Laser eye surgery can be a miracle for people who are losing their eyesight. However, this miracle can quickly become a nightmare if reasonable care is not exercised by your eye surgeon. Surgery on the eye is a very delicate procedure. Even with the improvement of lasers over the years, catastrophic consequences can still occur because of errors made by a physician or assistant during the surgery.
Humans are very visual creatures. Most of us are dependent on our eyesight as our primary sense. If we lose our vision, there can be dramatic impacts on our careers, our families, and our ability to manage our lives.
There are several ways medical malpractice involving laser eye surgery can occur, including:
- Failing to screen candidates properly – There are some people who are not safe candidates for corrective eye surgery. However, turning people away is not how doctors make money. Unfortunately, when a physician operates on a person whose corneas are too peaked for a safe and productive surgery, then serious vision problems can occur.
- Entering the wrong measurements – As part of the laser eye surgery process, the doctor measures parts of the eye. Then those measurements are entered in to sophisticated medical machinery. If the measurements entered are incorrect, then catastrophic eye damage can occur.
Illnesses, such as diabetes, can also lead to complications during any type of eye surgery. However, as long as you were aware of the risks before the surgery, a reasonable complication that results in injury is not necessarily an indication of medical malpractice.
After laser eye surgery there are changes to the cornea that can affect a person’s vision in an adverse way. There can be a worsening of vision that cannot be corrected later. Some people experience seeing halos around objects, or develop double vision. Others experience problems driving at night, even if daytime vision is clearer.
The impact on a person’s vision is not necessarily the only issue. The eye itself can be affected. In some cases, the eye can become too dry, requiring the use of artificial tears to moisten the eye. Some patients can experience keratoconus, a disorder where the cornea changes shape and bulges outward, resulting in a deterioration of vision. This may be treated by having a patient wear two pairs of contact lenses at the same time. Other patients may require more surgery or even a corneal transplant. It is important to note that keratoconus can occur in people who have never had laser eye surgery.
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