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TOPIC: OPTEGRA & CLARIVU

Clarivu evening with Ruth Langsford cont'd… 11 Apr 2015 17:21 #11

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Champagne and canapés finished, it was time for the fun to begin!

We were herded into the dining area, where six tables were each laid with six places and at least one Mr/s Happy and one Optegra salesperson per table.

When we’d asked the Happy people, who sported personalised Optegra name badges, they denied they were being paid to attend, claiming they were there just for the free meal.

Carmel and I chose a table near the back of the room, while Claire and Paul sat a few tables away nearer the front. I was pleased to discover Optegra's surgeon Manzar Saeed and his wife were sharing our table.

Optegra's Colindale ‘Hospital Director’ introduced Manzar Saeed, whose nervous presentation explained what ‘Clarivu’ is - cataract surgery!

Free with the NHS if you have cataracts, or £4,000 per eye at Optegra if you have perfectly healthy eyes!

Then it was Ruth’s turn.

She said she'd had surgery 18 months ago, which was her first lie, because according to Optegra’s website Ruth Langsford had surgery in March 2013. But I suppose it's easy to lose track of time when you regurgitate the same script so often.

She said her distance vision wasn’t too bad pre surgery, but she couldn’t read close up, going into great detail to make sure we appreciated that, miming the repeated action of taking specs off, on, off, on, off...

She said: “If you don'’t know what I do, I’m a TV presenter… and it was becoming a problem taking glasses on and off...”

It has to be said, if no-one else loved Ruth she probably wouldn’t notice, because she has plenty enough love for herself!

She made a very big deal out of needing to have her glasses with her at all times pre surgery, said she was always panicking: “It was like having a disability”, that she'd explored laser eye surgery but it wasn’t suitable.

She mentioned celebrities endorsing washing powder and said - somewhat evangelically, “I think this is different, um, because I wasn’t an ambassador before I had surgery, I became one because I wanted to spread the word.

Describing her operation she said she’d had more pain at the hygienist - a poor analogy as teeth are hardly comparable to eyes.

Said it was a miracle… (definitely evangelical)

Because her eyes were operated on two days apart she said she went back to work after first surgery with one ‘new’ eye and one ‘old’ eye, that she could read the autocue with her old eye just like she’d been able to before surgery.

By then Ruth’s expansive rhetoric was getting a bit confusing, not to mention boring.

She closed her presentation by saying: “It really has changed my life for the better, that’s why I want to spread the word about Clarivu at Optegra, it’s absolutely fantastic, I can’t speak highly enough of it, there are absolutely no downsides - at all… just do it!"

Oh Ruth!

Dinner was served, and if that’s all the Happy people got paid then they must have been desperately hungry!

Presentations over I thought I’d better try and appear sociable, so I turned to Peter on my left, who seemed quite melancholy, as if trying to convince himself there was a good reason to rip out his healthy lenses and replace them with implants.

He told me his friend had surgery at Optegra in Jersey about a year ago, adding: “The only thing he’s noticed is when he drives at night, the lights are very bright, car headlights coming towards him…"

Glare...”, I said.

Yes”, he said, "Whether it’s because his vision is that much better, and it just seems brighter, or… I know Ruth said everything’s seems brighter when you first have it done… he’s worn glasses since he was five...”

NB: As Peter’s friend had surgery a year ago it’s highly likely he was fitted with the MPlus X lens currently under specialist investigation by the MHRA.

He said, “I suppose one good thing about it, if you’re going to get cataracts, I suppose it’s best to have them done before you get them!”, and laughed nervously.

Peter, if you’re reading this, I hope my ‘presentation’ was enough to convince you not to risk it. And for the record, you look absolutely fine wearing specs!

While Ruth teetered around the tables promoting the ‘miracle’ that restored her vision ( www.optegra.com/our-latest-news/ruth-lan...-replacement-surgery ) Manzar Saeed joined us.

Pretending I knew nothing I asked him some questions. I won’t bore you with the minutiae, but when I asked if he worked only at Optegra he told me he was a 'freelance independent practitioner'. I asked if he had worked at any of the high street clinics and he admitted that he had worked at Optimax.

I questioned why Optegra was more expensive than Optimax and he defensively replied that surgeons are not involved in the pricing model. He said he offered the same treatment but Optegra had more facilities if anything went wrong, “For instance, if a patient has retinal problems I can’t treat that at Optimax…”.

Yet Mr Manzar Saeed lists Optimax UK Ltd as one of his practices, with a personal Optimax email address:
www.visionandsurgery.com

In the midst of this conversation the Colindale clinic manager announced that a couple of people had asked to book appointments so his colleagues had set up a table where we could all do this. (Just like time share sales)

Although unconvinced by Manzar's claim that, "Cataract surgery is the safest operation in the world", I pointed out that this is not being done for cataracts.

To be fair to Manzar Saeed, when Claire later asked him what the worst case scenario was, he told her honestly, “You could go blind”!

Having worked the rest of the room Ruth approached my table.

Completely ignoring me she focused on Carmel, who asked Ruth if she felt any responsibility for patients she had persuaded to buy ‘Clarivu’ who suffered problems.

Ruth said that she doesn’t do the surgery so it’s not her responsibility: “It’s like if I were promoting shampoo, it might work for me but not for someone else. All I do is tell them how good it is for me.”

Now that’s another lie, because Ruth tells everyone, “Do it, do it, do it!”:


Then I spoke, questioning her denial of responsibility. Forced to look at me, with a fixed smile she replied that she doesn’t take responsibility for anything going wrong.

I asked if she'd asked Optegra if anything had ever gone wrong.

Quite indignantly she replied, “Yes, of course I have!”, saying they’d told her only one patient had ever had a problem at Optegra, but it was pre existing so not the clinic's fault.

Was that a flying pig I saw go by?

She said that all she can do is say how good Clarivu was for her.

I said, "But you get paid for doing this!

I asked, "Do you know there’s no regulation of this industry?

Ruth: “There is regulation."

Me: “No, there isn’t."

Ruth: “Well I think there is!

At that point I introduced myself...

To be cont'd :kiss:

Clarivu evening with Ruth Langsford cont'd… 30 Mar 2015 23:12 #12

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The presentation on 24 March was held at Latimer Place, a large corporate venue in Chesham, where Carmel and I met up with Claire and Paul in the hotel car park.

Nowadays there’re not many people in the industry who don’t know what I look like, so to disguise myself I’d bought a short blonde wig. Unfortunately it kept slipping off, so Claire suggested I borrow her daughter’s wig.

A gorgeous wig, but with lustrous long chestnut curls cascading down my back I looked like a mermaid with legs, and in my opinion more obvious than if I'd gone sans wig wearing a name tag printed in big red letters!

But they convinced me I was unrecognisable, so off to the hotel we went.

Carmel and I pretended we were meeting Paul and Claire for the first time as we walked into the lobby, where a number of glossy young smiling Optegra representatives waited to greet us.

As more people continued to arrive we stood at one of the high cocktail tables scattered around a reception room, where a video of Ruth Langsford extolling the wonders of Clarivu played on a large TV screen. Another woman joined us, so our conversation became guarded.

After being plied with champagne up bounced an attractive blonde Optegra sales rep, dragging with her an older woman wearing a name badge identifying her as a previous Optegra customer.

Effervescing enthusiasm, the salesperson encouraged Mrs Happy to tell us about the wonderful results of her lens exchange surgery.

I almost burst out laughing when Mrs Happy told me how much she loved my hair, and I murmured to Carmel that her surgery obviously hadn’t been very successful!

If you’ve ever been to a time share presentation then you’ll have a good idea of what a Clarivu evening with Ruth Langsford is like!

It was a hard sell, and even Optical Express could learn from Optegra - although I think David Moulsdale might choke on the idea of offering free champagne, and I know Russell Ambrose definitely would!

It was also actually quite chilling to see so many people wearing specs being pressured to sign up for surgery. The scene reminded me of a T shirt I bought many years ago in Los Angeles, printed with a cartoon of frogs leaving a French restaurant on crutches.

Waiters approached with more trays of champagne and canapés, but I didn’t risk another drink as I needed to stay focused (not hard to resist cheap stuff).

My plan was to listen to Ruth’s presentation, and when invited to ask questions we’d start off innocently before going in for the kill.

I’d made a list of suggested questions, and held out hope that perhaps Ruth was unaware of the problems caused by unnecessary cataract surgery, and didn't know anything about the MPlus lens furore.

NB: After all the adverse publicity in January, when I called Optegra they told me they were still using MPlus lenses (see post 10 Jan ’14):
www.opticalexpressruinedmylife.co.uk/…/1509-refracti…

We also hoped that any prospective customers (without cataracts) would not consider lens exchange after hearing what we had to say.

But then we were told dinner was on the agenda, so the plan changed slightly as we unanimously voted to keep quiet until after we’d eaten.

To be cont’d... :kiss:

CLARIVU sales drive 27 Mar 2015 23:35 #13

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Reply from Optegra in response to my ICO subject access request for copies of all photos taken (without my permission) at Ruth Langsford's Clarivu sales pitch on Tuesday!


:kiss:
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Clarivu evening with Ruth Langsford 25 Mar 2015 23:31 #14

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admin wrote: "Clarivu evening with Ruth Langsford" It’s like if I were promoting shampoo,

Oh dear! But we all know how much it hurts when you get shampoo in your eyes!

Clarivu evening with Ruth Langsford 25 Mar 2015 16:49 #15

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I attended a "Clarivu evening with Ruth Langsford" in Buckinghamshire last night, accompanied by three fellow campaigners.

Fun was had by all - well perhaps not so much by Ms Langsford and the Optegra sales team!

If you saw this ad on the Optegra website it would be reasonable to believe that Ms Langsford was blind before she underwent “Revolutionary Lens Replacement Surgery”.



www.optegra.com/…/ruth-langsfords-sight-restored-wit…

Indeed, RLE certainly was ‘revolutionary’ when inventor Harold Ridley implanted the first permanent artificial lens in 1950!

But of course Optegra have had issues with advertising claims in the past:
www.dailymail.co.uk/…/Watchdog-bans-This-Morning-pre…

In fact Ms Langsford simply needed reading glasses, as she so clearly explained in her presentation last night - over and over again...

This is another fairly lengthy account, so it will take a few days to transcribe.

Meantime, I’ll share Ruth’s reply to my companion Carmel, when asked if she felt any responsibility for the patients left with problems after being persuaded to buy ‘Clarivu’ because of her PR.

Quote: “It’s like if I were promoting shampoo, it might work for me but not for someone else”!

I’m sure you’ll understand why I winced for her, and then offered my opinion of celebrities who are paid megabucks to endorse eye surgery!

The rest of the story is worth waiting for I promise! Because Ms Langsford could have learnt a lesson from David Moulsdale, which I’m sure would be: "do not feed Sasha Rodoy" - with rhetoric that is!
:kiss:
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OPTEGRA - CLARIVU M-Plus lens 23 Mar 2015 20:30 #16

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Copied from RLE thread.
NB: Optegra chose not to comment :kiss:
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MPlus lens & Optegra/Clarivu: 10 Jan 2015 14:10

In my opinion Optegra are shameful in advertising a highly invasive procedure as an "alternative to laser"!



Unless cataracts are present, lens replacement extracts a person's perfectly healthy natural lens and replaces it with a piece of plastic or silicone.

I question my sanity at the time I allowed Optimax to perform laser eye surgery on my eyes almost 4 years ago, but had lens replacement ever been suggested I guarantee I’d have run out of the clinic - fast!

"Clarivu is the Optegra brand name for its individually tailored, consultant-led vision correction (or Refractive Lens Exchange – RLE) package. RLE is a proven and permanent lens replacement procedure that could eliminate or reduce your dependence on glasses and prevent or remove cataracts."

Note the wording: "could eliminate"!

I called Optegra earlier today and spoke with Emily who confirmed that MPlus lenses are used in Clarivu procedures.

I asked if Optegra were aware of the recent publicity re MPlus lenses and she said they were.

I said: “Yet you continue to use them?”.

She replied: “Yes, for the time being.”

I then identified myself and advised she report my call to senior management as I would be posting details of our conversation on my sites.

Statistically, it is impossible that Optegra do not have some patients left with problems after MPlus IOL implants.

I invite Optegra to comment :kiss:
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OPTEGRA - CLARIVU M-Plus lens 18 Mar 2015 23:59 #17

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About nine months ago I came very close to having lens replacement surgery at Optical Express. I went for a consultation and was talked into paying a significantly sized deposit. But that night my friend (who had gone to the consultation with me) telephoned me to say she had just found a website that I needed to look at (this one). The next day I cancelled my next appointment and my deposit was refunded (eventually).

A few months later , thinking about buying expensive new designer glasses (for reading) I noticed the television commercials for Clarivu. It might sound somewhat silly of me but then I didn’t realise tthat Clarivu is cataract surgery because the advertising suggested it was something unique (different to what Optical Express offered).

I looked at the Optegra website and booked to go along to an open evening. My friend came with me and we spoke to people who said they were very happy with their eyes after Clarivu. I came away with a positive feeling. We looked on the internet but did not find any bad reviews. It was all good news. So on that basis I had at long last made up my mind to go ahead and book a consultation appointment this week. I should mention that I am in my fifties (no cataracts) and I only wear glasses for reading and the computer.

Thinking to have just another little peek on the internet I found myself back to this website and I could not believe my eyes when I read the posts about Clarivu problems.

To everyone who has shared their awful stories here, I am indebted to you for making me realise how foolish I was to even consider risking my healthy eyes for serious surgery that could so easily go wrong-just for the sake of not wearing reading glasses.

I will buy my new glasses and sincerely thank you all for taking the time to warn people like me.

OPTEGRA - CLARIVU M-Plus lens 04 Mar 2015 15:03 #18

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I had "Clarivu" procedure to remove cataracts and have Multifocal Lens Implants in both eyes at Optegra Hospital by Mr Andrew Luff in 2013.
The adverts and literature claim "Goodbye Glasses". This has not been the case and resulted in new glasses being purchased following the op.
After my first eye did not respond to treatment the operation for the second eye was cancelled.
Blurred vision and floaters resulted.
Retinal Dystrophy has now been diagnosed in both eyes.
Why was the surgery carried out?
A very traumatic two years of my life.

Lorna (Hampshire)

OPTEGRA - CLARIVU M-Plus lens 28 Feb 2015 21:41 #19

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My Dad had Clarivu treatment last year & straight away complained he had problems. He stopped driving at night time becuase he didn't feel safe. he said he had blurry vision & was being blinded from the head lights on cars dazzling him.
The doctor at Optegra was Mr Andrew Luff & Dad was told he was one of the best before he had the operations.
My Dad tallked to a solicitor about this but then he lost my step-mum after christmas & not up to coping with it at the minute

I looked up a lot of stuff on the net & don't think Dad should have had this operation because he didn't have any cataracts. Only glasses for reading & near things like that
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OPTEGRA - CLARIVU M-Plus lens 27 Feb 2015 12:32 #20

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I have lots of problems with my eyes after undergoing bilateral lens exchange at OPTEGRA with Mr ARUN BRAHMA, in Manchester

When i went to OPTEGRA they convinced me they were superior to OPTICAL EXPRESS and OPTIMAX when I asked why they were more expensive. They told me I was havng CLARIVU which was the same operation that TV presenter Ruth Langsford had and if I looked on the internet I could see how happy she was and she didn't need to wear glasses anymore.

Then I saw the article in The Observer newspaper in January about the M-Plus lens and the problems Charlie Jackson talked about sounded like mine. So I contacted OPTEGRA and found out that I was fitted with M-Plus lens!!

I have registered my complaints with the MHRA and am looking at taking legal action.

Has anyone else reading this been to OPTEGRA and had problems? Is anyone else taking legal action?
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