Dr. Heeral Shah, M.D.

9/1/2011 Opinion Editorial

I saw a press release announcing that retinal specialist, Heeral Shah, M.D., joined Updegraff Vision. However, I cannot confirm this.

LASIK has been linked to retinal problems and floaters, so I suppose having a retinal specialist on staff at Updegraff Vision is a good idea.

Considering that LASIK volumes have plummeted in the United States due to the recession and widespread reports of LASIK complications, I can only speculate that Dr. Stephen Updegraff, M.D. is diversifying his practice. Makes sense. I’ve also read that many high volume LASIK surgeons have, unfortunately, been forced to to revive their cataract surgical practice. I say “unfortunately” because cataract surgery is not as profitable as LASIK, which leads me to think that many LASIK surgeons are no longer enjoying the lavish lifestyles which the lucrative practice of LASIK afforded them in the past.

Although the LASIK industry has been predicting since 2008 that LASIK volumes will rebound to previous levels, I don’t see it. I think LASIK is slowly finding its way to the junk heap of refractive surgeries like radial keratotomy (RK). I believe, but cannot confirm, that Dr. Stephen Updegraff, MD, was a big proponent of radial keratotomy until it was abandoned. What a barbaric surgery!

Come to think of it, LASIK is just as barbaric as RK. They slice or laser off the top of your cornea, leaving it hanging by a hinge, and then, using a so-called “cool” laser, ‘burn’ away corneal tissue. Then they slap the flap back down, which no longer fits the altered corneal surface. The flap never fully heals — in fact, it only heals to a fraction of its former tensile strength. And the corneal nerves that they severed when they cut the flap — they NEVER, EVER fully recover to normal densities and patterns. Why do you think chronic dry eyes is so common after LASIK? Perhaps the most outrageous of their dirty little secrets is the risk of corneal ectasia, which may not present for weeks, months, or even years after LASIK. LASIK surgeons hope that by the time your cornea begins to bulge and your vision deteriorates, you won’t have a clue that LASIK is to blame. Why do you think LASIK surgeons don’t follow their patients for more than 6 months or a year? As a matter of fact, your LASIK medical records may be destroyed after 5 years in some states. My advice if you’ve already had LASIK: Get a copy of your LASIK medical records while you still can. If you are considering LASIK, KEEP YOUR GLASSES!