I was looking into Lasik vision correction surgery and came across an article by a former member of the FDA, Dr. Morris Waxler where he states that he wishes he had never approved Lasik surgery:
But in the months and years after LASIK became ubiquitous at 25-year class reunions, stories of eye damage and subsequent depression, even suicides, surfaced. The surgery can, it turns out, induce dry eyes, halos, light sensitivity, night blindness, ghost images, keratectasia (corneal thinning and bulging) and many other serious damaging effects.
About Waxler, who was in charge of approving it, the article says:
In the nearly 10 years since he left the agency, Waxler, (now a regulatory consultant who has stayed involved in FDA product approvals) has come to particularly regret the LASIK decision. Unusual for a former regulator, particularly for someone with business before the agency, in 2010 Waxler went public with criticism about FDA's approval standards. A year ago he went on "Good Morning America" and told correspondent Lisa Stark, "I did the best we could ... but in hindsight it wasn't good enough."
Last May, Waxler became more persistent. He considered LASIK eye surgery complications "already a major public health problem" and he said so in a letter to the ophthalmic organization, American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons. He told the organization's president the group was presenting data for a safety study in an "unethical" manner...Finally last month, Waxler filed a formal citizen's petition to his former government employer requesting the FDA withdraw approval for all LASIK devices and to issue a public health advisory for recalling the equipment.
Can these statements be verified? Is Lasik eye surgery so unsafe that all devices should be recalled? How many patients have had adverse effects so as to justify such a measure and deem that the procedure, as a whole, is unsafe? Have any factors been identified that present an alternative explanation for side effects (e.g. pre-existing conditions) other than issues with the method itself?
Lastly, can it be confirmed or denied whether or not (from the same article):
A committee of well-regarded LASIK experts (R. Doyle Stulting, M.D., P.h.D.; George O Waring III, M.D.; James J. Salz, M.D.; James McCulley, M.D.; Douglas Koch, M.D.; Jayne Weiss, M.D.; and Marian Macsai, M.D.,) responded to Waxler's claim: "We believe he has no reputable basis for such a claim since he did not produce the scientific evidence."
As in, does Waxler have any evidence or does he, and the supporters of Lasik are in denial?