When it comes to the most popular elective medical procedures available today, LASIK eye surgery is at the top of the list. Every year, millions of people choose to get rid of their glasses by having LASIK procedures performed on their eyes, but there is an unfortunate side effect: the number of LASIK malpractice lawsuits filed against surgeons or facilities where the procedure is performed has increased in the years since LASIK was invented. Eye enhancement, vision correction, and LASIK surgery have all become very common procedures in the United States, and while the treatments can be beneficial and successful, the risks of the procedures may not be as well-known or as publicized as they should be. Mistakes in laser eye surgery and LASIK can result in severe vision problems and permanent injury, including vision loss and total blindness. If you have been harmed as a result of LASIK malpractice in Upstate New York, the attorneys at DeFrancisco & Falgiatano may be able to assist you. We serve clients throughout Upstate New York and have offices in several convenient locations. Our extensive experience in the field of medical malpractice is reflected in the results we have obtained for our clients.
LASIK, which stands for Laser-Assisted in Situ Keratomileusis, was developed by Greek doctors in 1990. Because it is considered a cosmetic procedure, the procedure, which costs about $4,100 on average, is not covered by most health insurance plans. The procedure entails making a surgical incision in the corneal tissue of the eye and then reshaping the eye with a laser. Myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), and astigmatism are all treated with LASIK procedures. The majority of patients seek the procedure to be free of the inconvenience of glasses or contacts.
Most LASIK-related complications will resolve themselves after a few weeks of recovery time. However, a significant number of patients have reported long-term or even permanent debilitating visual problems such as halos or double vision, development of severe dry eye, bulging eye cornea, under-correction or over-correction, pain, light sensitivity, macular holes, blurry vision, or even blindness. While there is no official complication rate, some LASIK surgeons claim a rate of around 1%, which many believe is far too low. However, serious complications associated with LASIK surgery should make consumers reconsider whether they should proceed with the procedure. As early as 2014, FDA officials reported that nearly half of the subjects who were symptom-free before LASIK reported visual symptoms such as halos, starbursts, glare, and ghosting after LASIK surgery. Almost 30% of patients who had no dry eye symptoms prior to LASIK developed dry eye symptoms after the procedure.
Keratoconus, which means that a patient’s cornea is cone-shaped, is one of the most common conditions that preclude the use of LASIK surgery. A variety of other corneal defects can make LASIK surgery difficult to perform, and errors in pre-surgical screening for these corneal defects are one of the most common ways that LASIK surgeons make mistakes that could lead to cases of LASIK malpractice.
When it comes to LASIK surgery cases, it is considered malpractice if a surgeon or doctor fails to provide the appropriate standard of care for a patient, and that failure results in injury. It is uncommon for a LASIK surgery injury to result from the procedure itself; the true danger arises when doctors or surgeons fail to properly identify pre-existing conditions in patients that make the procedure too dangerous to perform in the first place.
According to recent research, LASIK patients may be more likely to develop long-term eye complications, such as needing earlier cataract surgery or developing a serious vision-threatening condition. LASIK can also make it difficult to detect glaucoma, which can lead to blindness if left untreated.
Not everyone is a good candidate for LASIK eye surgery. Among the risk factors for LASIK injuries or an unfavorable outcome are:
- Advanced age • Pregnancy • Active autoimmune disorders • Thin or irregular corneas • Large pupils • High refractive error • Unstable vision • Dry eyes
Examples of LASIK malpractice include but are in no way limited to performing the incorrect procedure, performing the operation on unsuitable candidates, misdiagnosis of eye condition, post-operative infection, incorrect surgical treatment plan, technician error, and unnecessary revision surgeries.
If you or someone you love has been injured due to LASIK surgery malpractice, contact the seasoned medical malpractice lawyers at DeFrancisco & Falgiatano represent patients and their families who have been injured throughout Upstate New York, including Syracuse, Rochester, Albany, Buffalo, Elmira, Binghamton, Auburn, Ithaca, Oswego, Norwich, Herkimer, Delhi, Cooperstown, Cortland, Lowville, Oneida, Watertown, Utica, Canandaigua, Wampsville, Lyons, and surrounding areas. Please call us at 833-200-2000 or contact us via our online form with any questions.