Visulase Bolton - Laser Eye Surgery

Risks, Side Effects, and Complications

This web page is not operated or endorsed by Visulase Laser Eye Clinic or Dr. Stephen Doyle

Are you or someone you know considering laser eye surgery (LASEK, Epi-LASIK and LASIK) at Visulase Laser Eye Clinic Bolton? If so, this web page is for you. Unlike most laser eye surgeons, former laser eye surgery patients like us believe prospective patients have a right to be fully informed of known risks, side effects, potential complications, and long-term consequences of these unnecessary surgeries.

Although this website primarily talks about LASIK, we are opposed to all forms of refractive surgery.

A 2009 Consumer Reports survey of laser eye surgery patients found that nearly a quarter (24 percent) of not highly satisfied respondents said they regretted not learning more from people who had laser eye surgery before them. We wish we had known the truth before undergoing harmful, irreversible, and completely unnecessary surgery on our eyes! Unfortunately for us, there is no going back. As the saying goes, hindsight is 20/20. Our wish is for you to make this decision with your eyes wide open.

All forms of vision correction surgery are inherently harmful. This was true of earlier forms of refractive surgery, such as radial keratotomy (RK), which most people today consider a barbaric surgery, and it's true of every later form of vision correction -- including PRK, LASIK, LASEK, and Epi-LASIK. It was true of laser eye surgery performed on older-model lasers with mechanical blade microkeratomes (flap cutters), and it's still true today with all-laser, bladeless custom wavefront LASIK. Furthermore, LASIK with a laser-created flap carries greater risk of light sensitivity (photophobia) and diffuse lamellar keratitis than LASIK with a blade. There may also be greater risk of damage to internal structures of the eye due to longer suction ring exposure with bladeless flaps.

If you're considering LASIK at Visulase Laser Eye Clinic Bolton, we suggest you start by reading Top 10 Reasons Not To Have LASIK

In October 2014, preliminary results from an FDA study of LASIK were released. The study found that 45% of patients who had no visual symptoms (seeing halos, starbursts, glare, and ghosting) before LASIK reported visual symptoms after LASIK; visual symptoms were "very" or "extremely" bothersome in up to 4% of patients; and up to 30% of patients with no symptoms of dry eyes before LASIK developed dry eye symptoms after LASIK. Learn more

In March 2014, results of a survey of physicians who underwent laser eye surgery from 2000 to 2012 were published in the Journal of Cataract and Refractive Surgery. The survey revealed the following high rates of post-surgical adverse effects reported by physician-respondents: eyes feeling irritated (50%), glare (43%), halos (41%), and [trouble] seeing in dim light (35.2%).

The Consumer Reports survey of laser eye surgery patients previously mentioned found that 53 percent of the respondents experienced side effects, and 22 percent were still experiencing them six months later. More than half of the respondents (55 percent) said they still had to wear glasses or contact lenses at least some of the time.

Of the surface ablation (no flap) procedures including PRK, LASEK, and Epi-LASIK, only PRK is FDA-approved. Surface ablation carries risks similar to LASIK with the exception of flap complications; however, each surgery carries unique risks. Pain, delayed healing, dry eyes, night vision problems, and regression are associated with all forms of surface ablation. LASEK carries risk of corneal surface (epithelial) cell death from exposure to alcohol. Epi-LASIK carries risk of inadvertent cornea stromal dissection. We are especially concerned about the use of mitomycin C (MMC) with surface ablations to prevent corneal haze. MMC is a toxic chemotherapy drug that is not FDA-approved for use in laser vision correction surgery. MMC prevents haze by killing corneal cells, and is the subject of much concern and debate in the world-wide ophthalmic community. There have been no studies to establish the long-term safety of MMC for this use. The important point to remember is that these surgeries are unnecessary -- there is no sound reason to take a risk with your only pair of eyes.

Patient treated at Visualase Bolton suffers complications, forced to undergo corrective surgery

Patient Information Booklet

Every FDA-approved laser has a document known as labeling, which contains important safety information, contraindications, warnings and precautions. The labeling document includes a Patient Information Booklet, which surgeons are supposed to provide to every prospective patient before he or she gives consent for surgery. Laser eye surgeons are notorious for withholding these booklets from patients. Remember, LASIK is not medicine -- it's big business. They are trying to sell surgery. Visualase's website says that they use the Wavelight Allegretto Wave laser platform. Here's a link to the Allegretto Wave Patient Information Booklet on the FDA website.

Patient Satisfaction

Laser eye surgeons like to boast about their so-called success stories, but they don't accept responsibility for the problems they create. Don't be fooled by satisfaction surveys or patient testimonials. To learn how laser eye surgeons fool the public with talk of patient satisfaction rates, click here.

Take the Wavelight Allegretto Wave Challenge!

Laser eye surgeons are notorious for making false claims to entice you to have surgery. One of the claims we hear often is that modern lasers are so precise that they can measure and treat minor visual imperfections known as higher order aberrations. They would like for you to believe that your vision will be even sharper after laser eye surgery than it was before surgery with an updated pair of glasses. We are so certain that laser eye surgery at Visulase Laser Eye Clinic Bolton will lead to increased, not decreased, optical aberrations that we invite you to Take the Wavelight Allegretto Wave Challenge! Here's how. Ask for a copy of your preoperative wavefront map taken at a scan diameter as large as your dim-light pupil diameter (or as large as the machine is capable of). Then repeat this test after surgery, using the same scan diameter as before. Now compare the higher order aberrations pre-op to post-op. Did they increase? (Your eye surgeon may not be happy to know you are taking the Wavelight Allegretto Wave Challenge.)