A Taiwanese surgeon who was a pioneer in the field of Lasik eye surgery has announced he will cease performing the procedure, as it violates his medical ethics.
Ophthalmologist Ray Tsai, who conducted groundbreaking trials with patients at Chang Geng Memorial Hospital in Linkou, Taiwan in the 1990’s, claims to have met around 10 patients who have experienced sudden vision loss years after receiving Lasik surgery.
Tsai says the patients are usually between 40 to 50 years of age, and suggests their post-operative vision loss is linked to corneal inflammation.
Patients most susceptible to the vision loss are those that already suffer from chronic eye inflammation, which is difficult to detect pre-surgery.
“It is against my ethics to not tell [patients] all the possible consequences,” Tsai announced on Tuesday. “After a full consideration, I decided to quit Lasik.”
When asked about the impact his announcement would have on the Lasik industry, Tsai stood by his statement, citing his “duty as a medical professional.”
Though Tsai still touts Lasik surgery as the safest treatment for myopia, he cites the time needed for pre-surgery consultation and the rising cost of equipment as additional reasons for his decision to abandon the procedure.
The news is a bombshell for the Lasik surgery industry, with the stock of several unnamed eye hospitals taking a hit in the wake of the announcement, according to the Shanghai Daily.
Meanwhile, Dr. Chung-Liang Shih of the Taiwanese Department of Health stated the DOH would not alter any of their Lasik policies or guidelines based on the views of a single medical practitioner.
Typical complications from Lasik surgery include infection, light sensitivity, dry eye syndrome, night glare, and loss of visual acuity.