Millions of Americans have undergone LASII( eye surgery to by murplelake76


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Student C

English 301

Teacher’s Name



       "Millions of Americans have undergone LASIK eye surgery to correct bad vision,

and along with the procedure's popularity something else is coming into focus: its

hazards" (Vollmer). The problem? LASIK eye surgery, also known as laser-assisted in

situ keratomileusis. People don't understand the full risks they are making when they get

LASIK eye surgery. In LASIK surgery, with a gentle cutting tool, the surgeon makes a

slice sideways through the cornea while leaving one side still attached. The surgeon then

lifts the flap, uses a beam of laser light to correct the bad vision, and then carefully

replaces the flap back. It will dry and reattach after a few minutes, according to Helen

Gibson from The Time International newspaper. But what happens when the flap doesn't

go back on correctly? "In the worst cases, the aberrations are so extensive that they

cannot be corrected, even with glasses" (Gibson). If placed incorrectly, the come a can

wrinkle on your eye which will cause discomfort. This can be the same discomfort you

receive when you have something stuck between your contact lens and your actual eye,

except, you'll have it twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Therefore, people

should not get LASIK eye surgery because it can cause post-operation discomfort, it is

irreversible and may even cause worse vision, and people don't know the full story/risks

behind it.
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       People don't realize how serious the discomfort can be after getting LASIK

surgery. "Millions have undergone the procedure to correct bad vision and most have no

complications, but thousands each year experience chronic pain, dryness, distorted night

vision and even blindness," according to Sabine Vollmer, who is a writer for The

McClatchy Newspaper. Although many people get the surgery and have no problems,

there are always others, and more coming, that go through a lot of pain and suffering.

Some patients don't have good vision at night, which is a negative. You may not be able

to drive, and imagine having a grave yard shift at your workplace. There would be a great

chance of getting into an accident because of not being able to see clearly due to your

LASIK surgery. As an unsuccessful LASIK eye surgery patient, Matthew Kotsovolos,

said, "I traded my glasses for permanent head pain, eye pain, and these things." While

saying this, Kotsovolos pointed at his goggles that he now has to wear due to the surgery

(Vollmer). So would you rather put in your contacts or put on your glasses or would you

rather have to wear goggles over powering your face? According to John Ciccone, an

American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery Director of Communications,

stated, "Of the approximately 3 million Americans who underwent laser eye surgery

since 1995, more than 85 percent said the surgery improved their overall quality of life

and 93 percent of patients said they were satisfied with the results." Even though that is

85 percent, that still leaves 450,000 patients who are not satisfied. This could be because

they didn't receive the results they wanted, or most likely, their eye is irritating them and

causing them discomfort.

       Something that is understated and that patients don't quite realize is that LASIK

eye surgery is a serious procedure and is in-eversible. Kotsovolos is also an example to
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show that you cannot undo your surgery. He is stuck with his goggles by his side, trying

to recapture vision that he once had. He goes through a lot of uncontrollable pain, which

also will not go away. Paula Lofer, another LASIK patient, describes her ordeal with

LASIK surgery, "Life was very simple back then. Now, it's very complicated" (Vollmer).

Before the procedure, Lofer would wear glasses and she would be able to see. Now, after

the surgery, her vision is so bad that even glasses cannot fix the damage or her vision.

Sadly enough, Lofer's life is not the same as it used to be. She will live the remaining of

her life without having the vision that she hoped she would receive after her LASIK eye

surgery. "Six months after the surgery, up to 28 percent of patients complained of eye

dryness, up to 16 percent had blurry vision and up to 18 percent had difficulty driving at

night" (Vollmer). Even though it may seem to be low percentages, the amount of people

is still very great. People's free time will get cut down because of this procedure's

malfunctions. Some might not be able to play sports as great as they did before since their

eyesight will be blurred or become dry. Some tasks will be hard to perform. For example:

cleaning the house, grocery shopping, and even taking a shower. It is sad to know that

people will still continue to have complications even six months after the LASIK surgery.

As with any other surgical procedure, you should definitely know the full risks of having

LASIK eye surgery before determining whether you want to have this procedure done.

Some people don't pay attention to the risk factors, and as a result, they are not happy

with their outcomes. "[The damage 1 is noticeable and on the front of your mind all your

waking hours. There's no escape" (Vollmer). This patient didn't know that the procedure

could cause such pain. And now he has to live his life with it haunting him. Steven

Assenata, a LASIK eye surgery patient said, "If I had understood there was a chance I
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would be worse off, I might have changed my mind" (Gibson). The chances of harmful

effects are scary.

        One of the big things that can go wrong is equipment malfunction. "[LASIK] can

improve eyesight without complications, but equipment flaws, a surgeon's error or a

failure to screen out patients whose eyes are ill-suited for the treatment can cause the

operation to go awry" (Vollmer). Some patients don't go to get their eyes checked to see

if they have any type of eye disease, which can be the reason for their surgery to go

wrong. Also, some things that you can't control, like the surgeon's mistakes, can cause

your surgery to also go wrong (Vollmer).

        Even though there are many risks to LASIK eye surgery, there are also some

benefits. Patients can get near perfect vision, without going through the hassle that

contact and glasses wearers do. "One of the benefits patients are most excited about is

their new found freedom from corrective eye glasses and contact lenses," according to, a website that has information on health related topics ("LASIK Eye

Surgery Benefits"). You may not have to go through the hassle of putting your contact

lens in, but wouldn't you rather spend one minute every morning and one minute every

night putting in or taking out your contacts, rather than going through a procedure that

could cause you to become blind? And the same goes for eyeglasses. If it were up to me

to make a decision to go under the knife, I would definitely take the time to put my lens

on instead of putting myself through the risk of never being able to see again. "Many

patients find that the ability to see more clearly than ever before helps them to be more

outgoing socially" ("LASIK Eye Surgery Benefits"). Now that these patients don't have

to worry about glasses hovering over their faces, they start to feel more physically
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beautiful. They tend to want to go out more, since there's nothing holding them back

anymore. They become more social with others compared to before the procedure

("LASIK Eye Surgery Benefits"). However, people who wear glasses can build their own

self esteem. Optical companies make many styles of glasses and contacts to choose from.

       People can wear glasses to suit their moods, follow the latest styles, and set an

image to suit themselves. Many people actually feel beautiful with their glasses.

Supposedly, self esteem will rise due to having LASIK eye surgery. Self esteem shouldn't

be tied to glasses or lack of them. A person with good self esteem accepts himself or

herself regardless. According to Gerald Rogell, a senior attending physician at

Washington Hospital Center in Rockville, Maryland, "The treatment usually takes only

five to 20 minutes, depending on how many laser applications are needed." This brings

me to the question, how many laser applications will a person need? Although the

procedure will take a short amount of time to perform and complete, you still won't be

out of the eye center within minutes. "You won't be able to see well out of the treated eye

for an hour or so because of the bright flashes of the laser and the contact lens you wore

during the treatment" (Rogell). So basically, you will still end up waiting for your eye to

heal from the procedure. A LASIK surgery patient, Goldstein, has the ideal freedom from

the hassle of putting in and taking out his contacts daily. But can everyone expect such

wonderful results like Goldstein got? Rosenthal, an eye surgeon who performs LASIK

surgery said, "The answer is no. It's not a fool proof procedure and people need to know

that some can end up with worse eyesight than before they went in" (Lewis). Rosenthal is

an eye surgeon and hearing this come from the person who is the one actually doing the

Procedure should make you think twice about having the surgery done.
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       People may believe that LASIK eye surgery is the solution to their vision

problems, but it is not. People need to be educated about the true risks of LASIK surgery.

As LASIK ( becomes more popular, the amount of people who could ruin their eyesight

will rise. Researchers need to use the data from failed procedures to create new protocols

that are safer. Physicians need to be better trained so that they will be able to recognize

and prevent mistakes. Patients need to be screened more carefully so that those most at

risk will be advised of other alternatives. Until the major risks are eliminated or solved,

people should avoid having the procedure. Despite its appeal, LASIK is not the answer.
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                                     Works Cited

Ciccone, Jolm. "Quality of Life Improved Through Laser Surgery." Eye Surgery

       Education. 16 Oct. 2003. Online. Available

       http;llevesuH! 25 Oct.


Gibson, Helen. "Cover Story; R U Ready to Dump Your Glasses? Laser Surgery Can

       Work Wonders But there are Risks." Time International 1 Nov. 1999. Online.



       &reguestid. 23 Oct. 2007.

"LASIK Eye Surgery Benefits." DocShop 2007. Online. Available

       http://www.docshop.c0111/education/vision/refractive/lasiklbenefits/ . 30 Oct.


Lewis, Caro!. "Laser Eye Surgery; Is it Worth Looking Into?" FDA Consumer Magazine

       July-August 1998. Online. Available http://www.fda.f!ov/fdac/features!l998/498

       eye.htm!. 11 Oct. 2007.

Rogell, Gerald. "All About Laser Surgery." Diabetes Forecast I Feb. 2007. Online.

       Avai1able http; document? set=search&

       groupid= I &requestid. 23 Oct. 2007.

Vollmer, Sabine. "Eyeing the Risks of LASIK Surgery." Seattle Times II Oct. 2007;A3.

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