'Young, healthy' man issues dire warning about getting LASIK surgery

@hutchhayden/TikTok Roman Zaiets/ShutterStock (Licensed)

‘Eye floaters are absolutely the worst thing’: ‘Young, healthy’ man issues dire warning about getting LASIK surgery

'They will destroy someone's vision for money.'


Jack Alban


Posted on Apr 23, 2024   Updated on Apr 22, 2024, 6:52 pm CDT

“You messed up my eyes and I hope you see this,” a TikToker named Hayden (@hutchhayden) says at the end of a viral, 7-minute TikTok clip that’s amassed 3.1 million views as of Monday.

Hayden has posted several videos detailing the damage he says he received as a result of undergoing LASIK eye surgery, a vision correctional procedure. The FDA ruled patients needed to be appropriately warned of its potential complications by healthcare providers, as per The New York Times in 2022.

Experience Life also wrote about the “controversy” surrounding the surgery, writing, “The FDA cites side effects that can include dry-eye syndrome, light sensitivity, blurred vision, and visual disturbances, such as glare, halos, starbursts, and double vision. In rare cases, symptoms can become severe and permanent, leading to loss of vision, interference with your usual activities, and pain.”

According to Hayden’s video, he experienced all of the above and wasn’t made fully aware of the potential complications as a result of undergoing LASIK. He’s warning viewers against undergoing the procedure, while also sharing how he lost his legal battle against the healthcare facility that performed the procedure.

He says it left him in lifelong pain and an inability to see in the dark—and he’s not the only person who’s claimed that LASIK has made his vision worse, either.

Hayden names the doctor and medical center where he received his laser eye surgery in the video. He says he was named an “ideal candidate” for the surgery.

“He said I was the perfect person for the surgery,” the TikToker says, and says how his doctor told him he was “young” and “healthy” and that his corneas looked good enough to go under LASIK.

When Hayden asked his doctor about any potential complications, he claims the healthcare professional informed him he only ever had one person come back to him to correct the work that had been done.

The TikToker also says he was only ever told about three potential problems that could happen but found out more complications associated with the procedure than he initially thought.

Hayden says the following day after his surgery, he couldn’t believe that when he woke up he could “pretty much see.” It left him “excited” and “over the moon” that everything seemed to be a roaring success right out of the gate.

Two months later, Hayden says he had been using his “drops,” “medicine” and “sleep goggles” as post-op care. However, he says he was experiencing “constant burning eye pain.”

These side effects, Hayden claimed, were supposed to be “temporary” but they weren’t going away.

@hutchhayden PLEASE watch the entire thing before commenting. Horizon Eye Care; Dr. Hunter Stolldorf. Hard to consolidate the past year of my life into a 7 min video. #lasereyesurgery #lasik #donoharm #chronicillness #chronicpain ♬ original sound – Hayden

He claims that following his surgery, all of the healthcare staff at the facility were “gaslighting” him into thinking that he was going to heal.

Despite being given brimonidine for his enlarged pupils, Hayden says he was still in pain months later and developed “eye floaters.” Eventually, Hayden says he sunk into a depression and called LASIK the “worst mistake” of his life.

“I’d seen probably 20 doctors at this point all of the unaffiliated with LASIK ones…completely just refuted what my surgeon and my clinic had told me,” the TikToker says.

Hayden listed two main “lies” his doctor allegedly told him: The mitigation of his pupil size with the medication (which he says wasn’t safe) that he was given and that his floaters weren’t a result of the procedure he underwent.

Hayden says that despite gathering evidence and hiring a legal team to represent him in court against this healthcare facility, the case was ultimately dropped because another LASIK surgeon was brought into court to testify on the operating surgeon’s behalf.

Hayden says that the supporting surgeon supported the healthcare facility’s assessment of his recovery: That he could probably see the floaters now because his vision is better and that the size of his pupils didn’t matter.

The TikToker says that he is still in pain and is unable to see at night as a result of his LASIK eye surgery and that during the trial, the supporting surgeon commented on the procedure by stating, “Chronic pain and nerve damage is an unfortunate but known complication of laser eye surgery.”

Hayden says that the surgeons who willingly perform this procedure on their patients know that at some point, “they will destroy someone’s vision for money.”

Many viewers responded with sympathy, with others stating that they have always been leery of LASIK.

“My eye doctor wears her glasses and has never had Lasik,” one said. “That means something to me.”

This was a question posed by someone else who wrote, “Have y’all ever wondered why eye- doctors never get LASIK..?”

Another penned, “My husband is an optometrist and we both refused lasik. Too many botched procedures. We wear glasses & contacts.”

Someone else replied, “I hear stories like this all the time and they always say oh it’s less than 1%. That’s more than enough for me to never get Lasik.”

“I almost got LASIK 10 years ago,” a user wrote. “The doctor refused to operate on me because I had thin cornea and dry eyes. He told me that I could go blind. Thank God for his honesty.”

The Daily Dot has reached out to the clinic Hayden says he got his surgery done via email and Hayden via TikTok comment.

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*First Published: Apr 23, 2024, 7:00 am CDT