The following data shows a sample of the FDA filed data of adverse events following on from refractive surgery. These are the types of complications you can expect to have from refractive surgeries such as LASIK/LASEK(PRK)/IOL or even Relex (smile).
There has been a lot of publicity in the UK about complications associated with laser in-situ keratomileusis (LASIK) eye surgery. The publicity has concentrated mainly on complications after surgery undertaken at laser eye clinics on the high street rather than in hospitals.
LASIK patient advocates have expressed strong concern of bias on the part of military LASIK surgeons, particularly Navy LASIK surgeons, who have close ties with organized ophthalmology. For example, Steve Schallhorn, MD, Capt, US Navy (Retired) is a paid medical malpractice defense expert witness and an industry consultant, has made public statements and published literature denying connection between a poor LASIK outcome and diminished quality of life, has financial interests in companies that manufacture LASIK devices, and is currently medical director of one of the largest corporate providers of LASIK in the world. Furthermore, LASIK patient advocates have questioned a defense contract awarded around the time of Schallhorn’s retirement from the Navy. In December 2006, IntraLase announced that the Dept. of Defense had awarded the company a $45 million, 5-year contract to supply its flap-cutting lasers to the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and federal civilian agencies. Shortly thereafter, it was reported that Schallhorn was a consultant for and had financial interests in Advanced Medical Optics, the company that acquired IntraLase. Further evidence of bias can be found in an article in the December, 2009 edition of JAMA, which reported that Schallhorn is “confident that once the quality-of-life issues are studied, LASIK will be shown to be even more safe and effective”.
Prior to the introduction of LASIK, cataract surgery was the bread and butter of the ophthalmologist’s practice. In the United States in the 1990s, Medicare made a series of cuts to cataract surgery reimbursements. In response, eye surgeons, scrambling for a new income stream, turned to the more lucrative practice of LASIK.