Zembla Documentary on Lasik, Pain, and Suicidality

This Lasik documentary was created by investigative journalists in Holland. The language is mostly Dutch, with English subtitles. The documentary focuses on corneal neuropathic path after Lasik and the suicidality it creates. Dutch physician Dr. Michael Brouwer and other Lasik sufferers in Holland are interviewed, as is Dr. Edward Boshnick in the United States (see EyeFreedom.com). The investigators ask: Is the experience of pain after Lasik really uncommon? What are the consequences when it occurs? Also interviewed are Dr. David Barsook and Dr. Morris Waxler. Dr. Barsook is Director of the Pain and Imaging Neuroscience (P.A.I.N.) Group at Boston Children’s Hospital, MGH ,and McLean Hospital at Harvard University. Dr. Barsook maintains that corneal pain after Lasik follows an established model of neuropathic pain. Dr. Morris Waxler is the FDA's former chief research scientist on Lasik. Dr. Waxler maintains at his website HelpStopLasik.com that "The FDA does not want to admit that millions of people have now had a surgery that never should have been approved by its own rules. The FDA is now engaged in covering-up a scandal and an epidemic, and its own corrupt practices. This should be exposed, and LASIK should end." He revisits these conclusions in the video.

Lasik Over RK Articles

RK 30 years ago, then Lasik, Incisions STILL open

This is a photo of the front surface of an eye that underwent Radial Keratotomy surgery 30 years ago followed by LASIK surgery years later. A special dye was used to highlight the defects (cuts) in this cornea. The straight lines that you see at 12:00, 3:00, 6:00 and 9:00 O'Clock are the open RK incisions. The bright green circular line going around the periphery of the cornea is the outline of the LASIK flap. Needless to say, the vision that this patient has with this eye is very poor. In addition the eye is very dry and presents this patient with significant comfort issues. This eye was recently fit with a scleral lens which has greatly improved the vision and comfort in this eye for our patient. The cuts that you see in this eye are permanent. There is no way to undo the damage to the eye created by these needless elective surgeries. The only thing that we can do is to manage the patient's comfort and vision as best we can with specialty lenses. Corneal transplant surgery is really not a viable option.

Lasik over RK Equals Disaster

The images below are of the left eye of the same patient. This eye underwent 2 separate RK surgeries over 30 years ago followed by 4 separate LASIK surgeries. As you might expect the results of these surgeries was nothing less than disastrous. The first photo (taken 4 years ago) shows the RK cuts with blood vessels growing along the inside track of the cuts. The white "hatchet-like image is epithelial ingrowth. 4 years ago I referred this patient to a world renown eye institution where corneal transplant surgery was recommended. This patient declined to accept this advice. The 2nd image was taken today. 12 months ago the corneal specialists at this institution diagnosed the crystalline appearance in this cornea as "Crystalline Keratopathy" (extremely rare complication) and was placed on fortified antibiotics for the last 12 months. The 2nd photo looks exactly like a photo that I took of this eye last year. The 3rd image was taken with a technology known as "optical coherence tomography". This images shows a cross section of this cornea with a scleral lens over it. In this image you can see the crystalline deposits deep inside the cornea. Over the last year this patient visited 8 corneal specialists from around the U.S. Many of them blamed the scleral lens as the cause of her corneal condition. In addition, a variety of therapies and treatments were recommended to her. With the scleral lens the visual acuity in this eye is clear (20/30). In addition, the cornea is clear with the exception of the crystalline deposits and the patient has no comfort issues while wearing her scleral lens. Since this eye has been stable for the last 12 months I recommended that no action should be taken and that this patient return periodically for evaluations including ocular photography and imaging.

RK about 15 years ago, then Lasik, Open Incisions

The images below are of the same eye. This eye underwent Radial Keratotomy (RK) 30 years ago. 15 years later this same eye underwent LASIK surgery. A special dye was used to highlight the corneal defects created by these surgeries. In the first photo, note the lite up radial lines. These are the still open RK cuts or incisions. Note the circular yellow green line going around the periphery of the cornea. This is the border of the LASIK flap. The bright green horizontal line going across the lower portion of the cornea is known as a "cross cut incision" intended to eliminate any astigmatic error. The fact that these defects "lite up" tell you that these incisions are still open and subject to infection from opportunistic organisms entering these defects. The 2nd image was taken with a computerized corneal topographer. This technology involves casting lit concentric rings at the cornea. These rings reflect back into the computer-camera so that a photo can be taken. If the cornea had a smooth undistorted surface, the rings would appear to be perfectly round. Note how distorted these rings are. It is for this reason that eyeglasses and regular contact lenses cannot correct the vision in this eye. A scleral lens, however, will replace this cornea as an optical surface and allow the patient to see clearly once again.

2 separate RKs, then 4 separate Lasiks

The 2 photos below are of the right eye of a patient who underwent 2 separate Radial Keratotomy (RK) surgeries in the 1980's followed by 4 separate LASIK surgeries years later. The 2nd photo was taken 3 years after the 1st photo was taken. In the first photo you can see blood vessels growing along the still open RK incisions. The white "hatchet" structure is epithelial ingrowth. These are cells from the corneal surface that got under the LASIK flap (where they do not belong) and began growing. In the 2nd photo, taken 12 months ago, note that the epithelial ingrowth has dissipated. Now the central cornea has a scratched ground glass appearance. 12 months ago, we referred this patient to a world renown eye institution where she was seen by several corneal specialists. A diagnosis of "crystalline keratopathy" was made and this patient was promptly placed on fortified antibiotics. The crystal formations seen here are deep within the cornea and not on the surface. This patient left our geographic area for a 10 month period and recently returned to see the corneal specialists at this institution. Yesterday I was informed that this patient's cornea has the same appearance as it did last year and that she is still on antibiotic therapy. I was also told that collectively, these corneal specialists have never seen anything like this before. I will be seeing her next week for the first time in a year and am anxious to have a look at her eyes as I have sequential photos of her eyes that I have taken over a 9 year period. What puzzles me is why would a doctor or doctors do so many destructive operations on a single eye and why would this patient allow such outrageous behavior be inflicted on herself?

RK, ALK, and Lasik Equals Dry, Painful, Irregular Cornea

This eye underwent 2 separate RK surgeries, 2 separate LASIK surgeries and 1 ALK procedure. This eye is extremely dry and distorted. In addition, for the last 6 months this patient has been experiencing extreme unrelenting pain in this eye which a variety of medications have not been able to address. In this photo the green-yellow radial lines represent the deep open RK incisions. Several curves green-yellow circular lines going around the periphery of the cornea are the open LASIK flaps. This patient and I are struggling to improve this situation to avoid corneal transplant surgery. Today this patient told me that she does not care about her vision any longer. She just wants the pain to go away. A number of highly trained eye specialists have been unable to help this patient. Sometimes I feel so helpless when faced with such an extremely damaged eye.

Have Twitter?

Follow @Boshnick or check https://twitter.com/boshnick

Have Instagram?

Dr. Boshnick on Instagram

Check out EyeFreedom.com

EyeFreedom.com

EyePrint Pro

EyePrintPro technology creates a scleral lens based on a mold of the cornea. The molding is accurate to 1 or 2 microns and fits perfectly because it exactly mirrors the irregularities of the individual corneal surface. The technology is well suited for post-Lasik, Keratoconus, RK, eye injury, and corneal transplant patients. Read More in this PDF about EyePrintPro Scleral Lens Technology

Watch Video at YouTube