There are many ophthalmic surgeons who welcome and applaud my work: some because they are upset that companies like Optical Express harm the reputation of their profession, and others simply because they want me to take down the high street providers to cut the competition.
And with surgeons like Dan Reinstein paying megabucks to PR companies to promote them, it's a cuteye business
Arriving on our shores from the other side of the Atlantic just after the turn of the century, Dan set up shop with Daryus Panthakey at Accuvision for a while (more to come on Daryus). And when he was ready to fly solo he hired a clever PR company who suggested that he promote himself as a professor.
And he’s done so brilliantly!
The average consumer is impressed by anyone titled ‘Professor', hence OE advertising Jan Venter as such, until a few years ago when I successfully argued this with the ASA and he was demoted to plain old Dr Venter.
In 2014 I similarly complained to the ASA about Dan's pseudo use of the title in the UK, but he successfully defended it.
The ASA wrote, 'We considered that in the context of the ad in its entirety, consumers would understand that Dan Reinstein’s title was in relation to teaching positions held in New York and Paris.’
Why would they understand this? Especially with press and media advertorials repeatedly referring to him as Professor Reinstein!
Bona fide ophthalmic professors are highly critical, and his peers refer to him as the Reinstein Cowboy, though I prefer ‘Dr Blindstein', coined by Boris Johnson more recently.
With new information I intend to complain to the ASA again, but no time to explain more about Professors right now so let’s move on...
Dr Blindstein’s valued PR team have done a good job of getting him TV and press exposure, especially with The One Show's undiluted and blatant advertorial, broadcast on 4 April, in which Dan underwent laser eye surgery himself.
Complaints were made to the BBC, including my own, which pointed out that this was not a ’new’ procedure, as claimed by Dr Sarah Jarvis in her introduction.
The BBC's response to my complaint was obviously written by Dan himself, unless BBC Audience Services now have an ophthalmologist on the team!
They wrote, 'This film was commissioned as part of a strand on The One Show which looks at medical treatments that the programme’s audience might be unaware of. As the film stated, presbyopia is a common condition amongst people entering middle age, and the production team felt Laser Blended Vision treatment would be of interest to The One Show’s viewers. The film did not seek to promote this type of surgery, rather to explore what is a largely unknown alternative to reading glasses or eye lens replacement. The fact that Professor Reinstein was planning on having the surgery himself added further interest to the story.
Professor Reinstein invented and pioneered this surgery and he was the natural person to talk to for this film. He holds professorships from several universities, the latest being from the University of Ulster.* You may be aware of a finding by the Advertising Standards Authority in December 2014 that the title did not exaggerate his experience or qualifications as an ophthalmic surgeon:
It is incorrect to suggest that this type of surgery is unregulated.*** The Care Quality Commission is the independent regulator of all health and social care services in England, including laser eye surgery:
. In April 2017 the Royal College of Ophthalmology (of which Professor Reinstein is a member) produced updated standards for laser eye surgery to which all surgeons must adhere:
As previously stated, we are confident that most people understand that virtually all medical procedures carry an element of risk. We understand the risks associated with laser eye surgery treatment are in fact low – statistically similar to the risk from wearing contact lenses, with around a 0.1% chance of experiencing damage (such as blurring, doubling, or distortion) that is not correctable by glasses.**** We did not therefore feel it was necessary to specifically highlight this fact on this occasion. Anyone seeking this treatment from the London Vision Clinic would be fully apprised of these risks.’
*He is listed as a Visiting Professor Ulster University, which assumes you already hold a professorship. ** I made the complaint. *** OMG - why didn't someone tell me! For nearly seven years I've been fighting for regulation and it was there all the time! **** Irresponsible advertising by the BBC as there are NO STATISTICS!
My complaint has now been escalated to the BBC Executive Complaints Unit and their response due next week.
No mention of the numbers who were unsuccessful (including radio presenter Anneka Rice), while Dan told one of his patients who contacted me for help to go and see a psychiatrist when she complained of problems.
But to be fair Dan's not alone here, many damaged patients have been told the same, at OE, Optimax, and elsewhere.
I would remind you that Dan Reinstien collaborated with Optical Express to develop the FODO standards, as I mentioned on 5 April, not recognised by the GMC or GOC, and in direct conflict with the RCOphth standards.
He cannot therefore be considered a principled practitioner when he supports a company that breaches GMC rules and ignores the RCOphth standards (although of little worth to the patient).
Perhaps Dan’s true motive for collaborating with Optical Express was simply explained in Isabel's advertorial,
'The technique he wants to use is approved (‘CE marked’) for lower prescriptions than mine (up to - 8.75), but he knows it is safe and effective for patients like me. I’ll be part of a clinical trial designed to demonstrate current guidelines [RCOphth] are too conservative.'
Having delayed publishing this post waiting for a response from Isabel Oakeshott to my twice sent email, asking if she was paid and/or received free treatment in return for her Daily Mail advertorial and subsequent advertising, on 1 May I wrote again,
Having received no reply to my previous message I must assume that you’re uncomfortable answering my question.
It has now been brought to my attention that consumers are being spammed with Facebook ads from LVC featuring your Mail story (attached).
Will you therefore please confirm if you are receiving a fee for the use of your image/story, and if so did the Daily Mail approve this agreement?
I look forward to your earliest response.’
Still no response, and I leave you to draw your own conclusions.
I will be asking the ASA to look into this, because if Isabel Oakeshott has received payment, of any kind, it should have been made clear in the Daily Mail advertorial and in the spam sent out by LVC.
Yet another article in the Daily Mail two days ago unreservedly promoting laser eye surgery, essentially a lengthy blog about political journalist Isabel Oakeshott's 'blended vision' procedure with US import Dr Dan Reinstein.
I watched it on iPlayer early this morning, appalled that the BBC continue to promote this unregulated industry while purposely ignoring the massive scandal of the many thousands of people it irreparably damages.
So many suffering, most dependent on the NHS for aftercare, many forced into unemployment, all victims of a corrupt industry, while the government pretend there’s no problem, and the BBC - a public service broadcaster - provides free advertising for the perpetrators.
Commenting about this on The One Show's Facebook page, I wrote, 'For balance, how about an interview with me, some of the seriously damaged patients I represent, and Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell, with whom I have worked since 2012 fighting for government regulation of the refractive surgery industry.‘
Meanwhile, after talking with another of London Vision Clinic's very unhappy damaged patients earlier today, I had to laugh at the irony of this excerpt from a published interview with Dan Reinstein in 2016 - bear in mind that he is most definitely not a fan of mine, for reasons I will explain later!
NB: In March 2012 I was invited to appear on The One Show to talk about my campaign for regulation (I still have the emails), but in those early days I didn’t have the evidence (or knowledge) that I do now, and Russell Ambrose (Optimax owner) successfully scared them off with legal threats.
Dan Reinstein @ London Vision Clinic
19 Nov 2017 12:58 #4
Relex ruined my life
I also had Relex Smile at London Vision Clinic with Dr Dan Reinstein 1 year ago and I'm suffering severe complications
This is what I'm suffering from
- severe dry eyes
- pain even now 1 year later
- Meibomian gland disorder
- blood shot eyes
- burning eyes/ itchy eyes
- swollen eyelids
- painful eyelids
- distorted vision
- starbursts/ floaters
- bad night time vision/ can't see much in the evening on the streets
- can't focus on moving objects
- can't read small print if not in black or bold letters
- still using multiple eye drops every 2/3 hours
- can't use eye makeup and that's horrible for a young woman
- I used to have beautiful big blue eyes now they just look sick and grey blood shot with constricted swollen eyelids
Can you please tell me what can I do he always denied that's anything gone wrong and kept saying it will get better giving different drops and treatments nothing worked I'm fed up with his lies, can I sue him despite signing consent?
It wasn't any better six months on, and, like other media personalities damaged by eye surgery, Anneka refused to speak out when I asked for her support, instead she blocked me from her Twitter page!
Doctor Dan's spurious 'Professor' title was a PR idea btw, and is highly criticised by his peers, who of course don't tell him to his face!
Meanwhile, during the last two weeks I have been contacted by FIVE people with corneal ectasia, yet the industry claim that this post op complication is 'rare'!
I'll be telling you about some more shocking cases soon, including a young Irishman now blind in his left eye after lasik this year, and a man about to have his eye removed as a result of laser surgery nearly twenty years ago - resulting in countess operations all funded by the NHS!
It should not surprise anyone therefore that I totally disagree with Dan Reinstein, because in my opinion laser eye surgery (and RLE) just gets worse and worse and worse...
And I have no doubt that unfortunately I haven't heard the worst yet!
Have you all heard of Relex-Smile Procedure? I've developed complications after surgery. There's not much information on this as this procedure is relatively new.
__________________ admin: I have in fact received a number of complaints over the last few years about the outcome of this procedure performed at London Vision Clinic.