LASIK stands for Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis. It is a type of laser eye surgery, which changes the shape of the cornea, the clear covering of the front of the eye. This is done with an excimer laser. A blade device or a laser keratome is used to cut a flap in the cornea. A hinge is left at one end of this flap. The flap is then folded back revealing the middle section of the cornea also known as the stroma. Pulses from a computer-controlled laser vaporize a portion of the stroma and the flap is then replaced.
Benefits of LASIK
LASIK does have some benefits. It corrects vision and is associated with very little pain. Vision is corrected nearly immediately or by the day after LASIK. Usually no bandages or stitches are required after LASIK. And after having this procedure, most patients no longer need corrective eyewear such as glasses or contacts.
Risks and Complications
In spite of the benefits, there are several known risks associated with LASIK. Changes made to the cornea are irreversible in LASIK procedures. Also, corrections can only made with additional LASIK surgery. The procedure itself is technically complex, which means that problems may occur when the surgeon cuts the flap. Errors during surgery can permanently affect vision. LASIK can also cause a loss of “best” vision with or without glasses at one year after surgery.
Some patients experience severe discomfort after the first 24 to 48 hours after LASIK eye surgery. Other side effects include:
- Dry eyes
- Seeing halos around images
- Fluctuating vision
- Problems with night vision
Controversy Surrounding LASIK Side Effects
In a recent interview with ABC News, Morris Waxler, the former head of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, who was responsible for reviewing the data on LASIK, said that in hindsight, LASIK side effects were not taken as seriously as they should have been. The problem is that a number of patients who underwent LASIK suffer from side effects such as starbursts, halos, glare, double vision and night blindness. While in some cases, the side effects go away within weeks or months of the surgery; in other cases, they appear to be permanent.
Waxler said he now believes that the FDA made a mistake by not setting tougher standards for LASIK outcomes. He does not believe the devices should be pulled off the market, but he said the FDA should force manufacturers and LASIK surgeons to be more forthcoming with patients about the potential risks and side effects associated with this procedure.
Claim for Compensation
If you or a loved one has suffered serious side effects including pain, glare, double vision or loss of vision as a result of botched LASIK surgery or improper screening on the part of your doctor, you may be able to file a medical malpractice claim. Please get in touch with experienced and knowledgeable nationally recognized LASIK malpractice lawyer, Todd J. Krouner regarding the merit of your claim. Damages in such cases, include your pain and suffering, poor-quality vision and its related loss of life’s enjoyment, loss of income, and medical expenses. Call us today at (914) 238-5800 or firstname.lastname@example.org for a free consultation.