Lasik surgery is one of the most common elective surgical procedures today. Millions of people opt for lasik surgery to avoid having to wear eye glasses. As a result of the surgery’s effectiveness, more people are having the procedure done every day. However, with the growing popularity of the procedure, there are also numerous cases of lasik surgery malpractice that have resulted from negligent surgeons and inadequate lasik surgery facilities.
Lasik surgery was developed in 1990 by two Greek doctors. Lasik is an abbreviation for laser-assisted in situ Keratomileusis. The lasik surgery procedure is a laser surgery where the corneal tissue is cut and a laser is used to correct visual impairments. Typical problems that are corrected with lasik surgery are astigmatism, myopia and hyperopia. These are some of the most common visual impairments for a person to have.
Most of the side effects from lasik surgery subside a few weeks after the procedure. However, sometimes patients experience long-term problems from lasik surgery malpractice that range from blurred vision and dry eyes to astigmatism, light sensitivity, macular holes, pain and sometimes blindness. Surgeons report a rate of 1 percent for lasik surgery malpractice but many other sources claim the rate of lasik surgery malpractice is much higher.
Preparing for Lasik Surgery
Before undergoing the lasik procedure, the patient will meet with a surgery coordinator to discuss expectations. The patient’s medical history will be reviewed and the coordinator will conduct a full eye examination to help avoid potential lasik surgery malpractice. The initial tests will include measuring the thickness of the corneas, eye refraction, a corneal mapping, pupil dilation tests, and an air pressure test.
Lasik Surgery Procedure
Lasik surgery works by permanently changing the shape of a person’s cornea. This technique is derived from the fact that a person’s vision problems usually stem from the way the eye focuses an image based on its shape. For example, presbyopia, myopia and hyperopia are all vision problems that affect the distance at which a person is able to focus their vision. This is a result of the way the corneas of their eyes are shaped. By correcting these problems, a person’s vision becomes normal.
For the procedure, a laser instrument known as a microkeratome or femtosecond is used for cutting a thin flap in the cornea. The cornea is then peeled back and the corneal tissues underneath are reshaped using another laser. After the cornea is reshaped, the cornea flap is replaced to heal.
Healing is usually very rapid after lasik eye surgery unless there has been lasik surgery malpractice. Blurred or hazy vision is common just after the operation but improves in less than a week. Afterward, the patient will be scheduled for follow-up appointments to evaluate the effectiveness of the procedure. These check-ups will occur after the first days and until six months after surgery.
Risk of Lasik Surgery Malpractice
While lasik surgery can free most people from needing eye glasses or contact lenses, it is a permanent visual correction procedure so has many inherent risks. The incidence of lasik surgery malpractice is rare but is possible for any patient. One of the main risks of lasik surgery malpractice is loss of vision or persistent and debilitating vision problems.
According to research, one of the main predictors of a lasik surgery malpractice claim is a higher volume of surgeries performed. Strong predictors of lasik surgery malpractice were found at a surgical volume of 100 or more per year. Other variables that could contribute to lasik surgery malpractice are level of advertising, preoperative time spent with the patient, and level of comanagement.
Lasik Surgery Medical Malpractice
If a lasik surgery operation has gone wrong, the patient should easily be able to notice. While usual discomfort occurs during the first 24 to 48 hours, any problems afterward might be a sign of lasik surgery malpractice.
Symptoms of lasik surgery malpractice include:
- Halos occurring around objects
- Difficulty seeing at night or in the dark
- Fluctuating vision problems
- Dry eyes
In some cases, people will need further surgery to correct vision abnormalities, although reparation for damage might be indeterminable in a case of lasik surgery malpractice. In a usual case, follow-up surgeries might be necessary to fix over or under-corrected vision problems.
Some of the other risks of lasik surgery malpractice include corneal infection from inadequate operating facilities, corneal scarring from lasik surgery malpractice, decreased visual acuity from lasik surgery malpractice, scratchiness, or sometimes permanent vision loss from lasik surgery malpractice.
Abbott, RL. “Medical malpractice predictors and risk factors for ophthalmologists performing LASIK and PRK surgery..” National Center for Biotechnology Information. 101. (2003): 239-274. Web. 18 Sep. 2013. <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14971582>.
“LASIK Eye Surgery.” New York Times – Health Guide. N.p., 02 Jun 2012. Web. 18 Sep 2013. <http://health.nytimes.com/health/guides/surgery/lasik-eye-surgery/overview.html>.