~ Michael Gordon, "M.D." ~
Enclosed herein is a description of my experience in the "medical care" of "Doctor" Michael Gordon.
Within a year after the surgery, it was clear that my vision was deteriorating. This is a letter I wrote to the FDA asking for help, augmented by the belief that they should "know what is happening", in terms of LASIK. This letter serves to describe my condition at about 1 year post-op.
Did My Experience with "Doctor" Michael Gordon Involve a Deliberate Act of Consumer Fraud ?
My LASIK surgery was on August 14, 1998. Doctor Michael Gordon was my LASIK surgeon.
During a pre-op consultation, I asked Doctor Michael Gordon a question about LASIK, tantamount to the inquiry, "OK, what's the downside of this here LASIK, Doc ?" Michael Gordon responds. "Well, I've had laser surgery, and I use a few eye-drops every now and then."
There's only one thing -- at that time, Michael Gordon had had PRK, not LASIK. PRK does not involve a micro-keratome cut - the first half of a partial corneal transplant. The first half of LASIK is like the first half of a partial corneal transplant - a cut is made through the stroma, the middle layer of the 5 layers of the cornea. In LASIK, the cut stops just short of a complete cut. What's left is called the "flap."
In a partial corneal transplant, the cut is all the way through. No flap.
At the time, I didn't know that. I thought Michael Gordon was answering my question about LASIK by describing his experience with LASIK. He didn't. He deliberately answered my question about LASIK by describing his experience with PRK.
Then, during the pre-op consult, Michael Gordon neglects to ask me the simplest of questions about a clear contra-indication to corneal surgery -- contact-lens intolerance. I am contact-lens intolerant, at that time that was the only sign of ocular surface disease. In addition to double-vision associated with a crossed left eye, I experienced a step-function increase in the symptoms of ocular surface disease on the day of my LASIK surgery. I was subsequently diagnosed with full-blown Dry Eye Syndrome, Blepharitis, and told to move to Florida -- for the humidity.
I believe it was Michael Gordon's responsibility, given that he held and holds himself out to the public as a "Doctor of Medicine", with all the rights and responsibilities pertaining thereto, to ask me a simple question which would have directly addressed my suitability for elective corneal surgery. All he had to do was ask, "Are you contact-lens intolerant ?" He neglected to do so.
~ MY PRESENT CONDITION, 3 1/2 years post-op ~
These symptoms onset at the time of my LASIK surgery, and have become progressively worse since then. My eyes were disease-free until the day of my LASIK surgery, at which time I was 40 years old.
* Escalating, chronic pain
my left eye. I now lay with my eyes closed about 6
hours a day
because they hurt, and that is the only way I've found to make
better. I am not referring to sleep. I'm saying
that, of the
approximately 16 hours a day that I am awake, I spend
approximately 6 hours
of that time with my eyes closed, because it hurts to have them
* Crossed left eye - causing me to see double when I look at anything more than 5 feet away.
* Reading hurts my eyes so i stopped doing it ... I used to read 10 magazines an hour.
* No more making stuff. I used to be able to make things with my hands. Of course, this means being able to see up-close, without eye-strain. As an ophthalmologist told me, "Yes, LASIK burns away your near-sighted vision. Your surgeon should have told you." Before LASIK, I was good at making things with my hands. Not any more. Now, my tools collect dust. I do not have the "eye-time", evenings and weekends, to "make stuff" anymore.
* Reduced Workout Time. At the time of my LASIK Surgery, I worked out twice a day ... usually, a 2500 yard swim, followed by a 2 hour yoga class - with one day off a week. As my corneal dis-ease has progressed, I have been forced to allocate less and less time for exercise, from which I once extracted a huge amount of enjoyment.
* Early Retirement. Given the degradation in the condition of my eyes, Prudence says: prepare for forced early retirement. In fact, I've met another patient, an RK patient, whose eyes were over-corrected during RK surgery. When presbyopia onset, she became unable to do her job, and she was forced to retire early. She advised me to prepare for the same fate. Coincidentally, her refractive surgeon's name is ... Michael Gordon.
Doctor Michael Gordon has, via LASIK, introduced me to the world of corneal dis-ease and disease. The list of symptoms above describes my present eye condition. Based on the escalation of my eye pain, the decrease in my daily eye-time, and the loss of vision required to build things with my hands -- that ability that I practiced daily for the last 40 years, from playing with Lego bricks to building cell-phone base stations, the experience that I am having is -- the experience of going blind, and living with chronic pain in my eyes.
Following the LASIK surgery performed by Doctor Michael Gordon.
Unfortunately, many other patients have similar stories to tell.
In a state of true informed consent, the rate of reduction of new casualties is reduced. That is one of the purposes of this website - to participate in the act of informing potential pre-op LASIK patients about the true medical and lifestyle effects of LASIK surgery.
Thank you for visiting. This website does not have a forum. Online forums for people who need help with refractive surgery problems and questions can be found at Surgical Eyes, and also at the USENET Newsgroups named "sci.med.vision", and also "alt.lasik-eyes"
I have a friend, on disability, with torturous, frequently excruciating, constant pain, following her own LASIK, performed by TLC-affiliated Doctor Thomas Tooma in Newport Beach. That friend used to love to read. But not any more. Now she listens to Books on Tape. When I am in her company, I realize that I am witnessing a medical dilemma that is appropriately treated as an emergency, warranting massive efforts by the medical community to come to her assistance.
No such efforts are forthcoming, yet. We need to help this person. She deserves a dream team of doctors dedicated to the restoration of her vision.
What good is seeing an eye-chart 20/30 if your eyes hurt, and opening your eyes makes the pain worse ?
Again: the symptoms of that patient's ocular disease onset at the time of her LASIK.
I did not expect to learn so much about ophthalmology, in general, and refractive surgery, in particular.
Other patients are welcome to email me at the address below.
Nor can we forget the patients who have been harmed by PRK and RK, older forms of refractive surgery.
Thank you for visiting this website.
~ Roger ~
Please remove the "d" from "rodger" before emailing me.
Copyright 2002, 2003 Roger E. Bratt
Ar*** v Binder
Ba*** v Gordon
Bratt v Gordon
A patient who retired early after RK performed by Gordon
Ha*** v Gordon
Hi*** v Binder
Ka*** v Binder
Kr*** v Gordon
Ku*** v Gordon
Li*** v Binder
IS THERE A DOCTOR IN THE HOUSE ?