In May 2012 I had laser surgery to both of my eyes in Birmingham. I was promised even better than perfect vision if I had wavefront with lasek or lasik surgery.
I was told my corneas were too thin for lasik & quoted £1,752 for lasek wavefront.
A few minutes prior to the surgery I was told I WAS suitable for lasik surgery, but would have to pay an addiitonal £600. Although annoyed and feeling conned I agreed.
The surgery went well and I was amazed at how clearly I could see that evening without glasses!
However, as time passed my vision was becoming slightly worse day by day and a post op check up at the OE Leicester store confirmed this.
Two or three months later I was wearing glasses again as my sight wasn’t good enough to drive. OE gave me a pair of distance glasses as a gesture of goodwill but refused prescription sunglasses which I needed to drive in bright weather.
I was assured that as soon as regression stopped I could have an "enhancement" to give me perfect vision.
The day before my check up at Leicester OE called to say the shop had been closed down and I'd have to go to Derby instead. This meant more time off work and a sixty mile round trip!
In December I was told my eyes had settled and so I could have treatment again. I was told that my eyes had gone half way back to where they were pre-op.
March 2013 I returned to Birmingham so excited that I was going to have perfect vision again and this time for good!
No chance! After the scans etc the surgeon told me he was not prepared to carry out laser surgery as my eyes have "over healed" and gone back all the way to the same prescription as I was pre surgery. In fact, he said one of my eyes was slightly worse than before.
I was devastated! I’d paid £2,352 for nothing with my last direct debit payment just paid.
The surgeon offered me mono RLE (refractive lens exchange) at no cost, or multi lens for an additional £1,000, advising with multi lens I would never need cataract surgery and promised perfect vision for life.
As I had to make a number of arrangements to allow time for surgery in London, including putting dogs in kennels and arranging time off work, my husband similarly, I attempted to book two specific dates in June.
The whole process of trying to arrange these dates was unbelievable with no-one knowing what they were doing, giving me misinformation and leaving me with a feeling of unease at their obvious ineptitude.
9 April 2013 I went to OE Harley St clinic for pre op tests.
I arrived with plenty of time to spare and was told to sit in the waiting room, open plan and poorly furnished, not what you expect from a private company in Harley Street. The staff were disorganised and unprofessional and it was all chaotic.
A woman came out to get me and picked up my file, but was stopped by the receptionist who told her she was taking me for the wrong tests!
A while later another woman took me into a large room housing eight machines where I was checked by six of them.
The swivel chair at the first one wouldn’t move on its wheels and was wobbly, a stool at the second machine was falling apart which didn't impress me as I mentioned to the woman doing my scans. She laughed and said, "they’re all falling apart" which did not fill me with confidence.
Then the optometrist did some tests and measured my dilated pupil size, telling me that I have very large pupils, 7mm diameter. She said if they had been 8mm they would not offer multi lenses as the risk of side effects were unacceptably high.
She said there was 1% risk of side effects at night when the pupil dilates - glare, starbursts etc... .
I asked what the risk percentage was for patients with large pupils like mine but she didn’t know.
1% covers everyone, including people with small pupils where there was no risk, therefore these figures are completely inaccurate and misleading.
Concerned, I asked if the side effects didn't go away after having multi lens could I have them removed and changed for mono lens without being billed.
She said yes, so at this point I was still happy to go ahead in the knowledge that I would be guaranteed clear mono distance vision if the multi ones didn’t work.
Back to the waiting room waiting to pay my deposit and book the dates for the op….
At this point (luckily) I overheard a man and woman discussing the man's obvious unhappiness about his treatment.
I spoke to him and he told me to google Optical Express Ruined My Life, that the woman sat with him was the author of the website who I now know to be Sasha Rodoy.
He advised me against RLE as he'd had perfect distance vision before having it done himself, when all he wanted was to read without glasses. He told me it had gone wrong and that he no longer had good distance vision, that different sorts of lighting affect his sight making life very difficult.
He was understandably very upset and there was another man sitting opposite also with RLE gone wrong.
Meeting two people in the waiting room both distressed with problems after RLE gone wrong I decided not to book my appointment and told the receptionist I needed to think about it.
On the train home I checked OERML website and other sites where surgeons discussed the risks of RLE. Contrary to what the optometrist told me, I learned that RLE implants are extremely difficult to remove without causing damage as your eye tissue grows in and around the implanted lens.
I was extremely disappointed as I so much wanted to be free of the distance and reading glasses that I now constantly have to swap. Perfect vision was a pipe dream costing me £2,352, plus long journeys and wasted time off work.
My vision is now very unstable, varying from from hour to hour. I often have to take my glasses off to be able to see more clearly. I’ve had two eye tests in the past month at different opticians with differing prescriptions. I also suffer headaches in the evenings and pain in my eyes first thing in the morning as they are so dry.
The glossy advertisements and confident spiel promising better than 20/20 vision persuaded me to make the biggest mistake of my life!
I am so grateful to the man I spoke to as otherwise I would have gone ahead with RLE which doesn't bear thinking now knowing how badly it has gone wrong for so many patients.
There’s no going back once they have removed your natural lenses.
If you are thinking of laser surgery or RLE please don’t do it, your eyes are precious and irreplaceable.