LASIK Eye Surgery FAQs

What is LASIK?

LASIK stands for Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis, a medical procedure used to correct vision. LASIK was invented in 1990 and has been widely recognized for its ability to reduce or eliminate dependency on ocular devices such as contact lenses and glasses. An outpatient procedure, LASIK addresses myopic (nearsightedness) and hyperopic (farsightedness) vision by changing the shape of the patient’s cornea. A small flap is made by either a small blade or laser, and a laser is then applied to remove the cornea tissue, to reshape the surface of the cornea.

Is LASIK safe?

Unbeknownst to most LASIK customers, a debate is currently raging between Morris Waxler, Ph.D. and his former colleagues in the LASIK industry. Dr. Waxler used to work for the FDA in the 1990’s, and was responsible for approving the surgical (excimer) lasers used in LASIK surgery. In short, he says, if I knew then, what I know today, I never would have approved LASIK. In January  2011, dr. Waxler wrote to the FDA and requested that it halt the further performance of LASIK surgery.

In opposition, LASIK surgeons claim that LASIK surgery is one of the most studied safest procedures performed.

Part of LASIK’s popularity is due to public perception that it is a safe medical procedure. Though this is true for the most part, LASIK is not safe for every consumer. Some patients have medical conditions or pre-existing ocular conditions that create the risk for negligent surgeries and LASIK surgery complications.

What are potential complications of LASIK?

LASIK complications can range from dry eyes to visual distortion to serious conditions including blindness. According to one high volume LASIK surgery center, TLC, its 7 page informed consent form identifies the risks of LASIK surgery, including without limitation: vision threatening complications such as, excimer laser malfunction, microkeratome malfunction, irregular corneal healing causing distortion, ghosting, or scarring, epithelial healing defects (i.e. epithelial ingrowths), wrinkled, slipped, displaced, or lost corneal flap, corneal infection, intractable glare and inability to function in a dark environment, retinal detachment, hemorrhage of the retina, cataract formation, keratoectasia (progressive weakening and irregularity of the cornea), total blindness and loss of the eye. Other complications listed by TLC include, astigmatism, need for glasses, under or over correction, inability to wear contact lens, dry eyes, light sensitivity, diminished contrast sensitivity, and increased vulnerability of your eyes to trauma. Although some complications are unforeseeable, the majority of LASIK complications stem not from careless surgeries, but from failure to identify conditions that make the patient a poor candidate for the LASIK procedure.

How are LASIK complications corrected?

Some LASIK complications can be corrected by medication (for dry eyes) or another corrective laser procedure (“enhancement”) for people who are under corrected or overcorrected. However, some complications, such as post-LASIK ectaisa, are not easily treatable. They can require ridged gas permeable (“RGP”) lenses, intacts, and in severe cases, a corneal transplant is necessary.

My vision has been damaged by a LASIK procedure. What are my options?

If you are injured during a LASIK procedure, you have an extremely limited timeframe, called the statute of limitations, in which to file a LASIK lawsuit. The statute of limitations varies in each state. The best course of action is to seek out an attorney with LASIK-specific experience. Your LASIK lawyer can review your medical records, investigate your circumstance, help you identify competent eye care professionals, and retain expert witnesses to support your claim in court. You could be entitled to substantial financial damages related to costs of your medical care, loss of income, and pain and suffering, including psychological trauma suffered as a result of your failed LASIK procedure.

When should I call an attorney?

Each state has different time frames in which a person can bring a claim for malpractice (i.e., statutes of limitations). The longer a person waits, the more difficult it may be to bring a claim. If you think you may have a medical malpractice claim, you should contact an attorney promptly.

I need a LASIK attorney. Who should I turn to?

When it comes to finding the right LASIK lawyer, experience and track record count. The Law Office of Todd J. Krouner has both. Please contact us at (914) 238-5800 or for a free case consultation and more information on whether you have a valid LASIK claim.

Can The Law Office of Todd J. Krouner handle my claim even if I do not live in New York?

Absolutely. First we have enjoyed substantial success handling LASIK and related eye lawsuits around the country. Second, we apply for admission to the local court, and routinely are admitted to handle such claims, “pro hac vice”. Third, we have done this by hiring outstanding malpractice attorneys in your community who may not have our particular experience with LASIK claims, but who typically have distinguished careers representing plaintiffs in personal injury and medical malpractice lawsuits. We are responsible for paying local counsel from our attorney’s fee. The client is not. Thus, the client has a personal dream team of lawyers, or a “two-fer” – two lawyers for the price of one. The client gets the benefit of the particular LASIK experience of our law firm, combined with the unique insight and experience of local counsel concerning such things as the law, defense attorneys and the courts.