Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Be careful before getting eyes carved up

…Is it just HA, or does it bother you that a medical procedure is being advertised on buses and billboards—and discount coupons offered in the approximately 1000 yellow pages books we get each month?

...Is eye surgery something for which you would even want the lowest bidder?

…Wanting to toss the specs, millions of Americans are getting eye operations to change the shape of their corneas.

…Tiger Woods did it, according to Sabine Vollmer, McClatchy Newspapers. Even the Air Force relented last spring and will let people who have had Lasik apply for pilot training.

…But, Vollmer notes, every year, thousands of people who had had Lasik (laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis) are left with chronic pain, dry eye, distorted night vision, and even blindness.

…The American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery puts the side effects at 2-3%.

…The FDA, however, says that six months after the surgery, 28% of patients complained of eye dryness, up to 16% had blurry vision, and up to 18% had trouble driving at night.

…This real surgery with real risks, commented one patient who had multiple problems.

…Most insurance will not pay for this so stats are somewhat lacking.

…But there is a growing market for contacts that counteract Lasik side effects.

…Still struggling with her detached retina, HA is an eye fanatic. You only have two. Be careful!

…Are glasses really that bad?


zack said...

Every medical procedure, from the mundane to the elaborate entails risk. Even the typical minor face lifts, or tummy tucks, or even hair plugs, all have risks. One could say that eye surgery, which is operating on a MAJOR organ in the human body, one which, if messed up, could lead to life-altering disability, is too risky to even come close to being acceptable. THE PROBLEM, however, is for many, the constant strain of eye problems, glasses, prescriptions, doctor visits, and, for those who wear contacts, the constant maintenance of the solutions, eye placements, lense costs, revisits, etc is just too prohibitive.

Being a patient who had Lasik done, I can attest to the side effects of the procedure. HOWEVER, it is important to note that of the 2-3% who suffer from side effects, less than 1% actually MAINTAIN those side effects. For me, a good month after the procedure I had dry eye, itchy eyes, and a bit of blur. It took a good six months for the blur to go away, and then normal vision ensues. But, would I change anything? No. Having 20/20 eyesight simply is something that is necessary. Granted, people can get by with blindness, or poor eyesight, and glasses, contacts, etc, however, it really is just best to have proper eyesight today.

Simply saying you don’t want it done because of the risks, is not a good enough example of rejecting the procedure. I feel for those who are in fear of the act, and those who are unsure, however keep this in mind: While prices are very competitive, and companies want to offer the procedure for the lowest possible price, QUALITY does NOT suffer. The techs who study your eyes, etc, are not required to be trained, they do not do anything to your eyes, except take pictures of them, and pass the results on. The DOCTORS who actually do the procedures, follow-up exams, and medical revaluations, ARE FDA certified doctors. They are all board certified, and have years of experience in eye care. The procedure is controlled by computer, after the calculations are put in from the exam. The alignment is done after EACH eye, between each procedure, so the likelihood of mistake is slim.

96-98% of all patients have a fully successful procedure AFTER just one time. the other 2-4% have a revisit. Keep in mind that the doctors know what they are doing.

Yes, there are side effects, but in this case, THERE SIMPLY IS NOTHING that would preclude you from having the procedure done.

Star Lawrence said...

I would not agree that there is nothing to preclude you and that all doctors are qualified. The FDA does not certify doctors.Thank you for presenting the other side, though, which I took to be basically, yes, you might have problems, but in most cases, these will go away with time. I still believe people should proceed with caution. Having 20/20 eyesight--which I never will again--is indeed a good thing.

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