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FDA Panel Urges Stronger Warnings for LASIK Surgery
Date:4/25/2008

ou're operating on very healthy people, healthy eyes, you don't want to take any chances," said Starr, who turns away 50 percent to 60 percent of prospective patients who come to him.

Starr himself has declined to have the procedure, because he considers himself "borderline." (Refractive surgeons in general, however, are four times more likely than the general population to undergo LASIK, according to a survey from the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery.)

But while screening is good, it can always be better.

"How can we identify that subset of patients whose lives are irreversibly changed from a relatively 'safe' procedure," said Saffra.

To that end, the new task force is undertaking a study to identify additional factors to help screen candidates for LASIK.

"This is a science in evolution, and it is unacceptable to any eye physician to do harm to a patient, to have people whose lives are changed negatively forever, when it should have been a slam dunk," Saffra said.

More information

The FDA has more on LASIK.



SOURCES: Christopher E. Starr, M.D., co-director Corneal Cataract and Refractory Surgery, New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical College, New York City; Robert Cykiert, M.D., associate professor of ophthalmology, New York University Langone Medical Center, New York City; Norman Saffra, M.D., director of ophthalmology, Maimonides Medical Center, New York City


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