Keith's Story

I had LASIK surgery at Optical Express in August 2011 & have since had dry eyes and floaters constantly in my field of vision. At my initial consultation I asked many questions re dry eyes and was told I was an "excellent candidate" and extremely unlikely to have any dry eye problems. I was also told that if by some small chance I did have any dry eye problems they would not last more than a few months.

I also mentioned my main reason for wanting LASIK was intolerance of contact lens which I since discovered is a very good indication of dry eye, something you'd have thought the Optometrist might have bothered to mention to me. I found out later that OE's Optometrists are paid a commission for each patient cleared for surgery, and under pressure to meet targets. Surely this must affect their impartiality?

Nine months later I am still suffering with dry eye issues that prevent me from using a PC for any prolonged period of time - hence I'm unable to work. On top of this OE have denied that my floaters could be caused by LASIK despite lots of information out there to the contrary. I'm angry that OE's consent form does not even mention floaters as a possibility yet other LASIK companies consent forms do! Also I have been given three different reasons for my dry eyes - nerve damage, blocked glands and an eye condition called Episcleritis (conveniently unconnected to LASIK).

On top of all this I have found OE's aftercare and customer service appalling! In December last year I had an appointment with Dr Kazakos who was simply rude. When I complained to my clinic manager, she brought up my records on her PC and I could tell from the look on her face that there was something I wasn't supposed to see. When I did see what was there I could hardly believe my dry eyes:

"p/x with Bi-Polar PD suffers with mild evaporative dry eyes but it is overstated all the time"

When I complained to Stephen Hannan about these comments he defended Dr Kazakos, saying he was a medical professional and had the right to comment on my mental health if related to my eyes! Just for the record I do NOT have bi-polar personality disorder and never have. Also, Dr Kazakos is not a trained psychiatrist and had no right whatsoever to comment on my mental health.

I made my initial complaint about Dr Kazakos in mid-December and by February still had no response. When I again questioned Stephen Hannan about this he told me an investigation was ongoing but that I would not be told the outcome as it was an internal matter. I informed Stephen that this related directly to my medical records and I had every right to know what was going on, still no joy.

In April I finally received a pathetic letter from Dr Kazakos, blaming his assistant for incorrectly informing him I was Bi-polar, and that he was so busy he'd had to miss his lunch to see me! There was no explanation or apology offered for the rest of his comment. There was reference to a supposed disciplinary meeting he had with a Mr Steve Schallhorn, and it seems to me the only outcome was for Dr Kazakos to sign an inadequate letter of apology typed by his secretary!

I intend to take my complaints to the GMC.

Then there are continued arguments I've had with Stephen Hannan. One example of this was his initial refusal to provide me with moisture chamber goggles which I needed to make my dry eyes more bearable.

In an effort to avoid paying for them he claimed they were only effective for kitchen use and not for PCs! I was finally provided with moisture chamber goggles only after Sasha met with Patrick James-Green.

They promise to pay costly travel expenses, and then make you wait months, or in some cases don't pay at all. The constant lies and revisionist history of this company beggars belief. Stephen Hannan even lied to me about what was said at my last consultation with Prof Venter despite my having recording the consultation!

If I knew what I know now about Optical Express I would not have trusted them to look after my pet goldfish, let alone my eyes!

Sasha Rodoy: Government Legislation Campaign Manager

See: http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/28629

Patrick James-Green: OE Group Operations Director aka:troubleshooter

Stephen Hannan: Professional services Manager

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