Thousands Have Been Harmed by Lasik Eye Surgery
May 15, 2008
Patients harmed by Lasik eye surgery recently told federal health advisers stories of severe eye pain, blurred vision and even a son‘s suicide. The advisers recommended that the government warn more clearly about the risks of the popular operations.
About 700,000 Americans a year undergo the elective laser surgery. Of those, several thousand suffer serious, life-changing side effects, such as worse vision, severe dry eye, glare, and inability to drive at night.
Colin Dorrian, a law school student from suburban Philadelphia, endured six years of eye pain and impaired vision before he finally killed himself in 2007. Matt Kotsovolos’ operation was classified as successful even though he has suffered from debilitating and unremitting eye pain for two years.
The FDA advisers recommended that warnings for would-be Lasik patients:
Add photographs that illustrate what people suffering certain side effects actually see
Clarify how often patients suffer different side effects
Make more understandable the conditions that should disqualify someone from Lasik
Spell out that anyone whose nearsightedness is fixed by Lasik is guaranteed to need reading glasses in middle age, which could be avoided if they skip Lasik.