LASIK surgeries typically take 15 minutes or less. However, one small act of negligence can prove costly for the patient. Thousands of LASIK patients have suffered loss of vision or other serious visual problems because of the surgeon’s error or negligence. Here are some of the things that can go wrong because of negligence during laser eye surgery.
Flap complications: Surgical mishaps during the cutting of the flap may result in serious damage to the cornea with vision loss. There are several typed of flap complications including thin flaps, thick flaps, irregular flaps, partial or incomplete flaps, buttonholed or donut-shaped flaps, free caps (the flap is cut completely off), flap striae (wrinkles), and decentered flaps.
Application of laser to cornea: Serious injuries can occur during surgery if the laser is not properly applied to the cornea. While LASIK surgery can yield positive results when the doctor is experienced and competent, it could become a disaster in the hands of an incompetent surgeon.
Equipment maintenance: Malfunctioning equipment of defective equipment cause a number of problems for LASIK patients. If a patient is injured because of the laser center’s or surgeon’s failure to maintain the equipment properly, then the injured patient could file a malpractice claim.
Post-operation complications: One of the most important phases in surgery is after the surgery. Post-operative care is extremely important after LASIK. Your doctor cannot refuse to see you once the procedure is over. In fact, you should be thoroughly checked periodically after the surgery to make sure there are no complications. Infections – that could range from mild to serious – are among the most post-surgery complications.
Failure to manage eyes: It is the doctor’s duty to inform the patient about how to manage and care for his or her eyes after the LASIK procedure. Failure to properly manage post-operative care is one of the main reasons for complications after surgery.
Auto-immune complications: Patients who have an autoimmune disease are at an increased risk for LASIK surgery complications. Besides risking a poor outcome from the procedure, other LASIK surgical risks these patients face include corneal thinning, corneal melts, corneal ulcers and irregular healing as well as other eye infections.
Laser product defects: Over the years, several complications associated with laser keratomes have been reported to the FDA. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in February 2007 recalled all Alcon LADARVision 6000 excimer lasers used for LASIK laser eye surgery. This recall came after patients experienced an unusually high percentage of serious complications after this particular brand of laser was used for the procedure. During LASIK, an excimer laser reshapes the cornea of the eye and changes refractive error with the goal of correcting nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism and reducing the patient’s need for glasses or contact lenses. When surgeons use or operate with a defective product, it can have devastating consequences for patients.
Failure to screen: The most common cases of LASIK surgery malpractice involve failure to screen patients properly. The issue is not with how the surgery was performed. Rather, it was because the surgery never should have been performed at all. Surgery is not appropriate for patients who have ectasia or suspicion for similar diseases of the cornea. Also, patients with thin corneas may not be suitable candidates for LASIK surgery. The decision whether a patient is a suitable LASIK candidate needs to be carefully assessed by a knowledgeable and competent LASIK surgeon. Errors occur when the surgeons are too busy or delegate such decision making to less-trained staff.
If you or a loved one has suffered the side effects of a poorly done LASIK surgery, if you were not screened properly for pre-existing conditions prior to your LASIK surgery or if your surgeon botched your LASIK surgery, please contact the Law Office of Todd J. Krouner to find out if you have a case. We will review your medical records with a renowned expert and we will represent you if the liability is clear and your damages are substantial. If you would like to contact us about the merit of your claim call us today at (914) 238-5800 or send us an email.