In a statement the FDA said it "considers LASIK lasers to be reasonably safe and effective when used as intended" and said it disagreed with Waxler's claim that they ignored problems when the procedure was approved.
Additionally the FDA said it issued a letter to LASIK providers cracking down on false and misleading advertising and said it will follow up with providers who were found to have "inadequate adverse event reporting systems."
At the same time, the agency is now beginning a study to look more closely at side effects and quality-of-life after LASIK.
Others in the field also maintain that the procedure is safe, pointing to the fact that the vast majority of patients go through LASIK and gain improved eyesight and without permanent problem.
"Most patients are very satisfied. Very happy," said Dr. Penny Asbell, a LASIK pioneer and professor of ophthalmology at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York. She said studies have shown that 95 percent of LASIK patients are satisfied with their results.
But at the same time, she said, not everyone is a good candidate to get the procedure. Prospective patients could and should be more cautious when they talk to a doctor about getting LASIK, she said.
"Sometimes, I think, instead of asking, 'How many LASIK procedures you have done?' you should actually ask the doctor, 'How many have you turned away?'" she said.
Waxler also said people considering LASIK need to be more careful before deciding to get the operation.
"Read everything you can," he said. "There's no urgency to do it, so make sure you understand the worst that can happen to your eyes and you can live with the worst."