LASIK Under the Microscope: Get the Whole Story

There are a number of great sites created by victims of LASIK and other refractive surgeries. If you are considering surgery, we suggest you examine these sites closely. Doctors who buy half million dollar lasers have very little personal motivation to tell the whole story about complications. By reading patient sites, you can cut through the marketing hype, and gain a very different perspective on the LASIK industry. If you want to know the real risks of LASIK, you owe it to yourself to check out these sites! And if you like this site, please link to it to help our search engine rankings.

LasikSurgeryWatch :: LASIK Surgery Watch (LSW) is a non-profit LASIK patient advocacy organization. LSW was launched in 2008 by a group of LASIK patients and family members of LASIK patients to address an urgent need for improvements in quality of patient care in the practice of LASIK. In contrast to the LASIK industry's focus on patients who are "satisfied", the LSW slogan states "Every Patient Counts". The organization welcomes and encourages all LASIK patients with poor results to register on its website. :: Active patient bulletin board and informative research forums. The site does not endorse refractive surgery because there is abundant evidence in current medical literature that corneal refractive surgery compromises the ocular health and visual quality of the eye. The site states that refractive surgery is a violation of the physicians’ Hippocratic oath to “first, do no harm”. :: Exposes the dark secrets of the LASIK industry. Information about LASIK complications that LASIK surgeons don't tell patients. Discusses LASIK lawsuits and legal options for patients. Talks about the failure of the LASIK industry to properly inform patients during the "informed consent" process. Looks at what happens when doctors place money over patients' best interest. Videos of LASIK patients telling their personal stories of the devastating emotional and physical toll of a bad LASIK outcome. :: Exposes deceit, corruption, and collusion by the FDA and the LASIK industry. From the site: "You've read the hype about the 10-minute miracle. Now get the truth." Reports the events of the April 25, 2008 hearing of the Ophthalmic Device Panel with videos and transcripts of testimony. Shows parallels between Big Pharma and Big Tobacco and "Big LASIK". :: LASIK news and information. Press releases, medical studies and special reports. :: Website created in protest to aggressive marketing by Tampa Bay LASIK surgeon, Dr. Stephen Updegraff. :: Created by author and psychologist Roger D. Davis, PhD, this site features photorealistic images of the visual aberrations incuded by LASIK and other refractive surgeries, including starbursting, halos, glare, ghosting, blurry vision, and night driving scenes. Also contain numerous animations, as well as simulators that allow patients to approximate and communicate their vision to friends, family, and physicians. If you want help simulating your vision for others, start here. :: Dedicated to those whose lives have been damaged or destroyed by refractive surgery, this site contains true stories written by the victims themselves. When complications occur, your life splits in two. There is the person you were before LASIK, and the person you are now...the person whose dry eyes hurt all the time, the person who sees multiple images of everything, who can't drive at night, who can't fulfill his or her responsibilities as a parent, or his or her potential as a human being, the person who suffers from PTSD, depression, and various states of dread about the future. You realize that maybe human nature isn't fundamentally good, or at least that doctors aren't what you thought they were. :: Created by activist Optometrist Ken Minarik, OD, this site states: "The internet is full of websites that are owned by laser companies, clinics and LASIK providers that will tell you all about the good cases and sell you on the “joys” of LASIK. We will leave the pro-arguments to the salesmen. We are here to talk about things that go wrong and the people who can help you when it happens. Bookmark this site, and if you or a loved one are considering LASIK…please read all of our cautions first. If you or a loved one are suffering from LASIK complications…welcome to your online support group. We are here for you." :: Created by patient activist Brent Hanson, this site states, "Are you planning to have laser eye surgery at TLC? Are you impressed with TLC's success stories? Do you believe that TLC will honor their "Lifetime Commitment" to you? Do you have confidence in the integrity and surgical skill of TLC's founder, Dr. Jeffery Machat? If you answered yes to any of these four questions, then please read about my experiences with eye surgery at TLC. Your decision to have eye surgery may result in permanently damaging results that are devastating to you. You may also discover that TLC will not back up their "Lifetime Commitment Program" if they damage your vision. I am going to share my personal story with you so that you can get a more realistic view of what your experience could be like. This story is unpleasant for me to tell, but you deserve to know that TLC personnel are fully capable of damaging your vision, deceiving you, abandoning you as a patient, harassing you, and threatening you with lawsuits for speaking out. :: Created by patient activist Dominic Morgan, this site chronicles Dominic's legal struggle with his surgeon and with the FDA. The site states, "Most Lasik websites are advertisements for having Lasik eye surgery. This website is to educate you to the dangers of having Lasik when you are not a proper candidate. Before you consider Lasik, you must be sure it can be done safely, and that you are a proper candidate. I went to a doctor who advertised that anyone who was nearsighted, farsighted, or had astigmatism could be done safely...that's almost everybody! I trusted these doctors, and now I'm legally blind. My name is Dom Morgan, and I tell my story because it may be useful to anyone considering Lasik. :: Created by dissatisfied patient. Warns about bad doctors that harm patients. Cautions prospective patients about lasik marketing scams that sell fake certifications and entice patients into having surgery by downplaying complications. Publishes stories of patients with bad outcomes. Links to YouTube videos about LASIK horror stories.

FDA's Lasik Page :: Generally good information, but be aware that this is only an introduction. The FDA's site doesn't tell you about patient's experiences with doctors when things go wrong, nor does it feature simulations of vision following a failed LASIK, nor does it adequately talk about risk. Doesn't even take quote from it's own FDA transcripts on LASIK, many of which are very interesting, to say the least. But...better than nothing at all, we guess. From the site, "Some patients lose vision. Some patients lose lines of vision on the vision chart that cannot be corrected with glasses, contact lenses, or surgery as a result of treatment. Some patients develop debilitating visual symptoms. Some patients develop glare, halos, and/or double vision that can seriously affect nighttime vision. Even with good vision on the vision chart, some patients do not see as well in situations of low contrast, such as at night or in fog, after treatment as compared to before treatment.

Wake Up To LASIK:: Brief site written by an optometrist who was recruited to "comanage" Lasik. From the site: "I was WINED and DINED. Beneath the glow of dimmed chandeliers in an elegant restaurant, the compliments were blushingly effusive. I was made to feel so very special. It was seductive. The pitch came at the end of this dinner: "Dr. X, for every patient you send to our laser center, we'll collect the $5000 and we'll make sure you get back $2000." "That's an extravagant amount," I said. "Isn't that a kickback?" "No, we call it a co-management fee," was the quick reply. "You and I will manage the patient together. A "kickback" lands us both in jail. Hehehe.".

YouTube video of Duke Eye Center Patient :: Patient of Duke Eye Center who experienced complications from LASIK testifies at FDA hearing concerning LASIK post-market issues.

Video of Wife of Duke Eye Center Patient :: Patient's wife testifies at FDA hearing concerning LASIK post-market issues. Tells of the "battle scars" on the family of LASIK victims, and stories of LASIK patient suicides.

YouTube video of starbursts after LASIK :: Video warning of night-time starbursts after LASIK. Patients with large pupils may suffer permanent, debilitating night vision impairment after LASIK.