Keith Hyams

A BBC article prompted me to contact London Vision Clinic about Lasik Treatment. I ruled them out because I was uncomfortable with some of their business methods. I then asked an optician if he knew of a high quality clinic offering Lasik and he told me that he had heard good reports about AVC, a clinic of which I was unaware of at the time.

Although professionalism, experience and top quality equipment had to take precedence over price, I knew how much I wanted to pay for each eye and that I would shop around until I found a clinic that offered the right combination of quality and price. One of the reasons why I felt able to pursue the AVC lead was that they offered free initial consultations, something that was important as I was expecting to look at least 3 clinics before making a decision. When I arrived at AVC for my initial appointment, I was immediately impressed: the equipment seemed first class and Pawel Marcinkowski was clearly highly competent and efficient. In addition, he appeared to be continually checking and rechecking measurements.

At the end of the initial consultation, C.T.Pillai refused to carry out Lasik treatment because my corneas were too thin and offered CLR as an alternative. The price was far higher than I had expected to pay for laser treatment and the idea of having my lenses pureed by ultrasound and then vacuumed out of my eyes lacked instant appeal. However, by this time, I was so impressed with the clinic that I decided to go ahead regardless.

Nothing that happened subsequent to that initial appointment changed my opinion about AVC. All aspects of the multi- talents Pawel’s work continues to be highly impressive and the support staff, including the nurse at Collindale and the operating theatre support staff, are highly trained and very good at their jobs. Their checking of vital data at every step and the record keeping are also very impressive indeed. The surgeon, Professor Filipec, a man with a very striking CV, will not be the cheapest that AVC could have employed and is further evidence of a commitment to quality.

At the time of the initial interview I felt that C.T.Pillai’s prediction of the outcome might be ambitious. At the time of writing, 12 days after the left eye operation and 5 days after the right eye operation. The actual results have far exceeded those predictions; both distance and close up resolution are far better than suggested could be the case. In addition, I get more accurate colour feedback, better contrast and suffer less from VDU glare. It is too soon for the novelty to have worn off and so I amuse myself by walking the streets reading car number plates at distances that I would never had thought possible.

In a nutshell, clinical procedure at AVC is of the highest quality that I have ever seen and the clinical decisions taken were excellent, due to the quality of staff, equipment and procedure.

Non- clinical standards were also very high but I can suggest a minor improvement. With the large disparity between my two eyes, together with the fact that I was wearing contact lens in the left eye only, it is clear that I would want the left eye treated first. The option was not offered to me and does not appear to have been considered; I got the impression that the right eye was treated first in every case. When I phoned the clinic and asked for the left eye to be treated first, C.T.Pillai agreed immediately and the change in plan was properly recorded and integrated into the admirable system of cross checking that they complete at each stage.

I understand that AVC informs GPs of its services. I was referred to AVC by an optician and if it is not done already, the distribution of brochures informing opticians of the services offered by AVC may pay dividends in terms of future patient referrals.

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