One year prior to my surgery I attended Optical Express in Motherwell and was advised I was unsuitable for laser or RLE surgery.
A friend was going for a consultation at Optical Express and suggested I went with her in case technology had moved on.
Following an initial consultation at Optical Express East Kilbride store, I had Intra Ocular Lens (IOL) implanted in both eyes, a week apart, by surgeon David Teenan at Giffnock and Edinburgh clinics.
I expected it would take a few weeks following surgery for things to settle, but it never did.
I could see, but the quality of what I was seeing was poor and my sight was blurred, making everyday a struggle with headaches, tired streaming eyes, unable to see the computer at work clearly.
I continued to present at East Kilbride, where the optometrist (Derek Hannan) repeatedly assured me, “your sight test is brilliant”. He gave me lubricating eye drops and advised to give it time.
I was really struggling and found the whole situation immensely frustrating. I continued to present at EK clinic but again Derek would tell me “Brilliant… give it time”.
This scenario continued until December, at which point I asked Derek for glasses as I just wanted my sight to be the way it was before. He told me I had very little prescription, but he would provide them for me.
At that point I thought glasses would be the solution, but they made no difference at all.
When I told him this, Derek’s reply was, “I don’t know why you can’t see with them”!
I was referred for YAG treatment to both eyes after which my eyesight was still no better and I was increasingly frustrated by Derek Hannan only ever telling me how brilliant it was!
I went to see another optom, Colin Berry, who tried to insert plugs into my tear ducts for dry eyes, but couldn’t get them in because the ducts were too small.
He asked if I was experiencing glaring and ghosting – a term I’d never heard before – and as soon as he said the words, a lot of things fell into place. This was a turning point for me realizing that I wasn’t imagining my problems.
I was sent for a second YAG procedure performed by David Teenan, who advised me that it was a “messy job” to try and remove the lenses as they’d been in for a year and would be difficult to remove.
Like so many others with problems I was sent to the “Waiting Room” (OE’s complex cases clinic in Harley Street) to see Professor Jan Venter who confirmed that it was not straightforward.
He told me to go away and think about further surgery, advising that someone would call me in a week.
I received no call and eventually called them and spoke with a very unpleasant man, David Mungall, asking if OE would pay the cost for me to see an independent consultant for a second opinion.
David Mungall agreed to this and told me to make the necessary arrangements. When I asked about payment he told me to have the invoice sent to him and it would be paid.
I saw a consultant ophthalmologist at Ross Hall Hospital in Glasgow who told me it was risky surgery, because they’d been in for a year a gel had formed around the lens which makes it difficult to remove. Worse, he advised me that there was an even greater risk because I have had Yag surgery on top of this not once, but twice.
The Yag (Yttrium aluminium garnet) makes holes in the supportive capsule that secures the lens, making the whole procedure much more difficult because the supportive capsule is now very fragile, so if they try to take the lens out this support could collapse.
He also advised me not to consider having it done at an Optical Express clinic due to it being a specialist procedure needing to be carried out in a controlled environment, i.e. NHS operating theatre.
Telling him what the consultant had advised, David Teenan told me he himself would not be happy to do this surgery. He also agreed that the NHS consultant would be better doing this procedure as he was a specialist and it would be performed more safely on NHS premises.
I contacted Sasha Rodoy at My Beautiful Eyes advisory service looking for help.
She put me in touch with a top solicitor in Scotland (he represents other Optical Express patients) and I am now taking legal action.
My GP recently referred me to the NHS consultant where I was advised my options are limited, with complications too risky because of the YAG procedures.
There is a common thread running through all the stories posted here!
People are fobbed off, told to give more time, sent to Harley Street, etc… etc… and before you know it the 3 years are up in which to try and do something about it legally.
To add insult to injury, a message on my answer phone last week from OE telling me I was due for my annual check up!
Optical Express have left me with a condition that I did not have before surgery and there is NOTHING THAT CAN BE DONE TO RECTIFY IT.
These people must be stopped. As a healthcare professional myself I am governed by the NMC. This consultant and these optometrists must have a governing body.
I am currently looking into this and will leave any information on the OERML Forum.
I will update my story when my legal case progresses..
The consultant I saw at Ross Hall Hospital in May has still not been paid by Optical Express despite several reminders.