A cataract is when the lens of the eye becomes cloudy, causing vision loss over an extended period of time. Generally, older people tend to be affected by cataracts.
To alleviate the effect of cataracts some people undergo cataract surgery which removes the defective lens and implants an artificial lens. The majority of people who undergo cataract surgery have improved vision.
However, as with all medical procedures, there are risks associated with cataract surgery. In some cases patients may come out of the procedure with poorer vision than before the surgery. The chances of these adverse outcomes are low fortunately. Common risks of cataract surgery include:
- Dropped nucleus
- Improper replacement lens strength
- Improper application of anesthesia
- Inadequate anesthetic
- Posterior capsule tear
- Post-operative complications
Patients may experience unexpected outcomes or injury, however this does not necessarily mean that medical malpractice was the cause. In order to win a medical malpractice case against an ophthalmologist it will need to be proven that he or she did not provide treatment that met the standard of care (defined as the level of care a reasonably competent health care professional with similar training in a similar medical community would have provided under the circumstances). A hurried doctor may undertake cataract surgeries that they are not fully trained for or not adequately prepared.
A medical expert witness with adequate knowledge of cataract surgeries will be necessary to testify as to the appropriate standard of care and to also show that the ophthalmologist in question fell short of the standard and that the sub-standard care resulted in injury.
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