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March 25, 2021 at 7:34 pm #582NeerjaGuest
I had implantable contact lenses in 2005, my surgery went well and I have had 20/20 vision since. I attended aftercare appointments with a consultant until 2009, as all was fine 4 years after I had my surgery I decided to have regular checkups/eye tests at my opticians rather than going to Optimax, none of my eye tests detected any problems with my sight.
11 years after my surgery I received a letter in 2016 stating that I needed a ECC (Endothelial cell count) check. Back then the letter left me very confused as I had never been made aware of this risk, and thought that it must be a general letter and didn’t apply to me due to the fact that this risk had never been explained to me during my aftercare appointments.
I believe that a consultant should have called me to explain this new risk and the implications of it so that immediate checks and recommendations could be made in a timely manner. I do believe that Optimax had a legal, moral and ethical duty to inform me of this new risk in a better manner than they did. As I thought this may not be applicable to me so I disregarded the letter.
In February 2021 I received the same letter, so I decided to book an appointment with Optimax at a charge of £35. My appointment date was Friday 19th March 2021 where I underwent an Endothelial cell count check (ECC). The consultant told me that my cell count in my left eye was very low, only 665 cells, and that also the lens clip towards my nose had come out of place. This means that I now have to remove the ICL from my left eye otherwise it could cause serious problems. Then I would have to go back to using contact lenses in my left eye.This is negatively life changing for me.
The lack of communication from Optimax has left me in a compromising situation where I am having to undergo life changing surgery which could have been avoided if Optimax had been more diligent with their communication, ensuring they make contact with every patient like me to explain these new risks rather than just send a letter out of the blue; I do not accept this was good enough.
I am now left feeling anxious and very upset, unable to eat or sleep properly as this situation has severely affected me psychologically. I intend to seek medical advice as I am finding it difficult to come to terms with this situation and do not believe that Optimax have taken accountability for their actions.
I was asked to attend an appointment with the Medical Director, Dr Llango, on Monday 22nd March and I was horrified to learn from him that the lens in my left eye had moved due to the pupil contracting and forcing the lens to move up and down. I believe it may have not been secured properly during the surgery, in turn causing this irreversible damage to my eye.
I have contacted Optimax, and have requested they provide a copy of my original consent form, as I am 100% sure that this ECC risk was not included in the form when I underwent my surgery in 2005. I have also asked them to forward me my ECC readings from 2005 to 2009, as I am certain they were never conducted or ever discussed with me during my pre-op or aftercare appointments.
I have informed Optimax that I would like to speak to a doctor with regards to the long term effects the low Endothelial cell count will have on my sight in the future as I am extremely worried. I would also like Optimax to review my case thoroughly and provide me with answers as to why this was allowed to happen.
My surgery date to explant my lens has been set for Wednesday 14th April, I am hoping to see someone for a second opinion before the op. Any advice would be gratefully received!!
I highly recommend that you contact Sasha Rodoy (Patient Advocate at My Beautiful Eyes Foundation) who will be able to advise you.
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