Ever since Lasik surgery was introduced in 1999, there have been over 20 million surgeries as of 2022. Lasik is the most popular refractive procedure because it offers immediate results.
Unfortunately, despite its effectiveness, the surgery doesn’t come without risks and complications. Diplopia, or double vision, is when you start seeing two images of the same object, and it is just one of the issues that can pop up after Lasik surgery.
So, what do you do when you get the procedure done and end up with diplopia? Can you sue for medical malpractice?
Diplopia & Lasik Surgery
Still, the risks aren’t fully eliminated, and there are still a few issues that could pop up. To understand whether complications with Lasik surgery are caused by malpractice, you have to first understand what the complications are.
Decentration of the ablation zone: The ablation zone is the area of the cornea that is reshaped during LASIK surgery. If the ablation zone is not centered correctly, it can create an imbalance in the way that light is refracted by the cornea, leading to diplopia.
Undercorrection or overcorrection: If the LASIK surgery does not correct the patient’s refractive error perfectly, it can also lead to diplopia. This is because your eyes will be focusing at different distances, creating two images.
Dry eye: LASIK surgery can sometimes cause dry eye, which is a condition in which the eyes do not produce enough tears. Dry eye can also cause diplopia since tears help keep the cornea smooth and clear.
Pre-existing eye conditions: LASIK surgery may not be suitable for patients with certain pre-existing eye conditions, such as strabismus (misaligned eyes) or amblyopia (lazy eye). These conditions can increase the risk of developing diplopia after LASIK surgery.
Determining If Malpractice Occurred
To determine whether medical practice caused complications with your LASIK surgery, you will need to consult with an experienced eye doctor who isn’t affiliated with the doctor or institution involved in your surgery.
They will be able to review your medical records, perform a comprehensive eye exam, and order any necessary tests to determine the cause of your complications.
Here are some factors that your eye doctor will consider when determining whether medical practice caused complications with your LASIK surgery:
Some complications of LASIK surgery are more likely to be caused by medical practice than others. For example, a decentered ablation zone is more likely to be caused by medical practice than dry eye.
Your Medical History
Your eye doctor will review your medical history to see if you have any pre-existing eye conditions that could be contributing to your complications.
The Surgeon’s Skills
It is important to choose a surgeon who is experienced and skilled in LASIK surgery. A surgeon who is not properly trained or experienced is more likely to make mistakes that could lead to complications.
The Equipment Used
It is also important to make sure that the surgeon is using state-of-the-art equipment and facilities. Older or poorly maintained equipment could increase the risk of complications.
Suppose your eye doctor determines that your LASIK complications were caused by medical practice. In that case, you may have a legal claim against the surgeon or other healthcare professionals involved in your care. You should consult with an experienced medical malpractice attorney to discuss your legal options.
The Problem With Medical Malpractice Cases
There are several challenges with pursuing a medical malpractice case for Lasik surgery. For one thing, it’s very difficult to prove that there was malpractice to begin with.
According to personal injury law, to win a medical malpractice case, you must prove that the surgeon or other healthcare professional breached the standard of care and that this breach caused your injuries. This can be difficult to do, as medical malpractice cases are complex and require expert testimony.
Medical malpractice cases can also be very expensive, especially if they go to trial. You will need to pay for attorney fees, expert witness fees, and other court costs. On top of that, they can take up to several years, especially if you go to trial. This only hikes up the cost and can be very emotionally draining.
Tips for Determining Whether Medical Malpractice Occurred
If you are struggling with complications after Lasik, a medical malpractice case may work out in your favor. Here are a few things to keep in mind to help with the legal process involved.
Keep a detailed record of your symptoms and treatment. This will help the doctor to diagnose the cause of your complications. It will also help you in court, where documentation and records can support your position.
Also, get copies of your medical records: This will give you a complete understanding of your medical history and the care you received so you know whether this was the cause of the complication or not.
Get Another Opinion
Seek a second opinion from another eye doctor: This can help to ensure that you are getting an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.
Get Legal Help
If you believe that your LASIK complications were caused by medical practice, you should consult with an experienced medical malpractice attorney to discuss your legal options.
How a Medical Malpractice Attorney Can Help
A medical malpractice attorney can help you in a number of ways if you have been injured as a result of medical malpractice after LASIK surgery.
Investigate Your Case
A medical malpractice attorney will investigate your case to gather evidence to prove that malpractice occurred. This may involve reviewing your medical records, interviewing witnesses, and obtaining expert testimony.
File A Lawsuit
If your attorney determines that you have a viable case, they will file a lawsuit on your behalf. The lawsuit will name the surgeon or other healthcare professional who is responsible for your injuries, and it will outline the damages that you are seeking.
Negotiate A Settlement
In many cases, medical malpractice cases are settled before they go to trial. Your attorney will negotiate with the defendant’s attorney to try to reach a settlement that is fair and just to you.
Represent You At Trial
If the case does not settle, your attorney will represent you at trial. Your attorney will present the evidence to the jury and argue on your behalf.
Explain Your Legal Rights
A medical malpractice attorney is more well-versed in personal injury law and can explain your legal rights and options. This can help you to make informed decisions about your case.
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