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Reply: Optimax | Ultralase Ruined My Life

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03 Apr 2022 13:56 #310

Fairyqueen

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In August 2007 I paid Optimax who sent me to a Nuffield private hospital in Wolverhampton to have an ICL implanted in one of my eyes by Dr Jan Venter. A week later I went through the same procedure on my other eye.
I was ecstatic as the next day I could see clearly after years of wearing glasses. My prescription pre op was -12.75, so even the little things like being able to read the labels of the shampoo and conditioner bottles meant so much to me. I could go swimming without being guided and I could enjoy going to the gym and dancing. I could see my kids when they awoke in the night and play with them without the fear of my glasses being broken.
I was told that my implants were for life and that I would only need them taking out if my prescription significantly changed. I thought it was the best decision I had ever made and went about my life.
Fast forward to 2nd April 2022 when my world was turned upside down - and now it's the worst decision I ever made!
In 2016 I received a letter from Optimax saying I needed to go for a check up and an endothelial cell count check.
After paying £50 for this appointment I made my way to Leicester and was in there less than 5 minutes. I was told that everything was OK and that my eyes were healthy. I was never told the importance of these checks, and they hadn’t been mentioned to me in 2007 by Optimax or the surgeon Dr Jan Venter, and to be honest it seemed like a money making scheme.
I heard nothing more from Optimax until late 2021 when I received an email and a telephone call inviting me to make an appointment for another ECC in Leicester. I told them that Covid had hit my family hard and we struggling for money so couldn’t afford to pay for this and travel to Leicester.
I was then constantly bombarded with telephone calls from a woman who was rather rude and spoke down to me like I was a child. She said they would do the ECC at a lower price of £35 and then they lowered it to £25. She called me again and said that the optometrist needed to see me because he was concerned that my cell count was low in 2016 - news to me because they didn’t say a word at the time!
Because of this and the lower price I made the appointment and attended on Saturday 2nd April 2022.
I had the ECC done and was then told that I needed to have my right implant explanted ASAP!
The optician said my cell count in 2007 was around 2500, around 2000 in 2016, my right eye now around 1510, and my left eye around 1800.
He said I could wear a contact lens afterwards and a few months later I would need the left lens explanted. I could then go back to wearing contact lenses and glasses.
I was in shock and disbelief as I was told these ICLs were for life.
I was given a patient information leaflet and I noticed that it said you can't wear a contact lens until at least 3-4 weeks after having the implants removed, meaning I wouldn't be able to drive, so how was I supposed to get to work, and I have kids? When I pointed this out he just laughed and said oh so you have read that bit then.
I was then told that they could provide RLE surgery instead, as the lenses sit differently in the eye so it would be better. When I went for the original consultation for ICLs they told me then that this was a cataract operation and I wouldn't get cataracts due to the implants, so to hear that RLE was actually the cataract procedure shocked me. He said they would be reluctant to do the this until I was 50 due to the risk of the retina becoming detached. I asked how much it would cost and I was told around £3000. I was told to go home and digest the information I had been given and then give them a call to arrange an appointment to have them explanted.
I left Optimax and just burst into tears. When I got home I called Optimax and asked if it was a definite no to having the RLE procedure done before 50, and he said I would have to have a chat with a surgeon and that his receptionist could arrange that. I also asked again how much it cost and was told £3000. I then asked is that per eye, and he said yes, and when I said there was no way I could afford that he said that if I went ahead then he could speak to head office and ask them for a discount.
I feel like my life has been turned upside down and had I been made aware of this possibility occurring I would not have gone ahead with this procedure.
Would I recommend Optimax? NEVER!
Optimax ruined my life and have done nothing to try and rectify it other than try and get more money out of me.
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admin: I have your phone number and will call you tomorrow :kiss:
09 Mar 2022 21:30 #309

admin

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Yesterday’s demo outside Optimax Eye Surgery Specialists in Finchley Road yielded mostly positive responses from those we spoke to, not only those attending consultations, but also passers by who’d been thinking about it - not any more :kiss:

On his way out after a consultation for #lasereyesurgery, one man stopped to ask us questions, and said he’d been pressured to have lens replacement (RLE) instead, but he'd told the sales person that he wanted to do more research before booking, so we helpfully listed some of the risks that had not been explained to him.

He asked if it was just Optimax he should avoid, but we told him no, all refractive surgery providers, the risks are the same no matter where.

Needing his lenses explanted, and in litigation himself, I left it to fellow campaigner Leigh Stace to explain his own problems after RLE (that he should never have been sold at the age of 46!), and other serious problems suffered by so many people, including retinal detachment, and I think his mind was then made up not to go ahead.

But then came along a man in his mid forties, not interested in stopping to talk, as he cantered up the steps to his fate, said he’d seen the sign, and - I quote: ‘It’s a matter of opinion’!

I'm not often left speechless, but I think my jaw literally dropped at the sheer ignorance and stupidity of his comment.

Had he stuck around to discuss, I'd have asked how he could possibly consider it to be ‘a matter of opinion’ that there are unarguably many thousands of people left with irreparably damaged vision, who’ve lost their jobs, relationships, even their lives, all a result of unregulated refractive eye surgery?

I accept that everyone has a right to make up their own minds - about any issue, but unless you listen to both sides of an argument, and exercise due diligence, then you are uninformed… and in my opinion, when facts and detailed information is served on a plate, as at our demos, you have no right to later complain should you be one of the unlucky ones!

I sure wish someone like me had been around to warn me of the truth before my #lasereyesurgery, because I was already doubtful, and it wouldn’t have taken much at all to change my mind!

I love this photo, taken on 13 November 2021, the first Saturday demo we’ve ever done, and being a weekend Russell Ambrose hadn’t been warned by his staff that we were there.

And to explain that I wasn't stalking him, his Finchley Road apartment is only a few minutes walk away from #Optimax, the entry door adjacent to a coffee shop we regularly frequent, and it was sheer coincidence that as I exited with coffees in hand, there was Russell coming out with his unidentified lady friend immediately in front of me!

I was about to say hello, but as he hadn’t seen me, almost spilling the coffees, I managed to quickly call Leigh, who captured this image as Russell approached and spotted the OptimaxRuinedMyLife.net banner.



A picture paints a thousand words!

Most amusing was the reaction of his lady friend, who stopped to step back and gape at the banner in astonishment - literally with her mouth open, while Russell hurriedly walked ahead with his head down, pretending he couldn’t see the banner or protestors.

I'd love to have heard the conversation that followed!
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05 Mar 2022 15:42 #308

Rob

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So I had an initial consultation at Optimax in Manchester earlier this week, thought I'd read a few reviews online before making any final decisions, and have ended up here....and glad I did by the looks of it!

I was told I was borderline suitable for Lasik, but definitely suitable for Lasek, and was offered a choice of either Radwan Almousa or Dr Jan Grzeszkowiak to perform the surgery....has anyone here ever heard of them?

And are there any companies that you would actually recommend? Or is the message to stay away from laser eye surgery full stop?
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admin: Stay away from ALL refractive eye surgery unless medically necessary - eg cataracts. Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you need further info :kiss:
01 Mar 2022 18:47 #307

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As I expected, Gavin's case was settled this morning - and with no NDA included in the agreement he is free to speak out :kiss:



Whilst he doesn’t want the amount he accepted publicised, Gavin is fine with me telling you that the last offer his lawyers refused on his behalf yesterday evening was £250,000.

But although his legal team served him well, encouraging him to hold out when being offered insultingly low amounts (a few firms I have previously named and shamed would've pushed him to accept a third of what he's ended up with), no amount of money can ever fix Gavin's eyes, or stop the painful and depressing results of refractive eye surgery that he now suffers, including extreme dry eyes and MGD (meibomian gland dysfunction).

The image above and following details are taken from the legal pleadings (statement of claim) submitted to the court, and please note that I have edited some of the the legal terminology in square brackets to make it less confusing!

'She [Optimax optometrist Malissa McWilliams] advised the Pursuer [Gavin] that he had “slightly dry eyes” but that he was still within the parameters for having both LASIK and LASEK surgery.'

'At the time [Gavin] presented before the said employee [Malissa McWilliams] on 22 December 2012 (and latterly on 23 March 2013, as hereinafter condescended upon) [Gavin] was suffering from blepharitis of the lid margins and an abnormal tear film. That he was suffering from said condition was or ought to have been ascertained upon any competent examination of [Gavin’s] eyes, especially in light of [Gavin] having answered “yes” to a question involving said condition in his initial (computer) questionnaire. Said employee [Malissa McWilliams] of “Optimax” did not explain to [Gavin] that he had blepharitis of the lid margins. She did not explain to [him] that he had an abnormal tear film. She did not advise [Gavin] that if he had laser eye surgery, in view of the fact that [he] had blepharitis of the lid margins and an abnormal tear film, he was at an increased risk of having significant and prolonged symptoms of dry eyes, compared to the average patient undergoing laser eye surgery.'


'On two occasions during the consultation, [Gavin] informed said employee [Malissa McWilliams] that his eyes were very sensitive to certain factors. On both occasions said employee [Malissa McWilliams] said that that didn’t matter.'

'She did not explain the meaning of the condition “dry eyes”. She did not explain that it was a recognised medical condition. She did not explain the symptoms of dry eyes.'

'During one of said telephone calls an employee (name unknown to the Pursuer) of “Optimax” offered [Gavin] a 50% discount on the price of the treatment.'

It's now 2022, and the same lack of fully informed consent and sales tactics from this sickening corrupt industry continues...
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28 Feb 2022 18:17 #306

admin

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Nine years ago, on 23 March 2013, to his utmost regret, Gavin Beck underwent Lasik at Optimax Eye Surgery Specialists in Glasgow.



According to their advertising, Gavin’s operating surgeon, Dr Tariq Saboor, claims to have the best interests of his patients in mind - www.optimax.co.uk/surgeons/mr-tariq-saboor/ - yet as an Optimax damaged patient myself, I guarantee that neither he, nor company owner Russell Ambrose, give two hoots about the interests of the patients, money their only motivation!

This is the first medical negligence claim from an Optimax patient to get to trial (termed ‘proof’ in Scotland), as all previous claims have been settled out of court, my own included.

This is of course to avoid publicity, and often conditional on a non-disclosure agreement (NDA), so there is still a chance that this too will be settled before kick off.

However, in the event that it does proceed tomorrow, only the claimant, defendant, and their legal teams, are allowed to attend the Edinburgh court in person, but I'll be viewing remotely and will update as it continues :kiss:
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18 Feb 2022 17:26 #305

admin

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This time 11 years ago today, also a Friday afternoon, I was nervously sitting in the very crowded and shabby waiting room at Optimax's Croydon branch, only five miunues away from ruining my life, the date sadly more memorable than my birthday :kiss:



My surgery scheduled at 2:00pm, but running late because of the high number of patients, I met the surgeon Wilbert Hoe for the first time that afternoon, albeit briefly.

At this late hour he contradicted what specs wearing optometrist Swati Malkan had told me at my consultation, that I was only suitable for Lasek, and gave me the option of Lasik!

Having only researched Lasek (PRK variation), I asked which he thought best for me, but he said it was up to me - without offering ANY information to help my decision, or - as he should have done, sending me away to have sufficient time to consider.

I really was panicking (already feeling like my dog when he visits the vet, paws sliding across the floor and refusing to walk in as I pull him by his lead), and this was yet another of the many warning lights that should have sent me running for my life (or rather my eyes), flashing at my initial consultation with Swati Malkan and pushy salesman aka patient advisor Rui Pedro De Oliveira (now pushing at Focus Clinics).

Feeling pressured, I agreed to Lasek, and the Hoe then thrust a sheet of paper at me to sign, agreeing to the application of Mitomycin C (MMC). This is used in cancer treatment and not licensed for use in refractive eye surgery, and I had never heard of it until that moment!

In fact I wasn't suitable for laser surgery at all given my age and prescription, but as I have told so many people over the years, had I been offered lens exchange you would never have heard my name, because not in a million years would I have considered having my healthy natural lenses removed!

I actually liked my glasses, could wear contact lenses (not any more), and only did this because I thought it would save me money over the years. ROTFLMAO!



Thanks to Leigh Stace for the video edit, a clip from ‘Dopesick’ featuring Rosario Dawson, based on the true story of the OxyContin painkiller scandal, and, just like 'Dark Waters', parallels to be drawn with the refractive surgery scandal.

PS: Today’s weather gave me an idea for a new hashtag that I just couldn't resist - #stormsasha
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