LASIK (Laser-Assisted in situ Keratomileusis) surgery involves the precise and controlled removal of corneal tissue by a special laser that reshapes the cornea and thereby changes its focusing power. The cornea is a part of the eye that helps focus light to create an image on the retina by bending and focusing light (known as refraction). If the shape of the cornea and the eye are not perfect, the image on the retina is out-of-focus, resulting in a blurred or distorted image (called refractive errors). The three primary types of refractive errors are myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism.
Myopia (nearsightedness) results in people having difficulty seeing distant objects as clearly as near objects. Hyperopia (farsightedness) results in people having difficulty seeing near objects as clearly as distant objects. Astigmatism is a distortion of the image on the retina caused by irregularities in the cornea or lens of the eye.
Glasses or contact lenses are often used to compensate for the eye’s imperfections. However, there are often surgical options available (refractive surgery) that improve the focusing power of the eye. LASIK is one of the more common surgical options available and is performed on thousands of people with refractive errors every year.
The vast majority of LASIK patients have beneficial and successful outcomes with little or no pain or complications. However, some LASIK patients experience complications or bad outcomes, sometimes as a result of medical negligence. When someone’s eyesight is harmed or destroyed as a result of LASIK malpractice, a LASIK malpractice lawsuit often follows. Sometimes the bad result of LASIK surgery is due to the fact that the patient was not a good candidate for LASIK surgery and it was negligent to perform LASIK surgery on the patient; other times the bad result may be caused by a laser malfunction, which could be due to human error, or the negligence or mistake of the LASIK surgeon.
Some Examples Of LASIK Malpractice Verdicts
In May 2013, a Denver, Colorado jury returned its verdict in the amount of $440,000 in favor of a patient who had undergone LASIK surgery. The LASIK laser technician entered the wrong surgical treatment plan into the LASIK laser, which the LASIK surgeon failed to notice. The patient suffers from blur, glare, halos, diminished night vision, and loss of contrast sensitivity as a result of the LASIK mistake.
In August 2011, a judgment was entered in the New York County Supreme Court against a LASIK surgeon in the amount of $4,520,299.58 for operating on a patient who was not a good candidate for LASIK surgery because of the condition of the patient’s corneas.
In June 2009, a New York jury awarded a LASIK patient $5.6 million because he was not an appropriate candidate for LASIK surgery. The patient suffered severe visual complications as a result of his LASIK surgery.
In 2008, a Pennsylvania jury awarded more than $1 million to a LASIK patient whose LASIK surgeon touted that he had performed LASIK surgery on pro-golfer Tiger Woods. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court upheld the verdict in 2011. The patient was left with blurred or double vision after his LASIK surgery, for which he claimed he was not an appropriate candidate because his corneas were too thin.
If you or a loved one suffered a bad outcome or injuries as a result of LASIK surgery, you should promptly contact a local medical malpractice attorney in your U.S. state who may investigate your LASIK claim for you and represent you in a LASIK malpractice lawsuit, if appropriate.
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