Patient Testimonials

"Having LASEK extended my professional playing career by at least 2 years" - Joe Johnson, world professional snooker champion - had LASEK.

Dear Dr Doyle - Just a note to say a great big THANK YOU. You won't believe what a difference having my eyes 'done' has made. I feel like a new person, with a lot more confidence. The best bit is I can wear sunglasses!?! Your support and advice has made the process a lot easier." - Mrs Lindsey Ormesher - Lake District - High myope LASIK

Dear Dr Doyle - The correction of her vision has had a spectacular effect on my daughter's self image and general happiness and well-being. She has lost those "Jam Jar Bottom" glasses, lost 3 stones in weight, while gaining in confidence and self-esteem. She now enjoys shopping for clothes, and reads computer screens and books without effort. She has been transformed from an overweight awkward duckling in to an elegant young swan, and I am totally sure this would not have happened but for the Lasik eye treatment and her improved eyesight. Without glasses previously she could only make out the outlines of people and objects.

Please see the 'before' and 'after' photos attached, and note that the 'before' photo is not the worst we can find, but demonstrates the degree of transformation.

This was some of the best money we have ever spent, and I strongly recommend it. Hopefully, a similar positive "knock-on-effect" will happen when my wife has her treatment in January.

Keep up your excellent work producing MDM's (Modern Day Miracles). Yours with thanks - Leslie Williams, Burnley, Lancashire 

Dear Dr Doyle - I am writing to thank you for making a 35 year dream come true. That is how long I have dreamed of having perfect vision. That is how long I have dreamed of not having to wear glasses, and now thanks to you it has all come true - Sue Teal, Birmingham (LASIK patient of about -6)

You may be asking yourself why an Optometrist is having laser eye surgery? After all, isn’t my job to sell people specs and contact lenses? Am I not shooting myself in the foot with this move?

Well, I may be an Optometrist, but also ( contrary to popular belief!) I am also human. I have the same visual requirements as everyone else, and also the same hassles that short-sightedness brings. Yes, I have fancy designer specs, and I wear contact lenses, but when I take them off, I feel as ‘blind’ as everyone else does. I can’t see the alarm in the morning, my specs steam up when I walk in the pub and cleaning my lenses instead of falling into bed, is often the last thing I want to be doing ! So, laser surgery ,to me sounded a good idea.

A friend of mine had been to have it done a couple of months before, at Optimax in Manchester, and had got excellent results, even though her eyes were quite a bit worse than mine. So I did a bit of investigating, as I am sure anyone considering laser surgery would do. Also, as an Optometrist, you can sometimes know ‘too much’ about something. All I have ever read and learnt about laser surgery seemed to centre around the procedure and the complications and risks. Yes, no doubt this is important, but no body ever seems to publish the good things that result from this surgery. There are tens of thousands of people who have had their lives transformed by this surgery. These people, like me, will have been unhappy with wearing specs and contact lenses, and for £1000-£1500 , an hour in the clinic and a couple of days off work, they could have , as I see it, their ‘disability’ corrected forever. I am 26, and having worn specs and lenses for the best part of 15 years, the thought of having good eyesight again was worth the ‘risk’.

My consultation with Dr Doyle seemed to go okay. My eyes were healthy, the cornea was a uniform thickness ( I always thought it was !!!!) and he reassured me that my prescription was ideal for LASIK and good results were easily achievable. My prescription was –3.75 approx with low astigmatism. He was very honest with me, and never claims that this surgery is risk free. After all, this IS cosmetic surgery, and is surgery that I was choosing to have. However, his experience in both laser surgery and corneal disease treatment reassured me that he was the man for the job.

I promptly arranged the treatment, as an early Christmas present to myself, and was pleased to get the appointment just 2 weeks later. Although family and friends seemed surprised I was having this done, there was also that element of curiosity as well. Deep down , many of these people were also considering it, but were now happy to let me be the guinea pig for them ! After all, an Optometrist having laser surgery – what better basis for a balanced opinion could there be!

On the day of the treatment, I was calm! I was going to be optimistic about this. As long as my vision was much better than before and there was no complications, I would be happy. On arrival at Optimax, the staff were as professional as ever. They helped create a relaxed environment, and along with the other people waiting to have the treatment, together we made ourselves comfortable. Even the Daily Mail’s double page feature ‘Is Laser Eye Surgery Safe’ didn’t seem to deter us. No one read it, we all agreed not to – after all, we could hardly change our minds now. The experience was a little like going to the dentist. You can hear the machine working, and you know what is going on, yet you still try to ignore it until it is your turn. I was third in, and the man and woman before me seemed okay ( well as okay as you would expect!)

Dr Doyle was very reassuring, and explained exactly was he was doing. I had to wear the flattering surgical gown and hair net, and whether this is for hygiene reasons or just to keep the others amused, I still don’t know. The procedure was, painless and quick. I compared the procedure to fitting someone with contact lenses for the first time! You know what is happening, it feels a little strange someone poking in your eye, yet afterwards you are pleasantly surprised at how painless it really was. The thought of lifting the corneal flap is not something I care to think about at 10.00am , and if Dr Doyle hadn’t told me what he has doing, I wouldn’t have even noticed. In fact the use of eye drops during the procedure is quite soothing in a strange kind of way!! Even the burning smell wasn’t too bad! The surgery literally took minutes for each eye. Before I knew it, I was at back with my beloved, wearing my plastic shields over my eyes to protect them whilst the flap settled. Even minutes after surgery, I could see the lady across the room. Not bad, after all the furthest I could see before was 12 inches. After a ½ hour wait, Dr Doyle checked my eyes again, and gave me the all clear to leave. He was happy with the surgery, and there had been no problems.

Even on the short journey home I was able to make out car number plates and road signs. Back home, I took Dr Doyle’s advice and had a sleep for a couple of hours, to help the flap settle and the eye to heal. Then I had to know. I couldn’t wait any longer. Was the surgery a success?

I removed the eye shields and looked out of the bedroom window. Wow ! I knew Lasik gave quicker results but this was amazing. I had only had the surgery 3 hours before, and my vision was already as good as it was in my contact lenses! And who would have thought that reading the neighbours car number plates would be so much fun !! Teletext was clear and reading was okay. This was fantastic. No, it was a miracle!

Everything was going great. The only thing I was aware of was the haze effect around lights. This is just oedema in the cornea, I was reassured, and has improved each day since. It wasn’t helped by the fact that we had just put our Xmas tree up, and the fairy lights are constantly on ! The next morning I woke early, just to check that the vision was okay. Problem is there isn’t much to look at 6am on a dark wet December morning. I went back to Optimax that morning for my aftercare appointment. The Optometrist checked my corneas were still okay, and checked my vision. 6/5 right and left – the bottom line on the chart. Fantastic. My eyesight was as good as with my specs on, and better than with my contact lenses in. What a result ! What also surprised me was that I had experienced no pain whatsoever. Very occasional dryness on my eyes was relieved with the eye drops, but it was no worse than I used to get when wearing my contact lenses all day. And the vision was so clear, just 24 hours after surgery, that I drove home without any problems.

It is now 3 days since the surgery and everything seems great. I occasionally still get that strange feeling I want to push my specs back up my nose, or take my lenses out before I go to bed. And the plastic shields taped across my face are doing wonders for my love life!! The only problem I now have, is that I have no excuses for not being able to get up in the middle of the night to see to my baby daughter.

And to anyone considering laser surgery – take the plunge. If the thought of wearing specs and contact lenses is such a hassle, as it was for me, seriously consider laser surgery. Have a consultation and see how it goes from there.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Dr Stephen Doyle and all the team at Optimax in Manchester. The professionalism at all levels was exceptional, and I cannot fault them in any way. Only sorry I didn’t do it sooner. I will be happy to recommend Dr Doyle to my already long list of family, friends and clients who are also considering laser treatment.

PS: Do you know anyone who wants to buy some second hand designer spec frames ????

Many Thanks - Martyn Allen BscHons MCOptom - Optometrist
Stuart Jones Styling Opticans, Manchester - Had LASIK

I wish to take this opportunity to thank you and the staff of the Optimax Clinic Manchester. Everything was carried out in a very professional yet reassuring manner. As you yourself said the consent form can be very daunting and I was extremely apprehensive. After undergoing the treatment myself I would have no hesitation whatsoever in recommending it to anyone - in fact I already have. It's hard to believe that after wearing glasses for 22 years I can no see without them thanks to your expertise and LASIK - Mrs Julie Crawford, Lisburn, Co Antrim - Low myope

Dear Stephen and colleagues - Thank you so very much for your superior care and relaxed attitude, which really assured me that I was in safe hands. You're a top team - Chris Page (Low myope having LASEK - now on Missionary work in Rwanda)

I would be more than happy to discuss the benefits of this life changing procedure with anyone contemplating it. I thought the "testimonials" in the literature were probably exaggerated, but I find myself gushing about the experience to anyone who will listen! - Elen Owen, Anglesey (LASIK patient of about -6.5, 7 days after surgery)

I would just like to express my appreciation and thanks for the LASEK treatment you performed on me two weeks ago. My vision is already far better than I could ever have imagined and it is such a pleasure in the mornings not to have to worry about contact lenses or glasses. I am thrilled to bits. The pleasant staff and obviously yourself made me fee very relaxed and at ease for what is a nerve racking experience. I would certainly recommend it to anyone - Dawn Cassidy Kiddiminster (mixed astigmatism LASEK)

Thank you for all your help and advice and for helping me to see again! - Amanda Eden, Chorley (low myope LASEK)

I am writing to say thank you for my eye surgery I have made great progress and my vision appears almost perfect. You have been given a great gift from God to restore sight to people and I pray you continue to use this amazing gift and responsibility - Chris Lyttle (moderate myope from N. Ireland - LASEK )

Dr Doyle - Do not know if you remember me as I am sure you see a lot of people and of course better their lives. Anyway it has now been a while since I had my eyes corrected so I thought I should thank you finally.

I decided for a long time whether or not to go ahead with the operation and finally went through with it on 5/8/03. This is probably a day that did change my life and how I go about it. From my notes should you will see them I was pretty bad about -7.5 to -8 in both eyes. As discussed the total amount of correction varied from patient to patient and at most I was expecting to wear glasses for driving or reading OR BOTH! As it happened I have now not worn a pair of glasses since that day!!!!!! Amazing, well to me it was. I had the operation at about 9.30 am, which took about 10 minutes or so and was totally painless. I went home and had a sleep for about 2-3 hours you must do this as you do feel tired. After waking at about noon, all I could think about was what would I be able to see, and the answer was almost everything!! By the next day after my check up I was driving and within about 5 days my reading had improved dramatically. This as I was told would get better over the coming weeks and after about 6 weeks was excellent.

At the time of my final check up my eye sight was near perfect, the night vision was excellent so it was money well spent. At times my vision does deter a bit (mainly in the right eye, marginally) and does so if I am tired as they do dry out a little but this is a small price to pay and is far from what I could see before, which was NOTHING.

What a life changing experience, from getting about at night to even swimming, these are things that most people take for granted. After wearing glasses for 30 years I can only thank you and your staff for what you have done.

For anyone who is thinking of having this done, take the plunge and go ahead you will not regret it - Colin Wray - Accountant - Manchester - (had LASIK)

Dear Dr Doyle - Just want to say thank you very much for what you have done for both of us. It has made a very big difference to our lives. - Chris Hallam and Teresa Ordall (Identical twins - moderate myopia - had LASEK)

Dear Dr Doyle - Words cannot express how grateful I am, having sight without contact lenses, especially first thing in the morning, is fantastic. Thanks so much - Gwen Murphy - high myope of -10.0 Dioptres who had LASEK. (one eye at a time using mitomycin-C)

This is the best thing that I have ever done in my life! - Nicola Hebden - (33 year old hyperope from Manchester with large astigmatism, LASIK in March 2004)

Dear Dr Doyle - Thank you for giving me my "eyesight" back. I had Epi-Lasek done on Dec 14t, an early Christmas present to myself. I am amazed with the results, I can now see to cut all those 8.0 sutures at work, which the surgeons are pleased about, it does help when the nurse can see what she is doing. Please extend my thanks to your team at Optimax, Manchester. They were all very professional and reassuring. I hope you have a good Christmas and a Happy New Year - Yours gratefully - Dawn Payne - Derby

Dear Dr. Doyle - I had Lasik eye surgery in October 2004 (I was the one with Thygsen’s!!!) and thought that the following testimonial/account of experiences might be of use to those who visit your Website. I remember how helpful the one detailed experience outlined on your Website was to me and thought that perhaps re-telling my experiences might help put other patients at ease. I must admit though that I am brutally honest about it but my overall message is I believe extremely positive: ‘it wasn’t a very pleasant experience but it is the most amazing thing ever to happen to me.’ However, if you feel that it is surplus to requirements please feel free to pass it on/edit it/use it as you wish. I also thought that you might be interested to read my account/what has happened since…

I had laser eye treatment on both of my eyes in October 2004. I had thought about having it done for ages and finally decided to take the plunge. I was a little worried by some newspaper reports and other ‘scaremongering’ that was prevalent on many internet sites and in the national press. For example, during the week when I had the surgery there was a lot of talk about how Boots had stopped offering the service due to the inaccuracy of their laser machines. What I wished for more than anything was sensible information about the risks and possibilities before I decided to proceed. This wasn’t as easy as you might expect given the vast size and scope of today’s greatest information resource, the Internet. The greatest resource I came across was probably Dr. Doyle’s site. No matter where I looked I couldn’t seem to find anywhere that detailed the process in full through the eye’s of a patient. It is for this reason that I am offering my own account of my own experiences.

First of all, I should detail my own particular circumstances. Up until I had the surgery I was extremely short-sighted. When I say extremely, I should really state mid-range myopia but to me and my friends it did seem severe (-6 in my right eye and -6.75 in my left). Without my glasses or contact lenses I could only see things if they were a couple of feet in front of me in any kind of detail. However, my situation was complicated by the fact that I had had a viral infection in my left eye for around 6 months and this had only subsided at the start of 2004. The virus was an unusual one called Thygsen’s, initially nurses at the Manchester Eye Infirmary had believed it to be viral conjunctivitis as the symptoms are similar: weeping with redness and itchiness. Although the virus had subsided there were still days when my eyes, especially my left eye, seemed to be extremely dry and this problem was exacerbated by the use of my contacts. I decided to not wear my contacts for a matter of months and my eyes did get better. It was then when my eyes felt better that I decided to research into having my eyes lasered as not only did I not want to return to using my contacts; I was also sick and tired of not being able to see when I went swimming or when I woke up in the morning. The impracticalities and cost of not having laser eye treatment if safe in comparison to remaining with my glasses and contacts just didn’t seem to make sense. I therefore booked myself an initial consultation with Optimax, who were not only the most economical choice on the market but were also one of the most experienced and most reputable in the UK. Indeed Optimax have had excellent results since its foundation in 1991.

At the consultation I was whisked through a number of necessary tests such as testing the pressure of my eyeballs. These tests were very much similar to the ones you sometimes undertake at the optician’s and although not pleasant are pretty harmless and cause little discomfort. Afterwards Dr. Doyle examined my results to see whether it would be safe to proceed. Thankfully I was told that this was the case, although the thickness of my cornea was on the boundary of what was deemed acceptable. If the cornea is too thin then laser treatment should not be risked. The surgical procedure of LASIK was chosen to be the most suitable for me due to its accuracy and quicker recovery period. I was then booked in for the treatment day and I arrived with some apprehension when the day finally came around. I remember sitting in the waiting room, hearing the strange sound of the laser coming from the adjacent room. A man of similar age to me, 27, was sat with his eye goggles on having just had the operation. He looked pretty startled and told me that it was the strangest thing he’d ever experienced. After 20 minutes he was free to go after inspection by the Doctor. In the meantime more people were arriving to have the operation that was being completed in most cases in less than 10 minutes. I decided to have some Diazepam to calm myself down before I went in. This is generally a good idea: especially if you are a young man, who tend to be the most twitchiest and nervous of patients. When it was my turn I went in and put on my gown and was placed on the operating table. At first your eyes are wiped with some fluid and then your eye lashes are held back so they don’t get in the way. Pressure is then applied to your eyes for a matter of seconds and local anesthetic is dropped onto your eyeballs as you are told to keep looking at the red lights that are flashing on the screen in front of your eyes. The microkeratome then makes the incision and almost straightaway afterwards the laser begins. This lasts for a couple of minutes depending on your prescription. You are told to just keep your eyes looking forwards at the lights, which are flashing in front of you. The process is then repeated with the other eye.

I was a little startled and shocked when I was guided back into the waiting room. My eyes wouldn’t stop watering. I believed this to be because my prescription was quite high, which meant more of my cornea needed to be lasered than the other patients in the room. All the women seemed to be fine compared to the younger men like myself. I was told that this was because ‘women have a higher threshold for pain than men.’ There may be some truth in this! My eyes still hurt and were watering up until the 20 minutes of waiting were up. The doctor then inspected them and applied a little more pain-killer before I left to be guided through the streets of Manchester to the car by my Auntie. I won’t lie and say this was easy but we managed it in the end and before I knew it I was lying in bed asleep at home. As soon as the operation is done you are wondering how successful it is. However, you can’t really tell until you give it a few hours and then even days and months. At first you can see a little but your vision is extremely cloudy, like you are looking out of a frosty glass. This clears up gradually over the next few days. You also tend to get a little bit of a halo effect around lights, which makes vision interesting. I could tell though as soon as I woke up from my afternoon sleep that my eyesight was good. It was like I had woken up with my contacts on. At the after-care appointment, the next day, my eyes were tested and I had achieved 20-20 vision in my right eye and my left was not much worse. Yet even months after the operation my eyesight is still getting better. This is I believe down to your eyes adjusting and especially because your tear-ducts begin to heal, which makes your eyes less dry. When your eyes are dry your eyesight becomes worse. I now have eyesight that is much better than all of my friends and my dependency on the use of eye-drops is lessening. For the first week after treatment you need to use antibiotic and steroidal drops. Thereafter you need to keep using the lubricating eye drops otherwise your eyes easily become dry and tired. I also gave up swimming, the sauna and contact sports for about a month after treatment.

Having now been 3 months since I’ve had treatment I can honestly say it was the most amazing thing to happen to me in 2004. I am so glad that I went through with it. I won’t lie to you and say there aren’t risks and that the experience is particularly pleasant because it is not. It is just as the young man described it to me: ‘the strangest experience of your life.’ However, if done by specially trained Doctors like Dr. Doyle who work with reputable companies with accurate machines and lasers then all risks are minimized. To me it is probably the closest thing I could ever describe to be like experiencing a miracle. It is an amazing process that I will be forever grateful to. Although I am a little concerned about the long term effects of which no-one can be yet sure of, the outlook is promising: it has now been well over a decade since the process began on patients for real. I also believe that if you remain fit and healthy and take care of yourself your eyes will follow suit. I would dearly like to thank the efforts of all at Optimax in Manchester, especially Dr. Doyle, for making the experience as comfortable as possible and also my Auntie Linda for helping me on the day. I must also underline that all opinions and thoughts expressed within this report are my own. Some people may have been through the experience and wondered what all the fuss was about, I am however, just concerned with expressing my own honest experience of the events. If you are thinking of having the treatment my advice would be to have the consultation, do some research and then as long as you are comfortable with the idea, proceed. It could be the biggest life-changing experience you ever have!! - All the best for the future - Andrew Charles Jackson BA Msc

Dear Dr Doyle - Thank you very much for your reply. I would like to thank you personally for your expertise and skill. It is like opening up another world. I have worn spectacles for 40 years. Thanking you again. I wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. - Audrey Barass