Tags: Health Topics | lasik | eyes | vision | fda

Ex-FDA Adviser Says LASIK Surgery Should Be Banned

close up of a women's eye
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By    |   Friday, 15 November 2019 11:50 AM

For two decades LASIK eye surgery has been used to correct vision for millions of Americans, but now a former FDA adviser who voted to approve the procedure says it should be banned.

His reasoning is that Lasik can and has caused serious vision complications. A case in point is Paula Cofer, who underwent the surgery 19 years ago and wound up with vision that "was an absolute train wreck," according to CBS News.

There are serious risks involved in the procedure, which is what retired FDA adviser Morris Waxler is concerned about. He initially voted to approve the laser eye surgery but years later, after re-examining the documentation, he realized just how serious the consequences can be.

"Essentially we ignored the data on vision distortions that persisted for years, he told CBS News. "I re-examined the documentation and I said, 'Wow this is not good.'"

On its website, the FDA lists some of the risks involved in LASIK. The agency notes that patients could lose vision or "develop debilitating visual symptoms."

After analyzing industry data, Waxler says he found the complication rates among patients reached up to 30%. In light of this, he tried to get the FDA to voluntarily recall LASIK but was unsuccessful. Waxler told CBS that the FDA dismissed his petition because it "has not found any new safety concerns associated with LASIK devices."

Waxler remains adamant that LASIK proceudres be deemed illegal.

"There's nothing wrong with a person's eyes who goes to get Lasik," he said. "They have healthy eyes. They could go and get a pair of glasses."

Abraham Rutner, another patient who underwent the procedure, warns of the consequences after experiencing them first-hand.

"Things would appear double. Around the lights were like having starbursts," he said.

Rutner finally went to see an optometrist, who determined that his cornea had been distorted as a result of the procedure. He had to be fitted with special contact lenses and although his vision has since improved, Rutner wishes he had thought more carefully about the surgery before having it done. He warned others who were considering LASIK to weigh up the pros and cons first.

"It's your eyes. It's not something you can rectify later," he said.

Doctors who perform LASIK surgery point out that risks can be minimized by pre-surgical screening.

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For two decades LASIK eye surgery has been used to correct vision for millions of Americans, but now a former FDA adviser who voted to approve the procedure says it should be banned.
lasik, eyes, vision, fda
401
2019-50-15
Friday, 15 November 2019 11:50 AM
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