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Lasik Eye Surgery Should Be Banned, Says Former FDA Scientist

“It’s a devastation that I can’t even explain.”


Dr. Morris Waxler, who was the former FDA’s Chief Research Scientist on Lasik, has said that the Lasik eye surgery should be banned due to adverse effects faced by a few patients.

He was one of the FDA advisors who initially voted to approve the surgery but he thinks otherwise.

Dr. Waxler told CBS News, “Essentially we ignored the data on vision distortions that persisted for years. I re-examined the documentation… and said, ‘Wow, this is not good.’”

He is now completely against the procedure and urged the officials to take it off the market.

In the United States, millions of people undergo Lasik eye surgery to correct their refractive error and improve their vision. According to a survey conducted by the FDA, nearly 95 percent of patients who have undergone Lasik surgery reported no adverse effects.

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However, some patients reported that the procedure made their vision worse. For instance, one male patient from Brooklyn named Abraham Rutner said, “Things would appear double” after the procedure. He said, “It’s a devastation that I can’t even explain.”

Dr. Waxler petitioned the FDA to withdraw Lasik’s approval and even claimed that the Lasik industry lied about its adverse event rate to get approval. However, the FDA denied his petition and ignored his evidence showing that the industry was not transparent about its adverse event rate.

Responding to Dr. Waxler’s thoughts, some physicians told CBS News that it is important to do pre-surgical screening in order to cut down the risk of adverse effects. New York City Ophthalmologist Dr. Jules Winokur said, “The most important thing is knowing who to operate on and who not to operate on and there are people who really should not have this procedure.”