The lawyers and attorneys at our firm are currently offering free case evaluations to individuals who sustained cornea damage as a result of a botched LASIK eye surgery. LASIK surgery permanently changes the shape of the cornea. Unfortunately, injuries to the cornea that occur during LASIK are often permanent. In some cases, a cornea transplant may restore some vision, but even then, a patient might still be seriously disabled. Our LASIK surgery injury lawyers are committed to making sure that those who suffer cornea damage and other LASIK injuries receive the compensation they need to get their lives back on track.
LASIK—laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis—surgery involves using a laser to cut a small flap in the eye’s cornea to allow for reshaping of the corneal tissue with another laser to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness and, sometimes, astigmatism. LASIK was approved a decade ago and an estimated six million Americans have undergone LASIK surgery with hundreds of thousands of Americans undergoing LASIK yearly.
Unfortunately, LASIK surgery does not always provide the improved vision patients hope for. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) received 140 reports of LASIK-related problems between 1998 and 2006, representing just a sampling of what has gone wrong with LASIK. But many LASIK complications are never reported, and our LASIK injury lawyers believe that many more people have suffered cornea damage from the procedure.
Causes of LASIK Surgery Cornea Damage
The cornea is a part of the eye that helps focus light to create an image on the retina. It works in much the same way that the lens of a camera focuses light to create an image on film. The bending and focusing of light is also known as refraction. Usually the shape of the cornea and the eye are not perfect and the image on the retina is out-of-focus (blurred) or distorted. These imperfections create many of the vision problems LASIK surgery is supposed to correct.
The cornea damage that can occur during LASIK surgery is often the result of faulty equipment. In LASIK, a knife, called a microkeratome, is used to cut a flap in the cornea. Improper use or malfunction of the microkeratome can result in loss of the corneal flap during or after the LASIK procedure. If the microkeratome makes cuts in the flap that are either too deep or too shallow, cornea damage can occur.
As its name suggest, LASIK surgery also employs a laser. Once the flap has been cut, an excimer laser is used to “ablate”, or disintegrate, the malformed corneal tissue. This LASIK equipment is operated by a computer program that tells the laser exactly how long the burst of cold, ultraviolet light should last and where it is directed. In some cases, the laser or the software that operates it can malfunction, leading to severe cornea damage.
Often, people suffer cornea damage from LASIK surgery because they were not good candidates for the procedure. For example, people with large pupils, thin corneas or dry eyes are very likely to experience complications from LASIK surgery. Unfortunately, some LASIK doctors are more interested in selling a procedure than in the wellbeing of their patients. Our LASIK injury lawyers are aware of many cases where surgeons ignored risk factors and performed the procedure anyway, leaving patients with serious cornea damage.
During the LASIK procedure it is possible to develop a corneal abrasion. Recurrent erosions of the cornea may occur and require further treatment. Cornea damage sometimes results in patients seeing halos or night glare. In some cases, this problem resolves itself over time, but often it is permanent. Cornea nerve damage is also one of the major causes of dry eyes after LASIK surgery. While many LASIK surgeons consider dry eyes a “minor” complication, the condition can be quite painful and debilitating. The worst cornea damage from LASIK surgery can result in partial or total vision loss.
Treatment of LASIK Cornea Damage
Some LASIK Injuries are easily corrected with prescription medications, follow-up visits, or possible re-treatment using LASIK. Other LASIK injuries can be more permanent, and they can result in serious degradation of visual acuity. In these cases, a cornea transplant might be needed to restore even some of the vision lost to botched LASIK.
A cornea transplant is a procedure where a corneal tissue graft is used to replace damaged tissue on the surface of the eye. A cornea transplant is a serious procedure, and comes with its is own risks. After the cornea transplant, vision will be blurry and can take between six months to one year to return to normal. Rejection of cornea transplant is known to occur about 20 percent of the time.
Legal Help for Victims of LASIK Surgery Cornea Damage
If you experienced cornea damage from LASIK eye surgery, you have valuable legal rights. Please contact one of our experienced LASIK injury lawyers by filling out our online form or calling us at 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529) to discuss your case.