Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis, or LASIK, is a common surgery in Illinois, and the goal is to correct the vision so that a person no longer needs to rely on glasses or contact lenses. It involves the use of a laser to change the shape of an eye’s clear covering, which is called the cornea. Typically, a flap is cut and folded back so that the ophthalmologist can access the middle section of the cornea, or stroma. A portion of it is vaporized and the flap is replaced.
LASIK is often thought of as a safe procedure, but any medical errors lawyer Illinois would be able to recount stories of patients who have suffered injury.
Mistakes may create irreversible eye problems
Even when the doctor identifies a patient as an ideal candidate, about 4 percent of those who undergo the procedure are not able to achieve fully corrected eyesight. The technically complex nature of eye surgery introduces the potential for mistakes that can lead to problems not present before the procedure, and changes to the cornea are not reversible, according to WebMD. In one case, a man still had poor vision after surgery and corrections, and experienced new symptoms such as blurring and ghost images. Glare, halos, poor night vision and dry eyes are other problems that may arise.
After many similar reports of complications and eye injuries, the FDA created a website to provide consumers with objective information about LASIK surgery. The site offers literature on the details of the operation and a comprehensive list of potential issues so a person can weigh all the pros, cons and risks involved before reaching a decision. Information provided includes a glossary of related terms, a list of FDA-approved lasers, and other material. To lower the risk of problems, a medical errors lawyer in Illinois may recommend that patients visit the site before electing to experience the LASIK procedure.
Not everyone should undergo LASIK
The FDA recommends asking many questions before scheduling LASIK. In particular, it is important to ask specifically about how likely the current eye condition of the patient is to cause an eye injury. For example, large pupils and thin corneas present more risk of poor outcomes. Those whose eyes have undergone a prescription change within a year are also not good candidates. Blows to the face such as those occurring in contact sports can damage the eyes after surgery.
When eye damage occurs because of LASIK, a medical errors lawyer in Illinois may be able to provide advice on the best way to proceed to seek compensation.