Claim:   Web site offers a device for performing LASIK eye surgery at home.

Status:   False.

Example:   [Collected via e-mail, 2006]

I want to know if this is a real machine — or a scam

Origins:   LASIK (Laser in Situ Keratomileusis)

surgery is a technique for correcting certain types of refractive problems with the eye (e.g., myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism) through the precise and controlled removal of corneal tissue by a special laser that reshapes the cornea. In the U.S., only ophthalmologists (i.e., physicians who specialize in the medical and surgical care of the eyes) are allowed to perform LASIK surgery, and all such procedures must use lasers that have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Any vendor, therefore, offering LASIK devices for patients to use on themselves to perform at-home eye surgery would be both dangerous and acting illegally. Fortunately, the LASIK@Home web site referenced above is merely a hoax, not a serious attempt to market such devices. (Among the many clues to the site’s invalidity are a lack of a phone number, a physical or mailing address, and a functioning mechanism for ordering the product supposedly being advertised).

Last updated:   9 April 2006