FDA Adviser Who Backed Lasik Surgery Now Opposes It
For years, LASIK surgery has been promoted as the best way to treat severe nearsightedness and allow people to ditch the glasses and contact lenses forever. But now, it’s becoming clear that LASIK is far more dangerous than originally thought, and the doctor chiefly responsible for LASIK’s FDA approval has now retracted his support for this procedure.
The Pioneer: Dr. Morris Waxler
Dr. Morris Waxler was the chief research scientist investigating LASIK for the FDA. His initial research showed that the treatment was effective for those suffering from severe nearsightedness. Initially, it seemed to be the perfect alternative to eyeglasses or contact lenses—especially as these treatments were not always sufficient to correct the issue.
Over time, however, it has become clear that this procedure is dangerous, and the leading voice in approving the procedure, Dr. Morris Waxler, now opposes it.
LASIK surgery was approved by the FDA more than 20 years ago, and since then, thousands of patients have undergone the procedure. A significant number have experienced serious complications.
Since this procedure was first approved by the FDA, evidence has been mounting that it is far more dangerous than initially believed. Dr. Waxler’s recent research has found that while the industry reported complications in only 1% of LASIK patients, the true percentage of patients who will experience severe complications is closer to 20%. These life-altering complications include:
- Persistent pain
- Detached retinas
- Vision issues that cannot be corrected by glasses or contact lenses
Even worse, these persistent problems with vision have caused patients to experience depression—leading to suicide for some—even if they previously had no mental health history that would suggest susceptibility to these issues.
As LASIK became even more common, incidents of complications have accelerated.
Approaching the FDA
As any responsible doctor would do, Dr. Waxler approached the FDA in 2011, asking for them to withdraw approval for LASIK devices. Because LASIK is now viewed as relatively commonplace, restrictions have been loosened so that more people are able to perform the procedure, leading to more incidents of complications.
The FDA has paid no attention to Dr. Waxler or to the thousands of patients who have experienced serious complications after LASIK surgery. It is Dr. Waxler’s belief, expressed in his open letter to the FDA and the public, that the FDA hopes the situation will simply disappear.
Reason to Avoid LASIK
If you are considering this surgery, don’t be fooled into thinking that the side effects are so mild that it’s worth the risk. This surgery has been approved for 20 years, yet the number of laser eye surgery-related suicides continue to mount.
These suicides are the actions of those who could not live with the irreversible side effects, like visual impairment, blindness, and constant pain. Thousands more live with these issues every day. If you are considering this procedure, do your research and evaluate the claims. You only have one pair of eyes, so think twice before going under this questionable procedure.