A new website, LasikScandal.com, reveals risks and adverse effects of LASIK eye surgery, and exposes LASIK industry corruption. LasikNewswire’s editor interviewed the new site’s Director & Medical Researcher, Justice.
LNW: Good evening, Justice, and thanks for giving us this interview. Tell us about yourself. How did you become interested in LASIK?
Justice: I had a bad outcome from LASIK several years ago. I suffer from chronic dry eyes and distorted night vision — starbursts, halos, double vision… It turned my life upside down. I needed to understand why, what went wrong, and if it could be corrected. So that’s why I began my research.
LNW: And what did you find out? I mean, what went wrong?
Justice: Well, nothing went wrong according to my surgeon. But really, everything went wrong. When you do surgery on perfectly healthy, normal tissue… When you create a flap one-third the thickness of the cornea, and then vaporise more of the cornea with a laser, the cornea never recovers fully. Researchers have found permanent pathologic changes in all post-LASIK corneas studied.
LNW: You said you have night vision problems. Do you have large pupils?
Justice: Yes, and of course, that’s the problem.
LNW: Where did your research lead, as far as finding a solution for your vision problems?
Justice: Well, I consulted several leading surgeons. They proposed a retreatment. One surgeon actually suggested corneal transplant, bilateral. By that point I knew the risks associated with another surgery. Not only that, but also, the data seemed unconvincing that a retreatment would be effective. I decided to try rigid contact lenses, but my expectations were low because I had not been able to tolerate hard lenses before LASIK, and now, with my eyes much drier after LASIK, I knew they would be difficult to tolerate, and that was the case.
LNW: How has LASIK-induced dry eyes affected you?
Justice: I’m glad you asked that question because, unless you’ve experienced first-hand the pain and burning and all the rest that goes with it, people seem to think that dry eyes is just a minor issue that is easily managed with eye drops. But that’s definitely not the case. It has a huge impact on my life. I have to plan my activities around it. I always carry eye drops and goggles wherever I go. My eyelids stick to my eyes. It’s scary and painful. I instill eyedrops several times throughout the night. My optometrist once told me, “Your corneas are pretty beat up”. Beat up from the dryness and trying to wear lenses.
LNW: Let me get this straight. You need to wear hard lenses because your vision is impaired by LASIK, but LASIK caused you to have extremely dry eyes which makes it difficult, or impossible, to tolerate lenses?
Justice: (laughs) Yeah, crazy, right?
LNW: And tell our readers how LASIK causes dry eyes.
Justice: Mainly because corneal nerves are damaged. A normal cornea is highly innervated. It needs to be to protect your eyes, to let you know if your eyes are dry, to blink, or if you get sand in your eyes, to make tears to wash the sand out. But LASIK cuts the nerves and destroys nerves in the cornea. The feed-back loop is disrupted. The eyes are dry but there’s no information transmitted from the corneal surface telling the brain to send the message back to the lacrimal glands to produce tears.
LNW: What did your LASIK surgeon tell you, or warn you, about dry eyes before LASIK?
Justice: He never mentioned it. I still have a glossy brochure from his office which said that you’ll need to use eye drops for two weeks after LASIK.
LNW: Just two weeks?
Justice: That’s what it says. Two weeks.
LNW: The FDA website warns that dry eyes after LASIK can be permanent, so…
Justice: Right, I was not informed. You think you can trust doctors. It’s just not in our DNA to believe a doctor would hurt you.
LNW: I’m sorry. Is there anything else you would like to say about your experience?
Justice: Well, it’s not just the dry eyes and the bad night vision. It’s the betrayal of trust and the denial. It’s a bitter pill to swallow. It takes its toll. And then the cost. It’s crazy what you spend trying to manage LASIK complications. Thousands of dollars, year after year. And the ripple effect on all aspects of your life, and even your family’s lives. It’s devastating. And you feel as if you have no future. It’s not the life you expected. But you learn to keep going, you have to.
LNW: You’re wearing glasses. What is your vision like with glasses?
Justice: Yes, I started regressing right away, and my vision has been unstable ever since. In the daylight with glasses I see pretty well. I can function normally in bright light. But in dim light, or night-time, forget it. I dread the short days of winter. I don’t drive at night. I also have induced floaters, which bother me in bright light, I almost forgot. (laughs).
LNW: Floaters, dry eyes, bad night vision, regression? Anything else?
Justice: Induced astigmatism. And DLK.
LNW: Tell our readers. What is DLK?
Justice: Diffuse lamellar keratitis. Inflammation of the cornea. I had it in one eye and it left mild scarring.
LNW: Do you believe you were a bad candidate?
Justice: Yes, I do. I was becoming intolerant to my soft contact lenses, which indicates dry eyes, so that should be a contraindication. And I have large pupils, and that’s a definite contraindication, regardless what you might hear, it is a contraindication, period. But even if you’re a so-called ‘perfect candidate’, LASIK always leads to dry eyes, at least for a period of time, and virtually always reduces night vision. It’s a matter of severity. If your eyes are dry before, they’re going to be a lot drier. If you have large pupils, you’re going to have worse night vision than someone who has smaller pupils with the same refractive error. I see LASIK ads talking about newer technology and better night vision. No technology can treat a patient, appropriately, with very large pupils without taking off too much tissue. You only have so much cornea.
LNW: Yeah, if you remove too much corneal tissue, you place the patient at risk of corneal ectasia.
Justice: Right. That’s the complication that LASIK surgeons most want to keep quiet.
LNW: Justice, thanks for telling us your story. Before we wrap this up, let’s talk about LasikScandal.com. It’s a great looking site.
Justice: Thanks, but I’m not the web designer. Jeff and Bob deserve the credit.
LNW: You write content for the site?
Justice: I wrote some of the content, yes.
LNW: Well, it’s very compelling, well researched. I understand you’re building a patient registry.
Justice: Yes, now that we’ve got a site up, we’re going to be focusing on the patient registry and the forum.
LNW: Justice, thank you again. Best of luck with the new site.
Justice: Thank you.