Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Eye Stimulus Package


One of my colleagues,  Alan Carlson MD, and ophthalmologist at Duke University offered some humor for physicians,   ophthalmologists and others here.

He also mentioned on a post on one of our specialty listserv, the fact that he was surprised to see how much political commentary appeared on this 'scientific forum'. 

I thought I would post here, his modifications of procedure to satisfy the requirements of health reform.  At the end I have added a few of my own quips.

During the 2008 pre-ARVO Advanced Surface Ablation meeting in Ft. Lauderdale, I was stimulated by Dr. Dan Durrie’s suggestion that LASIK is perhaps an outdated term. Noting that our patients deserve and expect an updated term, one that reflects several recent surgical advances, he ultimately proposed the term SBK, or sub-Bowman’s keratomileusis, rather than simply “thin flap LASIK.”

I confess that my first thought was that this new name had more surgeon appeal and less consumer attraction. Along with SBK, a number of other terms designed to catch our interest as well as that of our patients include: “Custom LASIK,” “iLASIK,” and “EYE-Q LASIK,” among others. New terms as descriptors should impart a quality or aspect of new information to the consumer.


• Obama LASIK begins by prescribing Restasis preop and explaining to the patient that this is part of their new tear stimulus package. During the actual procedure, the surgeon making the flap prefers looking at the laser monitor, which also serves as a high-definition teleprompter, rather than looking through the microscope oculars.

• Palin LASIK stipulates that any surgical procedure not fully approved by the FDA will no longer be called “off-label.” Instead, this procedure will be designated on the consent form as “going rogue.”

• Bush LASIK occurs when the surgeon is willing to take on the tougher cases, even without all of the data, but leaves open what defines a “successful” end result, indications for enhancement, and a strategy that defines completion.

• Cheney LASIK. This technique emphasizes intense irrigation under the flap clearing the interface of all debris in a technique known as “saline boarding.”

• Hillary LASIK recognizes that co-managed patient care extends beyond the surgeon and the optometrist. Rather, it takes an entire postoperative team, or village, to care for the patient.

• Pelosi LASIK. is quite cumbersome, with a 1,900-page brochure and consent form, but also recognizes that all future advances in the field of refractive surgery can only occur when wealthier patients start paying their fair share.

• Gore LASIK stresses that good, consistent surgical outcomes can only occur if the surgeon monitors temperature, humidity and environmental aspects surrounding the laser. Scientific evidence suggests that enhancement rates are increasing throughout the country resulting from a general warming trend in excimer laser rooms.

• The Rev. Jesse Jackson LASIK involves communication during the surgical procedure. Instead of the common reassurances of “perfect” and reminder to look at the flashing light, the surgeon intones short phrases that have a distinctive cadence and rhyming delivery, such as: “… I think it is basic, you’ll benefit from LASIK. Look at the light, and all will be right.”

We must not forget our commentators as well.

• Keith Olbermann LASIK addresses all negative outcomes and patient complaints by placing the blame on the patient’s eye-care provider for the previous eight years.

• Bill O’Reilly LASIK entails instructing the patient during surgery to avoid being cantankerous rather than asking him to look at the flashing light.

• Sean Hannity LASIK pronounces all satisfied LASIK patients as great Americans.

• Rush Limbaugh LASIK reminds all satisfied LASIK patients that the surgeon’s special talents are on loan from God.

• Lou Dobbs LASIK is generally limited to enhancements, but challenges the location and authenticity of the original LASIK procedure.





Surgery for





My own thoughts

Bill O'Reilly Lasik offers the 'No Spin Laser". With this technique the autotracker is disengaged and the flying spot software is also disengaged.  Pinhead or Patriot enhancements  are also available. The laser has been certified as 'fair and balanced'

Oprah Winfrey Lasikimage offers the best seller list as a benefit and value added feature.

Rush Limbaugh Lasik offers large amounts of pain management along with  a copy of his book, "See, I told you So".


Governor Mark Sanford [mark-sanford.jpg] Lasik offers a free trip to Argentina for both the procedure and post operative visits. An option is a free escort service.

General McCrystal Lasik offers a free trip to the United States with a refundable return ticket to Afghanistan (cannot be transferred). The procedure is pre-approved and in accordance with all DOD regulations, and is free of charge.

BP Lasik



utilizes a mixture of homeopathic oil mixed with saline and a pinch of pelican feathers, oysters and shrimp, placed on the cornea at the conclusion of the procedure. The procedure also comes with a free grant application for financial aid.

Dr. Carlson's commentary regarding the level of political commentary is well taken.  Doctors are 'mad as hell' and aren't going to take it anymore.....

A prematurely retired ophthalmologist.......

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