Nacogdoches doctor defends LASIK

By Donna McCollum - email

NACOGDOCHES COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - A former food and drug administration official is second guessing his decision made 15 years ago to approve LASIK surgery.

Doctor Morris Waxier, a Ph. D.,  was part of the FDA team that approved LASIK surgery in1995. Then he says he started hearing about devastating side effects. Now he wants stronger warnings about LASIK.

"I think people don't understand this is not like getting your nails done. It's not like a curler in your hair." said Morris.

No one  knows more about the serious nature of eye surgery than Dr. Robert Lehman. The Nacogdoches eye surgeon has performed thousands of LASIK surgeries.

"It would be wrong to paint LASIK as a very dangerous procedure." said Lehman.

Lehman says Waxler confuses the discussion on LASIK safety by grouping subjective complaints and serious infections into one category of injuries.

" In all the years, personally speaking, that I've been doing LASIK, not have had one infection, so it is extremely rare. And even the new antibiotic drops we use now a days are superior to what we had many years ago," said Lehman.

The industry claims complications are much lower with today's modern LASIK, than what Waxier is recalling.

"Indeed it was a safe procedure when using good technology then, but the technology we had then has been completely replaced with more modern technology," said Lehman.

The debate may  not be enough to worry the majority of LASIK patients. Robert Rasberry put contacts aside about 4 years ago. He's never looked back with any regrets.

"It's almost like I never wore contacts or glasses before. I forgot about that time in my life," said Rasberry.

Dr. Lehman doesn't agree with Waxier, but he does think the adversity is actually a good thing. The FDA is reviewing the procedure and it prompts patients to become more informed about the surgery and the surgeon.

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