Eye laser surgery suspended following concerns over safety | 22.02.2010
A long-running laser eye surgery
programme in Calgary has been suspended following safety concerns.
Provincial health officials have raised concerns over the controversial procedure, which has been carried out in the region for more than a decade.
Last month, at least 14 laser eye surgeries were cancelled in the region while experts scrutinised the safety of the procedure, reports the Calgary Herald.
Speaking to the news provider, Alberta Health Services spokesman Don Stewart said that the specific concerns surrounding the procedure or the reason why the programme was suspended would not by revealed until further investigations had been carried out.
Calgary is one of the few regions in North America where the corrective laser surgery
is carried out on children.
Dr David Wheeler, a paediatric ophthalmology expert at Oregon Health and Science University and clinical correspondent with the American Academy of Ophthalmology, told the news provider that further research was needed before the practice would become more widespread.
"In the last ten years, we've definitely come to feel it probably is safe and probably does work," he claimed.
"Since there are safer and effective methods, [for example], glasses and contacts that are tried and proven, until laser is shown to be superior to offset increased costs and increased risk, I think people are going to be very hesitant to adopt it," he added.
He claimed that children heal differently to adults after injury or surgery and the effects of the corrective eye surgery
on minors were not fully understood.
Even temporary cancellation of laser eye surgery
in children in the region could boost uptake of over night correction lenses, such as I-Go's Ortho K lenses.
The reason being that Orthokeratology lenses have a similar effect to laser surgery, in that they do away with the need for disposable contact lenses or glasses, but their effects are completely reversible so they also do away with the major risks associated with laser eye surgery
Recently, international tennis start Justine Henin claimed that laser eye surgery
had jeopardised her comeback after she suffered from blurring.
Eye Laser Surgery: How do i-GO contact lenses compare to eye laser surgery?
Written by Steve Leng
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