Laser eye surgery can even lead to suicide: Researchers

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Washington, Feb 9 (UNI) A failed laser eye surgery can lead to suicide, researchers say.

Frustration and even sorrow can follow any unsuccessful surgery, but the emotional toll can be particularly severe the procedure leaves a patient with unremitting eye pain or permanently impaired vision.

Laser eye surgeons who treat patients with complications say they do come across cases of depression, but they don't think LASIK complications are the root cause.

The US Food and Drug Administration plans to convene a national study to examine the relationship of LASIK complications and quality of life, including psychological problems such as depression, Seattle Times reported.

A patient Colin Dorrian, 28 was not able to endure it and committed suicide, six years after LASIK surgery left him with lasting visual distortions. The surgery was done at a LASIK center in Canada that has since closed.

''If I cannot get my eyes fixed, I'm going to kill myself,'' he wrote in a note police found on his body.

''We also noted that quality of life issues related to LASIK had not been evaluated consistently, and there were few reports of well-designed studies.'' FDA ophthalmologist Malvina Eydelmanwith was quoted by the paper as saying.

It was also seen that patients who exhibit depression after the procedure were, in most cases, already depressed or psychologically troubled.

Christine Sindt, an optometrist and associate professor of clinical ophthalmology at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa, has encountered the psychological effects that patients experience when they have trouble seeing.

''Depression is a problem for any patient with a chronic vision problem,'' she said. But in the case of post-LASIK patients the depression is compounded by remorse.

Since the mid-1990s, numerous studies have shown that the surgery known as Laser-Assisted in-Situ Keratomileusis, or LASIK, is safe and successful in most cases and has become more so with the introduction of new technology.


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