Laser eye surgery is becoming more and more popular, freeing the patient of the need to wear spectacles and contact lenses. Laser eye surgery is used to treat people with both long and short sighted vision; many patients considering that the cost of surgery is cheaper than a lifetime of eye glasses use.
When patients attend a consultation with a doctor in relation to the possible treatment, they would expect to be seen by a specialist. Some doctors only have basic training, which can result in the wrong type of surgery being recommended or can increase the chances of the surgery being carried out negligently.
Laser eye surgery works by using a laser which permanently changes the shape of the cornea (the transparent layer over the coloured iris) and also the lens which sits behind the pupil. The surgical procedure is often undertaken in less than an hour and often produces excellent results.
Unfortunately however, sometimes the surgery can in fact worsen the condition of the eyes, which could be a result of negligence on behalf of the doctor- laser eye surgery negligence.
Types of Laser Eye Surgery
There are various types of laser eye surgery, which will depend on the condition of the patients' eyes. Therefore it is imperative that the doctor chooses the correct type of surgery. The types of surgery available are as follows:
PRK (Photorefractive Keratectomy Keratomileusis)
Laser corrective surgery began with Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK) which uses a laser to treat minor to serious levels of short-sightedness, long-sightedness and astigmatism. In PRK a thin layer of the cornea is removed and unlike Lasik treatment, never replaced. The exposed surface of the cornea then begins to heal itself over a period of a few months, during which time the vision should improve.
LTK (Laser Thermokeratoplasty)
LTK is a newer form of treatment that is used to treat long-sightedness and astigmatism. The heat of the laser is used to shrink and reshape the cornea as opposed to removing material. Whilst this treatment is less invasive, patients who undergo this form of treatment notice that their eyesight begins to regress after a couple of years.
RK (Radial Keratotom)
RK is treatment in which a diamond blade is used to make a micro-incision in the cornea, to treat mild levels of near-sightedness and astigmatism.
ALK (Automated Lamellar Keratoplasy)
ALK is often used to treat more severe cases of short-sightedness or long-sightedness. When the doctor cuts a flap in the cornea, and then goes on to remove material under the flap.
LASIK (Laser-assisted In-situ Keratomileusis)
LASIK is a quicker technique, which has been developed, whereby the doctor will create a corneal flap and the laser is then used to reshape the cornea.
LASEK (Laser Epithelial Keratomileusis)
LASEK is very similar to LASIK. The only difference being that a smaller piece of the cornea is lifted away. This type of surgery is often used for people who have thin corneas or other eye conditions which makes LASIK unsuitable.
Wavefront is a combination of LASIK and LASEK treatment, the distinction being that the technology allows the doctor to measure your vision more precisely, allowing the laser to concentrate on these areas.,/p>
Adverse Effects of Laser Eye Surgery
For 95% of the patients who receive laser eye surgery treatment, the patients go on to achieve better vision. This however leaves 5% of cases where the surgery may have resulted in permanent damage to the patient's eyes. For patients with pre-existing conditions, such as dry eyes or thin corneas, the chances of having an adverse outcome is increased.
Due to this, it is extremely important that the doctor carries out a full examination, prior to surgery, in order to choose the most appropriate type of surgery.Although problems may arise in less than 5% of cases, the consequences of the treatment can be devastating for the patient. If the negative consequences are as a result of the doctor failing to examine the patient correctly, carrying out the wrong surgery, or not checking the settings on the machinery correctly, this can be as a result of the negligence of the doctor. Before undergoing treatment, patients should be advised of the risks of the surgery; as the surgery may result in minor issues such as; temporary, minor pain, sensitivity and blurred vision. There can however be far more dramatic consequences such as; blindness, double vision, permanent dry eyes or corneal scarring and ectasia.
How We Can Help
Our experienced, professional cosmetic negligence solicitors can help you with your laser eye surgery claim and will get you the compensation you deserve. We will deal with your cosmetic surgery compensation claim on a No Win, No Fee basis.
You can make a claim for pain and suffering as a result of any negligent treatment, as well as claiming for the costs of any further revision treatment.
We have recovered millions of pounds in compensation for clients over the last few years, call us and see how we can help you.