Texas Optometry Board
September 15, 2012

Tom D. Ballard, OD
6446 LBJ Freeway
Dallas, TX 75240

I am writing you to update you on how my vision is still ruined after having two LASIK procedures performed at your facility by Dr. Larry R. Taub. Both you and Dr. Taub have been dishonest with me on numerous occasions, including during my very first office visit with you on 2/9/2010. I want you be aware that your actions and the information you provide or withhold from potential patients can lead to very serious consequences. By providing quotes for procedures that patients are not receiving, lying to your potential patients, and purposely withholding relevant information about permanent side affects of LASIK surgery, you are duping people into procedures they would not have had they been told the truth. The uncertainty of surgical outcomes is not a defense for dishonest or illegal acts.

On 2/9/2010 you personally handed me a written price quote for a Custom LASIK procedure. At that point a contract was formed that I would receive a Custom LASIK procedure, not conventional LASIK. A month after you giving me that document I paid for Custom LASIK, and Dr. Taub performed conventional LASIK. I have requested an additional copy of the quote a number of times over the past 2 years and you continue to avoid providing this document to me because you know that you gave me a quote for custom LASIK, and that I will submit this document as evidence against both you and Dr. Taub for breach of contract and medical malpractice. In the unsigned response your office provided to me on 05/02/2012, your office stated that "There is no document in your records in regard to a price quote. Additionally, all LASIK procedures were priced equally with no differentiation for Custom LASIK". I am not concerned with the price of custom versus conventional LASIK. I am concerned with the fact that you provided me a quote for Custom LASIK, and that is what I paid for. Instead, in conjunction with Dr. Taub, you chose to perform a conventional LASIK procedure without my knowledge or consent. The price being the same for both Custom and Conventional LASIK did not give you the right to perform whatever procedure you felt like without my consent. What you did was illegal. Your office has handed out many copies of this price quote over the years and I am sure you have a copy somewhere or can reproduce this document without any trouble. Stating that you do not have a copy of this price quote will not make this go away. I would never have had the surgery if I was informed at any point that I was not a candidate for Custom LASIK. Prior to the surgery I also asked if I was going to receive Custom LASIK and you stated "Yes". At another point after the first surgery when I was having issues with my vision I again asked you if I had received Custom LASIK and your response was again "Yes". These were lies. Your dishonesty has cost me my vision, and destroyed my quality of life.

In your responses to the Texas Optometry Board you also lied about us ever having a discussion about my participation in boxing after LASIK. You did a pretty good job convincing the Texas Optometry Board that this would have been a memorable discussion as it was unique. The truth is you know we had a discussion regarding my participation in boxing. I asked you about boxing because of the reference to wearing eye protection in the informed consent. Eye protection is not permitted in boxing. My wife and I both had a similar discussion with Dr. Larry Taub prior to the first procedure. Dr. Taub did not indicate that I would be at any additional risk for injury after LASIK. In fact, he went above and beyond to explain how a boxing glove was a large blunt object that would not damage my eyes. Regardless of my vision quality after the procedure it would never have been safe for me to return to boxing. There is no way in I would have ever given up my participation in a sport that I enjoyed just to get out of wearing disposable soft contact lenses. Both you and Dr. Taub lied to me. The two of you STOLE a once in a lifetime opportunity to participate in the Dallas Golden Gloves from me and robbed me of my ability to continue participating in boxing for the rest of my life.

You purposely withheld relevant information from me that would have influenced my decision to have LASIK.  The first informed consent you gave me made no mention of pupil size or degree of correction affecting: A) The accuracy of the initial procedure, B) The time it would take to heal, or C) the increased probability of night vision issues, and D) that it was not possible to predict whether I would experience night time or low light vision problems. You did not disclose this information to me until prior to the retreatment, which occurred six months later. The last sheet of the second consent document given to me prior to the retreatment indicated that it was revised 02/2008. You had this information for more than two years before I had the first surgery and did not disclose it to me. Furthermore, when I asked you about night vision issues you told me they are no longer an issue with the latest procedures (A reference to Custom LASIK, not conventional) and that they would be no worse than with my contact lenses. This too was a lie. My night vision was important to me because I enjoyed watching movies and playing video games with my wife. I also spend a significant amount of time in dim lighting conditions while performing my job duties. Your lies have ruined the hobbies I shared with my wife. I am limited at work because of the damage to my eye sight that you and Dr. Taub are responsible for.

You never disclosed to me that the corneal flap heals in an incomplete manner and never fully adheres to the underlying tissue. This is one side effect that ALL LASIK patients experience. Purposely withholding information like this in order to trick patients is a disgusting act that should result in the revocation of your optometry license, Dr. Taub's medical license, and a long prison sentence for each of you.

Your surgeon, Larry R. Taub, dispensed expired eye medications to me for a condition that I never had, and instructed me to use the medication for 6 months before I would see an improvement. I find it difficult to believe that of the 10-12 different optometrists and ophthalmologists I had been examined by at the time that the one ophthalmologist who permanently damaged my vision was the only one smart enough identify a condition requiring this medication. This erroneous diagnosis was a distraction used to buy you more time, and delayed me from receiving care to potentially salvage my vision.

You do not run an honest optometry practice and you should not be in business. You are not even honest enough to allow all patient reviews to be posted on your website. Your practice screens the reviews submitted by patients and prevents reviews with serious negative claims such as mine from being displayed. This is also false advertisement. I contacted Demand Force after my review did not appear, as it met all of the requirements at the time it was submitted. Of course they would not comment. Again, you are dishonest.

You should have been honest and disclosed complete and truthful information in your informed consent and during our conversations prior to the initial surgery. Why did you feel the need to withhold relevant information about risks and side effects? Why did you give me a quote for Custom LASIK and then perform conventional LASIK without my knowledge or consent, and why did you and Dr. Taub lie to me about being able to safely participate in boxing after having LASIK? You have truly ruined my quality of life. I now wear a $3,500 pair of scleral lenses to help improve my vision well enough so that I can perform most of the job duties I had before having my eyes ruined at your facility. Glasses are essentially worthless for correcting my vision to perform my job.

I still have blurry and fluctuating vision throughout each day, recurring corneal erosions, ruined night vision, double and triple vision, eye pain daily, and I now have the added burden from depression and anger because you lied to me and robbed me of the hobbies and life I once enjoyed. You have left me with a lifetime of vision complications, substantially increased vision care costs, and unable to participate in my hobbies or enjoy life. I had absolutely no issues with my vision or with my health prior to meeting you. Was my money that important to you?

LASIK is a destructive procedure than hurts the health of all patients' corneas. Dishonest LASIK doctors like you and Dr. Taub are a cancer among doctors who heal. Since you were not willing to accept responsibility for your lies and actions I have created the website
www.MikesLASIKHell.com. This website will serve as my patient review of you and Dr. Taub. I will warn others of your illegal, dishonest, and unethical tactics, and show them the true cost of having LASIK and dealing with dishonest doctors like you. Currently the site is in its infancy and has an amateur appearance but will soon undergo a professional makeover.

The new site will include scanned copies of all communications between us, Texas Optometry Board, Texas Medical Board, FDA, Texas Attorney General's offices, other doctors, copies of the false and misleading information that you provided on your websites prior to updating it, etc. I will include all of the ugly details that have played out over the past 2.5 years and documentation to support all of my claims. I am also willing to sacrifice my privacy so that others may save themselves from a lifetime of unhappiness due to ruined vision. The website will be updated regularly and will be a permanent warning to others seeking information about your services, and to other doctors and associates of First Eye Care. The website will also provide resources for others who have been permanently injured by dishonest and unethical LASIK doctors like you and Dr. Larry R. Taub.