Skip to comments.Is LASIK Eye Surgery Safe? FDA Scientist Regrets Saying 'Yes'
Posted on 02/12/2011 8:33:57 PM PST by Nachum
In Washington, D.C., a culture that embraces regulatory oversight and rule-making and where bureaucracies are everywhere, no federal agency is more warren-like than the Food and Drug Administration, which regulates the safety and efficacy of food, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and medical devices.
The health and well-being of every American depends on the FDA's rigorous collecting, sifting and interpreting of data to approve products ranging from those that cure nail fungus to devices that electronically zap the brain to relieve anxiety. FDA regulators are scientist bureaucrats who tirelessly navigate the tedious but essential world between reports and medicine in a poorly lit building with very narrow hallways. They do important work, but FDA scientists don't always get it right.
This is a story about one scientist haunted by what, he fears, was a bad decision. Between 1996 and 2000, the scientist, Dr. Morris Waxler, was chief of the FDA's Diagnostic and Surgical Devices Branch and in charge of approving the LASIK medical device to restore visual acuity. And now, Waxler thinks that the FDA's standards were not tough enough. In 2008, an FDA advisory panel was urged by unhappy patients to re-evaluate the long-term effects of LASIK surgery and around the same time, patients began contacting him personally to report bad outcomes, including blurred and double vision.
(Excerpt) Read more at politicsdaily.com ...
Thanks. I’ve wondered about that. ...getting my first prescription bifocals soon after relying on cheap reading glasses for too long.
Yep, never be the chimp in space. I have dry eyes which ruled me out.
I went through LASIK in September and do not regret it at all.
I had a nightmarish experience with laser eye surgery that was done by a quack. Luckily, I found an eye surgeon who really knew what he was doing and it got resolved. for a while I feared that I would lose my sight in one eye. Scariest 8 months of my life.
What don’t they regret saying?
Everyone I know who had LASIK eye surgery, about 5 people, love it and had no problems .
It works, but it’s short lived.
I have worked with lasers for many years. All of my work has been with Military applications such as target designators. The medical use of lasers has been phenominal. They are great for such complex medical procedures such as repairing torn retinas. That being said, I have a real aversion to shining a Class IV laser (very hazardous) into your eye for vanity sake because you don’t want to wear corrective lenses.
Do Not Stare Into Laser Beam With Remaining Eye
I have been hesitant on doing Lasik. Even though glasses are a pain in the @$$, I will stay with them ! I wonder about the long term effects.
My guess is, the early practitioners were especially careful-- I had my eyes measured by laser for a 3D picture a couple weeks apart about three different times before having the operation. I don't know if this is still standard practise. I wonder if the proliferation of clinics has led to carelessness in some cases.
My friend had Lasik, said she can read without glasses but stars are blurry. I must see stars.
I wear one contact for reading, one for distance, and it is fine. I love my contacts.
I’ve read that the Navy has their own type of laser eye surgery, that apparently takes a little while longer to recover from, but the results are better.
If I do have laser surgery, which I do want so I don’t have to worry about contacts and glasses, I’m hoping the Navy’s procedure becomes widespread.
I don’t know ONE person who’s had lasik and regrets it. Happy you had it done .. wish I could. Am just waiting for cataracts that (I hear) will have the same or similar effect.
The eyeball is like the gut it keeps on growing, unfortunately like the gut it doesn't grow like we would want it too. I got mind done about 6 years ago, don't regret it, I was pretty blind figuratively speaking, still have to wear the cheaters for reading, that is something they don't tell you, but it is better then all the time.
My aunt, father, and mother-in-law all had it about 10 years ago and think it was great. My dad still had to wear reading glasses, but before it he was practically blind without glasses. After his surgery was the first time since the 1960’s he could get up and see without needing to put glasses on immediately. He was the only person I ever knew that had to wear contacts and glasses at the same time—the only other choice was those big, thick coke bottle glasses that he would never wear in public, but would wear when first getting up or going to bed. A month after his surgery, he was able to pass the vision test for renewing your driver’s license without corrective lenses for the first time in 40 years!
Eyes cannot be replaced.
I have always been skeptical about the long-term effects of any eye surgery.
I have a strong feeling my skepticism will be answered when the people who had LASIK and the like lose a lot of their vision in their latter years. It doesn’t make me happy, it just makes me right.
My lens Rx hasn’t changed much in 20 years (I literally can wear glasses I had 20 years ago and my vision is just fine) — I will stick with glasses thank you very much.
Bump for later tally.
I had mine done about ten years ago when I was in my mid 40s. Before that, from the time I was a kid, the only time I had my glasses off was when I was in the shower or washing my face. Other than that, the first thing I did in the morning was put on my glasses and the last thing I did when I was ready for sleep was to put my glasses on the nightstand.... where I could find them without the ability to see them in the morning. If I ever had my glasses knocked off for some reason, I'd better have somebody with me, because I wasn't going to be able to find them back by myself.
Since the Lasik surgery, I can see things good up close and I can see things good at a distance. The only real problem has been a bit of a loss of night vision... just to the extent that I have a hard time tying on a new fishing lure in low-light conditions.
Getting rid of the eyeglasses was one of the best things I've ever done for myself.
You’re right. Wearing glasses is a minor pain sometimes but absolutely not enough to justify having someone carve around MY eyes with a laser. Hope it works out OK for those who have had it, but not for me.
I had Lasik over 4 years ago. No worries. Good decision.
My only issue is that I keep having to look for reading glasses for close up stuff. Other than that, my astigmatism was so bad that I had constant headaches for years. Glasses did not help. I haven’t had a headache since September!!!
Tiger Woods won like 20 majors after getting LASIK. I personally know a dozen folks who have gotten it. No reports of any problems, except dry eye in one who had dry eye before.
I must see stars.
I got a hammer, come here.
cut your eyes with a laser, what could possibly go wrong?
I think anyone would! That is why they use excimer lasers instead.
I have perfect vision and i’m in my 40s. The doctor says I’m gonna need bifocals in about 2-3 years though...VERY far sighted but so far my eyes are able to adjust so I would never know I was far sighted without a doctor telling me so. The doctor put drops in my eyes once that paralyzed whatever muscle it is that corrects for far sightedness and WOW, WAS i BLIND! Couldn’t see anything closer than 30 feet.
I won’t get lasik. I’ll do just fine with bifocals. Or maybe I’ll just do like they did in the old days and read with a giant magnifying glass. In fact, after the drops the doctor gave me, that’s how I worked for a few hours. One hand on the keyboard and one hand holding a magnifying glass in front of the computer screen.
It isn’t particularly easy to find an ophthalmologist who has had LASIK.
Corneas can be replaced.
It doesnt make me happy, it just makes me right.
No it doesn't.
I got LASIK six years ago. No regrets, whatsoever.
please name that quack, so people will avoid him???no
I don’t know anybody who has had the experience of “short live” improvements.
I think the FDA does more harm than good. LASIK appears to be safe and effective in the vast majority of cases.
I think it is safe. It was new in the early eighties. Read about its early trials. Opthalmogist cut on corneas every day. They perform cataract surgery by implanting new plastic lenses. They replace corneas from doners to those sightless. My opinion, the cutting of the cornea to correct astigmatism has been shown to be safe.
>>Corneas can be replaced. <
Corneas are not eyes.
>>No it doesn’t.<<
Yes it does. Better safe than blind.
My brother, who has needed corrective lenses nearly all his life had laser eye correction performed close to a decade ago and still won’t shut up about how it was the best decision he ever made.
>>I got LASIK six years ago. No regrets, whatsoever.<<
Check back with us in 20 years. Or, use your voice interface to do so, anyway.
Publicly demonstrating how ignorant you are isn’t a character trait to be proud of.
I agree. I have one set of eyes and I do not want to screw them up. I will keep my glasses thank you.
>>Publicly demonstrating how ignorant you are isnt a character trait to be proud of.<<
Healthy skepticism that prolongs sight is always to be lauded.
Trust me, in 20 years the demand for audio interfaces for the newly blind will be much in demand.
The Wiki article on LASIK says the risk of significant loss of vision with LASIK is 1 in 10,000. Risk of significant loss of vision with contact lenses is 5 times as high. People have been getting the surgery for over 20 years now, and I'm not aware of any studies reporting the bad longterm outcomes you're warning people about.
Is there some particular reason that you seem so determined to frighten people away from getting a medical procedure done that might make them happier?
>>The Wiki article on LASIK says the risk of significant loss of vision with LASIK is 1 in 10,000. <<
Ah, Wiki. A good source for information about pop culture. I am sure its background on Donny Osmond is quite exhaustive.
Anyone who uses Wiki as a source should bear the results of their own research.
>>Is there some particular reason that you seem so determined to frighten people away from getting a medical procedure done that might make them happier?<<
Yes — they should be concerned about long-term blindness. Except in extreme cases this operation makes no sense.
As I said, eyes cannot be replaced. It might be worth the risk to some. Not to me.
“Thanks. Ive wondered about that”
One of the dirty little secrets of LASIK is that it doesn’t really help presbyopia. All it does is change when you need classes. If you happen to be like me and are near-sighted, then you wouldn’t need glasses for distance usage, but would have to use them for close work, which I can do fine now without glasses at all.
To overcome this, they try to convince you to surgically set one eye with a close focal length and one eye with a far focal length, sort of like having one eye set to macro vision and one set to telephoto vision. I simulated this with contacts and felt I had sub par vision all the time, so was smart enough to not go through with the surgery.
All this bureau nonsense should/could have been avoided by requiring EVERY H.S. graduate, trained in any school system from age 5 on, to be prepared to be licensed in the ability to argue their own cases before a verdict box of 12, the way it is supposed to be.
We would know public information, probably much sooner, if this were the case. Furthermore, the incentive for govt. protected fascism would be curtailed. And frivolous plaintiff costs absorbed by the loser.
Anyone who is thinking of doing this MUST be well screened because not everyone should have it done. Also, I would highly suggest NOT bargain hunting - it's your eyesight!!! Make sure your doctor is well known and has readily available references from patients. I can't begin to tell you how great it is to be totally free from glasses or contacts. I do not regret it one bit.