Thursday, August 09, 2007

Isn't LASIK Eye Surgery Cheating?

Tiger's thrilled with his new 20/15 vision through LASIK surgery asks an interesting question "If steroids are cheating, why isn't LASIK?"

A month ago, Mark McGwire was hauled before a congressional hearing and lambasted as a cheater for using a legal, performance-enhancing steroid precursor when he broke baseball's single-season home run record.

A week ago, Tiger Woods was celebrated for winning golf's biggest tournament, the Masters, with the help of superior vision he acquired through laser surgery, which upgraded his vision to 20/15. Golfers Scott Hoch, Hale Irwin, Tom Kite, and Mike Weir have hit the 20/15 mark. So have baseball players Jeff Bagwell, Jeff Cirillo, Jeff Conine, Jose Cruz Jr., Wally Joyner, Greg Maddux, Mark Redman, and Larry Walker. Amare Stoudemire and Rip Hamilton of the NBA have done it, along with NFL players Troy Aikman, Ray Buchanan, Tiki Barber, Wayne Chrebet, and Danny Kanell.

What's the difference?

And what about high-powered contact lenses? McGwire's custom-designed lenses improved his vision to 20/10, which means he could see at a distance of 20 feet what a person with normal, healthy vision could see at 10 feet. Think what a difference that makes in hitting a fastball. Imagine how many games those lenses altered.


At 8/09/2007 10:01 AM, Blogger deathsweep said...

Honestly, no difference whatsoever. Just a different means of accomplishing the same result. Great comparison!


At 8/09/2007 10:29 AM, Blogger LasikExpert said...

If you think that all you need to play like Tiger Woods is better than 20/20 vision, you have not played golf. There is an important difference to consider. Lasik is surgery and every surgery carries an element of risk.

I work for a nonprofit Lasik patient advocacy. We do not provide Lasik, just Lasik information and we certify Lasik doctors based upon patient outcomes.

If the Lasik surgery is successful the overall risk is lowered for the patient because contact lenses and glasses are no longer required, however if the Lasik surgery is not hit the target and/or induces a complication, the patient's vision may be compromised.

The odds of successful Lasik are very, very good by medical standards, but no surgery is perfect. Lasik is a calculated, albeit small, risk that could have interrupted Tiger's career rather than enhanced it.

Glenn Hagele

I am not a doctor.

At 8/11/2007 9:39 AM, Blogger deathsweep said...

Am I supposed to be impressed that you basically told me that any surgery is a gamble/possible flop? But is vision enhancement any different than any othe type of enhancement? No. I never said that all anyone needed was better eyesight to play like Tiger Woods; those are your words not mine. And, it is obvious that you aren't a doctor.


At 9/23/2007 9:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

ok, so what about glasses, tommy john surgery, any reconstructive surgery for that matter? should all types of 'enhancement' - i.e. reconstructing a torn ACL - be considered cheating by this logic? i don't think so. i think a line needs to be drawn between illegal performance enhancing drug and a legal and increasingly common procedure (even among non-professional athletes) that improves ones eyesight.

At 10/18/2007 5:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is such a hard thing to regulate. Promoting body modification to enhance sports ability is really something that shouldn't be promoted. However, then how do you deal with athletes who actually need the surgery?


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