I read it with dismay, and called the author, Rosalyn Ellis, who was 'smitten with laser technology'.
I told her who I am, what I do, that I'd had surgery at Optimax, explained my concerns with what she had written, and suggested it would be educational for her to do some further research.
Her hackles up, obviously unhappy with my verbal critique, she told me that she didn't like be called in this way, to which I replied, then perhaps she shouldn’t advertise her phone number on her website
Nearing the end of our conversation - I did most of the talking - she told me that she had no intention of taking down her blog, which I hadn’t asked her to do by the way, and I subsequently posted the following comment on her page...
"My eyes were irreparably and seriously damaged entirely as a result of laser eye surgery @ Optimax in February 2011.
Discovering that I was far from being a ‘rare case', as Optimax owner Russell Ambrose initially told me, in January 2012 I launched My Beautiful Eyes Foundation, a patient advocacy service and campaign calling for regulation of the refractive eye surgery industry - there is none!
Since which time I have continued to work closely with Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell to this end, while a string of health ministers claim there’s no problem in copy/paste letters spanning 7 years, and the government turn a blind eye [sic] to the many thousands of damaged patients forced to rely on the NHS for treatment, because providers like Optimax refuse to provide aftercare after 12 months.
You say that you are not endorsing Optimax or 'specific surgeons', and though you mention the quoted cost you don't mention whether in fact you paid for your surgery. However, as this is most definitely an advertorial, for both Optimax and Amir Hamid, and you a copywriter, can you please advise whether or not you did pay for your surgery?
And for your information, still owned by Optimax boss Russell Ambrose, Dr Amir Hamid worked at Ultralase until relocating to Optegra.
The statistics quoted by Optimax - and all other providers - are lies, e.g. ‘In the hands of an experienced surgeon, the chance of having a complication leading to a worsening of vision is around 1 in 1,000.’
Published by the Royal College of Ophthalmologists, this info was provided by refractive surgeons, who make a VERY lucrative living from these ops: the NHS, press, etc…, regurgitate such unsubstantiated stats, accepting them as fact without any actual evidence!!
Since launching My Beautiful Eyes Foundation, I have been contacted by many thousands of damaged patients, and they keep on coming. Go figure that statistic!
'I’m a level-headed person, so I am more persuaded by scientific facts* and the opinions of people I know and trust than the rantings of people with an axe to grind.’** *Scientific facts according to the industry! There is NO data available that reflects the incredibly high numbers damaged by refractive surgery - incl laser and lens exchange. **And to describe complaints from people left permanently damaged by this unregulated industry as ‘rantings' is horrifying and beyond insulting!
I suggest that you do some research, look at OERML website forum, watch a few OERML YouTube videos - esp ‘Can I go blind…’ - and then see if you feel comfortable repeating your words!!
'Fortunately I managed to gain control of my mind by focusing on the image of my beautiful baby daughter’s face in the minutes after she had been born in a surgery room like this.’
So many damaged fathers unable to witness the birth of their babies in similar surgery rooms, often because of severe light sensitivity - Google 'Greg Brady Accuvision’!
'I also concluded that if the surgeons were really as bad as the vocal grudge-bearing contingent were saying, then they would have been struck off for medical negligence, which clearly was not the case.’
Not so simple Rosalyn!
Protecting their fee paying members, I have dozens of decision letters from the GMC following investigations into complaints from damaged patients, stating that, although the surgeons had not operated to the standard expected from a consultant surgeon, the case is closed with no action taken!
Even though my surgeon was provably negligent, the same decision was made re my complaint.
'Indeed, my assigned surgeon, Dr Amir Abdul Hamid, had a vast amount of eye surgery experience in both private practice and the NHS.’ I suggest that you ask Dr Hamid how many complaints, and how many legal claims he's had from damaged patients.
As for 'grudge bearing', you were lucky, but I have no doubt that had your eyes been irreparably damaged, you would also be grinding your axe!
There’s so much more I could write but not enough time, way too busy fighting this corrupt industry and trying to help those damaged by it, and I can only trust that you will allow my comment in order to balance your failure to address the very serious risks of this unregulated surgery.
And whilst I note that there are few comments from readers, just one patient damaged because of your glowing and irresponsible promotion of this risky surgery is one too many!
To anyone reading this considering refractive eye surgery, please google ‘Sasha Rodoy' & ‘OERML'.
And if you have any doubt about any of my claims, ask yourself why has no-one ever attempted to sue me for libel and/or slander?”
In the last paragraph of her blog, Rosalyn Ellis claims, 'I don’t want to give any sense that I’m endorsing Optimax or specific surgeons, or generally the industry surrounding laser eye surgery, which after all is not essential surgery. Anyone contemplating this procedure really needs to understand the statistical possibility of complications, and decide for themselves if they want to risk it.’
What absolute nonsense! Ms Ellis has written a blanket endorsement of Optimax - AND a specific surgeon, and of course the industry by association!
As for, ‘statistical possibility of complications’. Do please tell which statistics these would be Ms Ellis?
And did she publish my comment you wonder?
Don’t be silly - as if she'd allow facts to stand in the way of a damned good advertorial!
Optimax/Ultralase boss Russell Ambrose has never suggested that they 'manage' my chronic dry eyes and MGD after much regretted laser eye surgery at Optimax in 2011.
Checking out what miracle they were advertising, I was not surprised to find no mention of laser eye surgery as one of the recognised common causes of dry eyes.
I completed the online form, ticking the 'DRY EYE & BLEPHARITIS' box to specify that this was my only treatment interest.
Imagine my amusement when I received an on-screen acknowledgement that their customer service team would be in touch, to guide me 'towards a life free from glasses or contact lenses'.
Then I received an email saying, 'Our expert staff are ready to answer any questions you may have regarding our life-changing treatments'.
ROTFLMAO - my laser eye surgery at Optimax was certainly that!
And as for 'Lifetime aftercare guarantee', while I do have this, it's only thanks to my settlement agreement with Russell Ambrose, whereas the same can't be said for so many damaged Optimax and Ultralase patients, left to suffer for the rest of their lives without any aftercare!
How about offering Dry Eye Management treatment to some of your damaged patients Russell, starting with the ones you won't even provide with free eye drops?
I tested the online application a few times, in case there was a glitch, but each time the response came back the same!
Try it yourself, and take screenshots, as I believe this is a complaint for the ASA!
Not forgetting the fact that pre existing dry eye disease/syndrome is a contraindication for laser eye surgery, so this is totally irresponsible and reprehensible advertising!
I trialled MiBo Thermoflo treatment in 2016, and cannot recommend it at all. Described as massage, pressure is applied to the surface of the closed eyelid - a painful experience if your eyes are super sensitive to touch after surgery. I suffered through the first treatment just so I could review it, but it made no difference whatsoever.
Whereas LipiFlow certainly helps me, but to alleviate the pain and irritation caused by MGD I need it every few months, and it is VERY expensive!
Please note that this a temporary fix, and doesn’t work for everyone.
I noted that Optimax/Ultralase boss Russell Ambrose has also added cosmetic eye surgery to his company's list of specialities, which in my opinion is likely to confuse or mislead unwitting customers discussing laser or lens exchange!
*I rely on people to send me info like this, so please don't assume I already know.
This morning I received some - but definitely not all - of the emails Optimax MUST disclose in response to my recent Subject Access Request (SAR)...
And as usual they didn't fail to entertain
And if the writer of this email (I believe Paul Rosen at/or Optegra Eye Hospital) has to ask 'What the heck is wrong with this woman?', then there's no hope for any of us damaged patients!
Because the entire industry flatteringly follow my every move, and of course they know what's wrong with my eyes!
But they expect damaged patients to limp away and live the rest of our lives in silence, which is mostly what was happening before I turned over the rocks of this incestuous industry and exposed the corruption crawling beneath!
And there's so much more yet to come boys and girls!
PS: If Optegra Eye Hospital or Paul Rosen deny my claim, they have my email address, and in the interests of transparency I will publish their response.
Anon wrote: Whistle-blowing reviews about Beata McManus, Optimax CEO. The WHOLE of Head Office staff boycotting the 2017 Optimax Xmas party.
"The most intriguing aspect of it all is how this person even became a CEO as her knowledge for most areas of a business is quiet frankly rubbish." www.glassdoor.co.uk/Reviews/Employee-Rev...ists-RVW19098174.htm
Imagine a very rich & married man in his 4Os pops in a local supermarket near his office where he spies a pretty blond Polish girl in her early 20s on the checkout till. Mr Rich married man has wandering eyes & starts an affair with Polish Checkout Girl. He gives her a job over the road in his business & clever Polish Checkout Girl gets herself pregnant !! Mr Rich won’t put a ring on her finger but agrees to support her & the baby.
Polish Checkout Girl delivers a son & goes back to work for Mr Rich. Pillow talk dries up over the years but Polish Checkout Girl knows more about Mr Rich's businesses & private life than any of his his wives ever do & she climbs over bodies the ladder to become CEO of Mr Rich's company.
Polish Checkout Girl is a [deleted] to lots of the female staff who keep leaving. Mr Rich knows this but he can’t ever get rid of Polish Checkout Girl because she knows too much about him & his company & Polish Checkout Girl has his balls in a vice.
Not sayimg Beata McManus did that but it’s one way a woman with No business knowledge can go from being a checkout girl to a CEO !!
The 24th November marks 5 years since my eyes were ruined by Optimax. Laser eye surgery is the single biggest regret of my whole life. A life changing event that leaves me struggling daily. I do try and get on with life, and generally keep it all to myself now, but my poor quality of vision haunts me every single day. Optimax are still trading, but I hope for not much longer.
Oh, and Russell I still have my Optimax Ruined My Life T-Shirt, and I am going to Manchester this week… if anyone would like to join me please contact Sasha and she will give me your details.
Watch this space
But where did I recognise that eye logo from I wondered, as I clicked on the locations link…
Surprise surprise - Optimax attempting to rebrand! (Was it something I said Russell?)
Reading through the site I noticed that Eye Hospitals Group aka Optimax/Ultralase advertise MiBo Thermoflo as treatment for dry eyes, so superficially they could be thought to be caring for injured eyes.
But read on, because according to their blurb the 'Causes of Dry Eye Syndrome’ do not include laser eye surgery: a blatant and deliberate omission that the tens of thousands of damaged patients worldwide would successfully argue - with evidence!
'This condition can occur when the tear production process is disturbed in some way. There are a host of possible causes for this, although a single definitive cause is rarely identified. It can affect people of all ages, however up to a third of those aged 65 and above may have Dry Eye Syndrome, this condition is more common amongst women.’ www.eyehospitals.co.uk/dry-eye-syndrome
Fyi, I trialled MiBo Thermoflo a few years ago (not to be confused with Lipiflow) and categorically do NOT recommend it!
If your eyes are sensitive you will find the pressure involved in the MiBo treatment quite painful, which in my experience outweighs any potential benefit.
In the interest of research however I did complete the trial, but it gave me zero relief from dry eyes.
Better to invest in steam googles, or if you have MGD spend the same amount of money (approx £150) for a dry eye specialist to debride your meibomian glands for a few months respite.
Optical Express advertise, "Over 99% of our patients achieve 20|20 vision or better with Laser Eye Surgery”.
But with their ongoing p*ssing contest Russell had to trump Moulsdale, so Eye Hospitals Group aka Optimax advertise, "99.86% of our patients achieve driving standard vision or above”.
Unlike Optical Express though, Eye Hospital Group aka Optimax have published no statistics to support their nonsensical claim.
Another one for the ASA methinks
Even the RCOphth spuriously claim only 95% satisfaction rate in their advertorial masquerading as Refractive Surgery Standards!
Read Bruce Allan's email to me in November 2016 (RCOphth topic), admitting that, "We do not have accurate contemporary figures for the numbers of refractive surgery procedures performed in the UK.”.
I believe that in fact there are at least 40% patients left with problems, and until the government step in my claim is as valid as any the industry care to make - if not more so - because I’m contacted by a never ending stream of damaged patients every single day.