On a recent episode of his popular TV show, Dr. Oz featured an investigate report on how LASIK surgery can have dangerous life-long side effects. Undercover consultations with eye surgeons over a two-year period revealed that many doctors played down potential negative side effects from LASIK surgery and treated it as a minimal risk procedure.
FDA clinical trials revealed some alarming trends among former LASIK patients. Nearly 1 out of 5 patients experience worsened long-term eyesight after LASIK surgery. These patients endured double vision, seeing halos around lights at night and dry eye pain. Many of these problems continued long after their eyes supposedly healed from the surgery.
LASIK surgery involves cutting a flap in the top layer of the cornea and then reshaping the cornea using a laser. Complications can result with a cut that’s too thick, or too thin or too far into the cornea. It can make it difficult for the cornea to fully heal and the flap can become dislodged after surgery.
Seeing 20 percent of former LASIK patients suffer adverse side effects is an alarming statistic considering the popularity of the surgery. Nearly 800,000 people nationwide undergo LASIK surgery each year.
It has led some former LASIK advocates to change their views. Morris Waxler, a former FDA official who once spearheaded LASIK approval, is now working to get it banned in the United States.
LASIK surgery advocates say it is a helpful surgery and is safe when performed by qualified and experienced surgeons on the right patients. They argue FDA numbers are skewed and claim less than 1 percent of LASIK patients will experience any long-term negative complications following their surgery.
Dr. Irwin Azman said many former LASIK patients experience problems because preexisting conditions in their eyes are ignored. Azman said some of the damage done through surgery can be fixed. He is combining new technologies with his experience to successfully treat many problems.
LASIK surgery carries as much risk and reward as any surgery. Getting rid of glasses and contacts is reason enough for most people to choose the surgery. The problem is LASIK offers no miracle cure. It is important to do your homework before making a choice.