LASIK surgery is one of the most common types of cosmetic surgery in the United States. It was approved by the FDA in the 1990’s and since then almost 700,000 Americans have used it to correct their vision each year.
But an official from the FDA who helped approve the procedure in its infancy is now coming out to say that there are dangers associated with LASIK that have not been widely publicized.
According to ABC News,
…While the FDA was aware of negative side effects that would occur in some, Morris Waxler, the former head of the FDA branch responsible for reviewing the data on LASIK, told ABC News in his first television interview that, in hindsight, those side effects were not taken seriously enough.
"I wouldn’t say it was pooh-poohed so much it was just sort of shoved aside as the kind of, we, we don’t know what to do with that data," he said. "It’s right there in the record. The agencies and the refractive surgeons, people know these problems occur and there doesn’t seem to be a plan to handle some of the more difficult problems that are created."
Some people experience mild side effects that do not greatly affect their daily lives, and which go away a few weeks after the surgery. Other people experience side effects that are so severe that they are unable to perform basic tasks, such as driving. Sometimes these side effects don’t go away quickly, and people have lost their jobs because of them.
Waxler believes that, although procedure is still relatively safe, the FDA erred in not setting tougher standards for the procedure and requiring doctors to be more forthcoming with their patients about the side effects of LASIK.