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The LASIK Debate Continues on CNN

October 4, 2010

Last week's LASIK debate aired on CNN.  It pitted ophthalmologist Stephen Slade vs former FDA official Morris Waxler.  While Dr. Slade did a great job in defending LASIK's clinical track record, I don't think he addressed some of Waxler's false claims adequately, including:

  • "only 60 percent can get rid
    of their glasses and contact lenses"

  • "There's — the failure rate
    if you calculate a failure rate based on FDA data, and you can se it from the
    charts I sent to CNN, the failure rate is over 50 percent."
  • "18 percent or more suffer
    from glare halo, dry eyes and similar problems."
  • "some of the
    ophthalmologists who have been responsible for the military adopting these
    issues have a side business in which they conduct — they perform LASIK
    surgery. So, they've profited mightily by this."

These statistics are simply wrong.  They need to be addressed and discredited!  Here are some of the statistics that I have previously quoted from USAEyes CORE survey:

  • 99% report quality of life as expected, better, or much
    better
  • 98% day vision as expected, better, or much better
  • 98% no complications or issues are seldom problematic
  • 98% would recommend surgery to family and friends.
  • 97% would have surgery again, knowing what they know now
  • 96% wear corrective lenses as often as expected, less, or
    much less than expected
  • 96% report post op vision without lenses as expected, better,
    or much better than expected when compared to preop vision with lenses
  • 96% report overall quality of vision as expected, better,
    or much better than expected
  • 91% no complications at any time
  • 91% night vision as expected, better, or much better
  • 7% complications seldom problematic
    – yet 91% of these same patients would have surgery again
  • 2% complications frequent or always problematic
    – yet 22% of f these same patients would have surgery again

LASIK is too successful a procedure to be tarnished by false claims.  Granted, theree are complications with LASIK, as there are with any surgical procedure, however, we need to dispute Waxler's claims and not let them go unchecked.  We also need to know what motives fuel Waxler's false accusations!

Here is a copy of the CNN transcript for those interested:
Download Rethinking The Safety of LASIK

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