Hundreds of thousands of patients undergo Lasik eye surgery each year and many walk away better for it. Being able to permanently discard your eyeglasses and see flawlessly without them can be a dream come true for some people. When something goes wrong, however, patients may wish they had stayed with their contacts.
Eye Lasik surgery involves a procedure undertaken by an ophthalmologist. During Lasik surgery, the surgeon cuts a flap in the cornea, the clear covering of the eye, and reshapes it with a laser. Ideally the process results in improved vision, sometimes 20-20 or better.
When this procedure does not go as planned, serious injuries can occur. In such cases, a victim needs to consult with a medical malpractice attorney to determine possible liability.
Common injuries or side effects
- Macular hole
- Corneal Ectasia
- Wrinkles in the cornea’s flap
- Double vision
- Light sensitivity
- Dry eyes
- Undercorrection or overcorrection
- Debris or growth under the flap
- Induced astigmatism
- Epithelium erosion
- Decentered ablation
- Halos around light sources at night
Unintended complications can arise if the ophthalmologist cuts too deeply or incorrectly angles the laser beam on the wrong portion of the eye. Problems may also arise if practitioners fail to carry out the proper screening processes for patients.
Patients should be thoroughly screened to determine if they are appropriate candidates for the surgery. Patients with dry eyes, abnormal pupil size, thin corneas or other risk factors may have to be excluded from consideration. If a patient has had previous eye injuries or surgery, is a diabetic, or takes certain medications, the risks may also be too high.
If something goes wrong during a surgery, facilities, physicians and staff may be subject to liability for medical malpractice. To prove malpractice, the victim needs to demonstrate that the surgeon failed to meet the standard of care within the medical community.
The legal issue of whether the ophthalmologist did or did not meet the acceptable standard of care must be determined by the expert knowledge of another surgeon and other witnesses. An experienced attorney who understands Lasik eye surgery can advise a victim regarding these complex legal issues.
Anyone who suffers complications may have to undergo laser enhancement or re-treatment, including use of antibiotics or other medications. The medical costs associated with this additional treatment is considered damages.
You are also entitled to recover damages due to pain and suffering and compensation for economic loss such as loss of income as well as loss of future earning capacity.
In some cases, if the victim can show that the surgeon intentionally acted in a harmful manner such as performing surgery while intoxicated, punitive damages may be awarded as well.
Eye Lasik surgery injury claims are difficult to handle and involve complex issues involving liability, filing requirements, time constraints, evidence, and damages. The resources and skills of an experienced Lasik eye surgery malpractice attorney are essential to recovering adequate compensation in these cases. If you or a loved one has been seriously injured due to potential medical malpractice, we can help.