Eye surgery negligence claims

There are a number of different types of eye operations for ophthalmic (eye) conditions. Patients can have surgery for both medical and cosmetic reasons. Technology is continually advancing in this area, but whatever the type of surgery and whether it has been paid for privately or not, problems can occur.

The eye is a very complex structure and any loss of vision can have a massive impact on a patient’s day-to-day life.

If you feel that you or a loved one has not received appropriate care or treatment for any ophthalmic condition or during eye surgery, then contact our specialist clinical negligence team who are experts in ophthalmic claims and will be able to provide you with advice on a claim for compensation, call us on 0203 817 9430.

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Laser eye surgery compensation claims

This is usually performed for cosmetic reasons, to allow patients to see without the need for glasses/contact lenses. It is often paid for privately, as it is not commonly available on the NHS.

There are different types of laser surgery - LASIK (laser in situ keratomileusis), LASEK (laser epithelial keratomileusis), PRK (photorefractive keratectomy) and Wavefront-guided LASIK. During each procedure, a laser is used to change the internal structure of the eye in a certain way to improve the patient’s vision.

Laser surgery can provide positive results, but as with all surgical procedures, there are risks. Not all patients are suitable for laser surgery and so a full assessment should be carried out by the doctor before a decision to go ahead is made. Even with thorough assessments, patients can continue to need glasses, suffer from halos or glare or dry eyes following the surgery. Serious complications can include double vision, corneal scarring and even a deterioration in eyesight.

Clinical negligence claims can arise if a patient has not been appropriately assessed for the surgery, is not fully informed of the potential risks of surgery or due to surgical errors causing a loss of vision.

Cataract surgery compensation claims

A cataract is a clouding of the lens in your eye. It can develop in one or both eyes and can gradually get worse over time. Cataracts usually occur later in life due to age-related degeneration.

During cataract surgery, the cloudy lens is removed from your eye and a new plastic artificial lens is put in it’s place. The aim of the surgery is to improve vision.

However, there are a number of recognised complications such as posterior capsule opacification (cloudy vision due to skin growing over the new artificial lens), infections and swelling. Complications such as these can be treated with medication or further surgery.

Medical negligence claims can arise if a patient is incorrectly assessed prior to surgery, an inappropriate artificial lens is inserted or if the operation is carried out poorly.

Retinal detachment surgery compensation claims

A detached retina is a very serious ophthalmic condition and can lead to blindness. It can occur through age related degeneration, trauma to the eye or as a complication of eye surgery.

Early symptoms can be mild and it can be confused with other ophthalmic conditions. It is very important that it is identified and treated as quickly as possible to prevent any loss of vision.

It is treated surgically and the aim of the surgery is to put the retina back in place and keep it in place whilst it heals.

Clinical negligence claims often concern a delay in the detached retina being diagnosed, but it is also important that the surgery to reattach the retina is performed quickly and correctly.

Treatment for diabetic retinopathy

This ophthalmic condition develops in patients who have had diabetes for a long period of time or have poorly controlled diabetes.

High blood sugar levels cause damage to the blood vessels in the eye and this leads to areas in the eye not getting the blood that they need to function. This ultimately causes loss of vision and, if it isn’t treated, can cause blindness.

During the initial stages of diabetic retinopathy symptoms can go unnoticed and this is why diabetic eye tests are so important. It is crucial the condition is picked up and treated as early as possible to try and prevent any deterioration in vision.

Advanced retinopathy may require laser treatment (photocoagulation), Anti-VEGF injections or even surgery.

Clinical negligence claims can arise either through a delay in diagnosis, a delay in providing appropriate treatment or as a result of errors in carrying out the necessary treatment (eg laser treatment, injections or surgery).

Treatment for glaucoma

Glaucoma develops when there is a build up of pressure in the eye due to excess fluid. The build up of fluid can occur for a variety of reasons, but the increased pressure it causes can damage the optic nerve and lead to a loss of vision.

Glaucoma tends to be a condition that develops slowly over time with very few symptoms initially. It is therefore important to have regular eye tests, so that any build up of fluid can be detected.

Glaucoma can be treated using eye drops, laser treatment or surgery to try to allow fluid to drain from the eye.

Clinical negligence claims can arise either through a delay in diagnosing glaucoma, a delay in providing appropriate treatment or as a result of surgical errors.

There are many other ophthalmic conditions were a delay in diagnosis or incorrect surgical treatment can occur, sometimes with very serious consequences for the patient’s vision. The most important thing is to seek medication attention urgently if you feel there is something wrong.

For expert advice call us on 0203 817 9430 and speak to a member of our clinical negligence team to discuss your compensation claim today. Alternatively you can send our clinical negligence team an email via our contact form.

Support & information - eye surgery negligence

RNIB - providing help and support to anyone affected by blindness or partial sightedness.

Guide Dogs UK - helping those with blindness by training and providing guide dogs.

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