that I would never get cataracts. It sounded like a dream come true!
At the second consultation Dr CT Pillai noted that due to the high degree of myopia in my right eye was so high that a second opinion was required with an ‘independent’ expert, for which I had to pay another £175!
I was a little confused by this as I’d already paid £150 for the initial consultation, and the information on the Advanced Vision Care website clearly states, "Industry’s most experienced and respected surgeons in their fields”.
This then begs the question, why was I being asked to pay more money for a second opinion if Advanced Vision Care are the industry's most experienced surgeons?
However, because I was anxious to ditch my glasses and contact lenses I agreed to split the cost of the ‘independent' consultation 50/50 with Advanced Vision Care.
21 March 2014, I attended a consultation with the ‘independent’ expert Mr Ajai K Tyagi at another Harley St clinic, although coincidentally Ajai Tyagi shares the same address as AVC!
Quote from the AVC site: "Completely independent clinic with no affiliation with manufacturers or paid consultants.” Hmmmmm!
31 March 2014, I received a letter from Mr AK Tyagi advising me that there were risks associated with progressing surgery on my right eye given the level of myopia.
I spoke with Advanced Vision Care but they said they had no concerns and were happy to proceed if I was, and, as their website advertises them as the 'most experienced and respected surgeons in their field’, I trusted their decision.
My operations took place on the 16 and 17 April 2014, with surgeon Dr Goran Helgason.
I had follow up appointments in late April and May, no problems, so I was very happy with the treatment I’d had at Advanced Vision Care.
AVC asked if I would appear in a promotional video for them, and I did so.
Sunday 8 June 2014, I awoke to discover that the vision in my right eye was starting to deteriorate. There was an orange bubble effect which gave my vision an overall orange tinge. Soon after my vision started to further deteriorate. It was like a curtain closing, and by mid afternoon the top part of my field of vision was black.
It was now late evening and I contacted Advanced Vision Care.
Pawel Marcinkowski called and advised me to go to A&E at Moorfields eye hospital IMMEDIATELY.
I arrived at Moorfields shortly after midnight and was seen straight away due to the severity of my condition.
By 4.00am the next day I had lost all vision in my right eye and I was diagnosed with a detached retina.
This was only two weeks after making the promotional video - which I intend to instruct Dr CT Pillai to withdraw from showing his customers.
After all the wonderful life changing promises from the Advanced Vision Care team, this was not the outcome I expected.
My dream had suddenly become a nightmare.
To be continued, including details of my 100 visits to Moorfields, and correspondence with Advanced Vision Care, who have offered me no help or support since 2014.
To add insult to injury, this recently arrived in my inbox