Refractive Surgery Exposed

Many newspapers and television stations across the United States have carried stories exposing the LASIK industry. Even the nation's more prestigious investigative news sources have sought to expose truths about the LASIK industry, often using very frank terminology. The Washington Post, for example, arguably along with the New York Times the most prestigious newspaper in the US, concludes: "Trust No One, Not Even Your Eye Doctor."

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Eye surgery leaves many with problems: The News & Observer 9/30/07

From the article: "The American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery, which represents about 9,000 ophthalmologists specializing in laser eye surgery, estimates that only 2 percent to 3 percent of the more than 1 million LASIK surgeries each year are unsuccessful. But Food and Drug Administration records of clinical studies show that six months after the surgery, up to 28 percent of patients complained of eye dryness, up to 16 percent had blurry vision and up to 18 percent had difficulty driving at night."

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What Have I Done To My Eyes?: Washington Post

From the article: "Before he had surgery last year, Mitch Ferro thought he knew everything he needed to about Lasik. His older brother, a physician, had the procedure in Baltimore and raved about how easy it was and how well he could see. "I figured surgery was a no-brainer," Ferro recalled. He figured wrong. Ferro now considers having laser eye surgery to be one of the worst mistakes he ever made. "Believe me, I've never felt regret like this. I'd give anything to have my old corneas back," he said."

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Fears that grew over 'perfect' operation: Times Online, Britain

From the Article: "When a number of doctors from across America began to question whether Alcon’s Ladarvision system, a machine using Nasa laser technology, was malfunctioning, the company had two choices. It could have gone public, and recalled the potentially defective model or, like the three wise monkeys, it could see no evil, hear no evil and speak no evil."

Original Article

Legal Brief: EBW Laser vs. Alcon

From the Lawsuit: "The existence of these malfunctioning machines caused a conundrum for Third Party Defendant Alcon and Third Party Defendant Refractive. It they reported these numerous malfunctioning to the Federal Drug Administration as required by law and notified doctors around the country to look out for this possibility, then the sales of the Autonomous LadarVision Systems for which Third Party Defendant Alcon had just paid a premium might crash. The FDA might well force a recall and review the entire design of the machine and thousands of patients might well sue Alcon for product liability. To avoid those eventualities, Third Party Defendants Alcon and Refractive entered into a criminal enterprise to defraud and deceive the doctors and the companies who used the machines (9 of which EBW Laser, Inc., was one). The deception operated in this fashion. Each time a doctor or company reported one of these widespread malfunctions, the Third Party Defendants would pretend it was the first they had heard of it. The Third Party Defendants would then suggest all sorts of fanciful and untrue possible causes for the malfunction, having full knowledge that the known malfunction was common with the machine. The Third Party Defendants would then feign an "inspection" of the patient records to "discover" the cause of the problem when they already knew they already knew the cause. Much or all of the deception perpetrated on the doctors or companies took place through the United States mails, over United States wires, and inside the territorial boundaries of the United States. In the second phase of the deception, if any doctor and/or company became suspicious or uncooperative, the Third Party Defendants intimated and threatened said doctors or companies and induced fear of economic hard so said doctors and/or companies who suspected a malfunction of the machine would not disseminate their suspicion to the Federal Drug Administration or in doctor conferences. "

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A Pain the Eye That's Forever: East Bay Express

From the Article: "When laser vision-correction surgery doesn't deliver the promised results, the impact can be profound. Ross is one of tens of thousands of patients whose lives have been turned upside down due to improper risk screening, malfunctioning machines, or shabby surgical techniques. Instead of the carefree new lifestyle these patients anticipated, they have received an involuntary lifetime admission ticket to their own personal laser light show. At best, they face glare, halos, starbursts, multiple images, or poor depth perception. At worst, they face chronic pain, corneal transplants -- even blindness in rare cases. For those already damaged, the road to rehabilitation is frustrating and slow, and sometimes the only good remedy is an entirely new pair of eyes. "

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LASIK Risks Understated: USA Today

From the Article: "Laser eye surgery is being touted in advertisements as a quick, virtually risk-free procedure that can end patients' need for glasses. But with more than 1 million patients expected to undergo the procedure this year, thousands are learning what the ads don't say: The surgery can cause life-altering complications that sometimes can't be fixed. Problems include double or triple vision so severe patients can't watch TV or read, light distortions so blinding they can't drive at night and eyes so dry that goggles must be worn outside. Some patients have spent thousands of dollars trying to fix problems only to find the technology doesn't yet exist to provide a remedy. "

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LASIK in 20/20: Consumers should see the risks as well as the benefits ... Tampa

From the Article: "LASIK centers are under enormous economic pressure because of high fixed costs. That means they need a steady flow of patients to ensure profitability, an increasingly difficult task as new entrants crowd the market."

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Surgeon Warns of Laser Eye Cure Risks: Expert Claims Dangers of Treatment not Made Clear

"Unfortunately, it is marketed as being very simple and very safe, and I suspect that probably is just not true.... "A lot of companies say that 95% of patients have 20:20 vision after the treatment, but that doesn’t tell you that 10% of them might not be able to drive at night. "Apart from the major risks of infection, there are a significant number of people with dry eyes, double vision or who see halos around lights. In some cases, such as persistent haziness. The patient can be left with an impairment of vision that is permanent. Some people’s lives have been turned upside down by having LASIK because of complications that they felt they were not fully informed about."

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