LASIK Advertising Buyer Beware

 

Refractive Surgery Marketing

Let’s be clear. Modern refractive surgery was not introduced to treat or cure disease, or to address a public health issue or medical need. Refractive surgery serves the interests of eye surgeons and manufacturers of the devices used in refractive surgery. It’s big business!

Never in the history of medicine has a surgical procedure been so aggressively marketed to the public. Refractive surgeons often behave more like used car salesmen than doctors. Unfortunately, you can’t ‘trade-in’ your damaged eyes for a new pair.

Many injured LASIK patients feel they are victims of deceptive LASIK ads that promise a lifetime of perfect, glasses-free vision with no mention of risks.

Serious consideration should be given to putting your vision at risk. Most people probably get ‘that feeling’ in the pit of their stomach at some point during the process of electing to undergo LASIK surgery, yet they choose to ignore it. The elective nature of LASIK surgery requires greater caution and a higher standard than a medically necessary surgery.

“Sometimes, listeners then ask me if they should wait for the next procedure. My favorite response involves an analogy to a car. I explain that they are hardly likely to wait 10 years to buy an automobile, because the currently available models function beautifully.”

– Marguerite McDonald, MD, Cataract & Refractive Surgery Today, May 2007

Misleading Advertising

Have you ever wondered why television commercials and printed ads for surgical devices or prescription drugs always include warnings, but LASIK advertisements virtually never do? We wondered that, too.

In response to consumer complaints, the FDA issued a Letter to Eye Care Professionals in September, 2011 to address false and misleading advertising of LASIK. The letter contains instructions for the public to report false ads to the FDA. We’ve prepared a template that you can use to file a written complaint with the FDA for false advertising of LASIK on a surgeon’s website.

Joe Tye, on the ‘Economics of the LASIK Industry’.

Before you let them cut on your eyes, make sure you understand how the economics of the Lasik business create a serious conflict of interest on the part of the Lasik surgeon, why falling prices lead to worse quality, and the other economic factors that drive the Lasik industry.