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Cosmetic Surgery Claims

Laser Eye Surgery Claims

Approximately 120,000 laser eye surgeries are carried out each year according to the Royal College of Ophthalmologists, with complications occurring in one in every 20 procedures. Often these complications can be due to errors made by your surgeon.

Our lawyers could help you make a laser eye surgery claim if mistakes during laser eye surgery have led you to suffer from:

  • Night vision difficulties
  • Corneal scarring
  • Corneal infections
  • Corneal haze (mistiness)
  • Ptosis (eye lid drooping)
  • Over or under correction
  • Blindness

We understand how upsetting laser eye complications can be and will help you with any physical and emotional challenges you might be experiencing. You can be reassured that we’ll work hard to get you a compensation settlement that can pay for the care and support you need, both now and in the future.

We can accept claims on a No Win No Fee basis*, which means you won’t have to pay any fees if your claim is unsuccessful. We’ll always discuss different funding methods with you, coming to a decision that best suits your circumstances.

Our team is made up of some of the UK’s leading medical negligence experts who have a proven track record of success when handling claims of this nature. If you’d like to enquire about making a laser eye surgery claimcontact us to set-up a free initial consultation.

No Win No Fee*
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Specialist cosmetic lawyers
Largest medical negligence team in the UK

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Laser Eye Surgery - More Information
    • What Will Happen When I Make A Claim?
    • After you’ve contacted us, we’ll set up a free initial consultation to discuss your case and whether you have a legal claim. We’ll discuss what funding options are available to you to pay for your claim, including No Win No Fee agreements*.

      We’ll then get in touch with those responsible for your negligent treatment at an early stage to see if they accept the blame for your injuries or illness. If they accept responsibility, we’ll try to secure interim compensation payments which can fund private medical care and ongoing expenses, before your claim fully settles. Any interim payments will be taken out of your final compensation award.

      Our experts will look into your case in detail, gathering evidence from independent medical professionals. These experts evaluate what care you should have received and can determine any future implications to your health. They’ll also advise us on the care you’ll need in the future.

      We’ll always try and negotiate claims out of court, keeping the claim process as short as we can. However, if your opponent doesn’t accept responsibility or doesn’t agree with the amount of compensation we feel you need, we’ll start court proceedings.

      Even when trial dates have been set, claims are still often settled before reaching court. If your claim does need to go to court, we’ll be there to help you every step of the way, talking you through what will happen so you feel as comfortable as possible.

    • Can I Claim If Errors Happened During Glaucoma Treatment?
    • Laser eye surgery can also be used as a treatment for certain types of glaucoma, depending on the severity of your condition. We’re here to help you if mistakes caused your treatment to go wrong, sometimes meaning that your glaucoma didn’t improve.

      Certain types of laser eye treatment are commonly used to treat glaucoma, including:

      • Selective laser trabeculoplasty (SLT) – this is used for primary open-angle glaucoma and works by a low intensity laser treating selected cells.
      • Argon laser traveculoplasty (ALT) – this method is used to improve primary open-angle glaucoma and involves the laser opening fluid channels in the eye, improving the eye’s drainage.
      • Micropulse laser trabeculoplasty (MLT) – this is a treatment for primary open-angle glaucoma which uses a specific laser to deliver energy in short bursts.
      • Laser peripheral iridotomy (LPI) – to treat narrow-angle glaucoma, this method involves making a small hole in the iris to help eye fluid drain.
      • Laser cyclophotocoagulation – several different types of laser are used to lower eye pressure by preventing the eye’s ability to make fluid.

      The person treating you should always explain the risks of these procedures as further treatments may be needed and you could also have an increased risk of developing cataracts. It’s also important that the correct type of laser surgery is suggested and suitable medication and aftercare is provided to improve the chances of your surgery being successful.

      If mistakes were made during your laser surgery to treat glaucoma, we can help you make a claim. To find out more, contact us free on 0800 121 6567.

    • Can I Make A No Win No Fee Claim?
    • Many of our cases are funded with a No Win No Fee agreement. This means that there’s no financial risk* to you when making a compensation claim.

      At the start of your case we’ll discuss funding options with you, advising you which we think is most suitable. If you have legal expenses insurance (LEI) or are covered by a trade union policy, these may be best for you. Legal expenses insurance is included in many household insurance policies, so it’s always worth checking whether you’re already covered.

      If we think you’re best supported by a No Win No Fee agreement, we’ll explain the process clearly. This involves setting up an insurance policy that will protect you, at no cost to you. You’ll only have to pay anything when your claim is successful – your opponent will pay most of our fees.

      Please visit our No Win No Fee page for more information on how it works.

    • How Long Do I Have To Make A Claim?
    • You’ll normally have three years to make a claim, either from the date of the surgery or from the point where it was discovered that negligent treatment was responsible for your injuries.

      If you decided to undergo this procedure overseas, different time limits might apply. To make sure you make a claim before the time limits in that country apply, we urge you to contact us as soon as possible.

      If you have any concerns about the time limits for claiming compensation, we’ll be able to talk through your options in a free initial consultation.

    • What Can Compensation Pay For?
    • By making a laser surgery claim, we can help you secure compensation which can help pay for:

      • Loss of earnings
      • Further treatments from ophthalmology specialists
      • Refund the costs of your initial laser eye surgery
      • Special equipment (e.g. protective lenses)
      • Expenses (e.g. travel costs)

      The amount you’ll receive won’t only depend on the above factors, but will take into account:

      • Pain and suffering
      • Chances of making a full recovery
      • Long-term health effects

      In the most severe cases, people have suffered permanent loss of vision because of negligent laser surgery.

      Sometimes we might be able to help you get early compensation payments. Often known as interim payments, these can fund ongoing treatments and expenses before your claim settles. If you would like to find out more about making a claim, contact us on 0800 121 6567.

    • Meet The Team
    • As one of the largest and most highly respected law firms in the UK, we’ve helped a number of people with their compensation claims after suffering from negligent laser eye surgery. Our highly experienced Cosmetic Negligence team will fight tirelessly to get you the compensation you deserve, ensuring all your care needs are looked after.

      Our team is led by Partner Mandy Luckman, a leading legal personality when it comes to cosmetic surgery matters. She has appeared on numerous TV shows discussing industry safety standards, including Sky TV documentary Life is Beauty-Full and Channel 5’s Botched-Up Bodies.

      View our experts

I valued the honesty of the solicitor that I dealt with. The approachability and the humanness. They were caring.”

Stephanie, client

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are The Different Types Of Laser Eye Surgery?

There are three main types of laser eye surgery, each with its own benefits and risks. In the UK, PRK, LASIK and LASEK are the most commonly performed on those who are seeking improved eyesight, without the need for glasses and contact lenses.

The three most popular types of laser eye surgery are:

  • LASIK (Laser Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis) – this surgery involves a thin circular flap being created on the eye’s surface using a microkeratome (a bladed instrument) or a femtosecond surgical laser tool. The flap allows access to the stroma where the corneal tissue is reshaped using a laser. This procedure has a quick recovery time and is the most popular in the UK at the moment. Errors can occur when the flap isn’t cut correctly as it can wrinkle or not sit on the eye’s surface, causing discomfort and vision problems.
  • LASEK (Laser Assisted Sub Epithelium Keratomileusis) – this is usually offered when you aren’t suited to LASIK treatment. The procedure involves the corneal epithelium (the tissue which covers the cornea) being separated from the stromal layer underneath. A thin flap is removed, exposing the corneal stroma, then the laser treatment is performed before the epithelial tissue is repositioned. This type of surgery normally has a longer period of discomfort than LASIK and you’ll have to wear protective lenses while the eye heals. Complications can occur such as the use of too much alcohol solution causing tissue damage, slowing down the regaining of your sight.
  • PRK (Photorefractive Keratectomy) – this is used to remove tissue directly from the surface of the eye to change to curvature of the cornea. During this procedure, no flap is created but the entire epithelial layer is removed. The recovery after PRK can be much slower in comparison to LASIK and LASEK but this treatment is suitable for people who can’t have the other types because they have a thinner residual cornea. PRK has a much greater risk of infection, so careful post-operative care must be provided. Furthermore, there’s a greater risk of corneal hazing so you must be advised on how to protect your sight.

Laser eye surgery requires great accuracy and thorough aftercare to get the desired results. If the practitioner treating you made an error or advised you incorrectly on aftercare or on what procedure you should have, we could help.

To find out more about making a claim, contact us on 0800 121 6567.

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What Constitutes Negligence?

Unfortunately complications sometimes occur during laser eye surgery which can often make your eyesight worse. A number of different errors can be made, these include:

  • Overcorrections – when too much tissue is removed from your eye.
  • Vision returning to pre-surgery level – this can happen when the wound doesn’t heal normally, if you have hormonal imbalances and if you’re pregnant.
  • Visual loss/changes – sometimes you might not be able to see as sharply or clearly as before.
  • Astigmatism – this is caused by uneven tissue removal and can require additional surgery, glasses or contact lenses.
  • Glare, halos and double vision – you could have difficulty seeing at night and could also notice glare, halos around bright lights or double vision.
  • Dry eyes – this can cause discomfort and reduce the quality of your vision.
  • Corneal flap problems – folding back or removing the flap from the front of your eye can cause complications including infections, excess tears and inflammation.

These errors can result from a number of mistakes, we can help if:

  • The incorrect laser was used, causing deterioration of vision and extreme dryness
  • Your surgery was performed poorly (the corneal flap was cut too thin/thick)
  • Nerves were damaged in the surrounding muscles
  • Unsterile equipment caused infections
  • You received poor pre-operative or post-operative care

Your procedure should always be carried out in the safest possible manner. In order to do this, you should be checked for any pre-existing conditions which could hinder surgery and be warned of any complications that can be experienced.

For more information about making a claim, contact us free on 0800 121 6567 to set-up a free initial consultation.

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What Are The Regulations?

There are a number of governing bodies which regulate laser eye surgery in the UK. These include the Care Quality Commission (CQC), the General Optical Council (GOC), the Laser Eye Association (LEA), the Royal College of Ophthalmologists (RCO)…

… and the General Medical Council (GMC). Each of these organisations set out what standard of care should be adhered to for all laser eye clinics in England and Wales.

Guidelines set out by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) should also be followed in order to make sure your surgery is as safe as possible.

Despite there being multiple bodies attempting to regulate the industry, many surgeons are calling for tighter regulations to improve the standard of laser eye surgery across the UK. In recent years, there have been a number of cases where patients have experienced serious complications because practitioners failed to meet the required standards.

In order to conduct laser eye surgery, your surgeon only needs to have the qualifications needed to be a general doctor, with no surgery or ophthalmology specialisms. It’s encouraged that surgeons pass assessments set by the Royal College of Ophthalmologists to ensure your safety, obtaining a certificate for their training. However, this isn’t currently a requirement by law and reportedly only half of laser eye surgeons have it.

Our lawyers are working hard to ensure high safety standards in the industry and we’re campaigning for tougher regulations for those who carry out laser eye surgery. If your laser eye treatment went wrong, or if you feel that regulations weren’t followed, we might be able to help.

To find out more about making a compensation claim, contact us free on 0800 121 6567.

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We're always proud to be recognised for the work we do for our clients and have been named as a leading firm in the latest legal guides - which provide information and recommendations about lawyers and law firms in the UK.

"The lawyers are heavyweight individuals in a big firm, but they never compromise on client care. They handle cases with striking compassion and insight."
We're delighted to have been named Claimant Solicitor of the Year in the 2016 Post Magazine Rehabilitation First Awards, an award we've won on seven occasions.
"'One of the best’ and ‘go-to firm’ Irwin Mitchell covers the full range of work, and specialises in complex, unique cases."

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We could help you access specialist care and rehabilitation that can make a huge difference to your life.

If you make a mental health negligence claim with us, we will of course work hard to get you the compensation you need.

However, we also understand that you may need specialist care and rehabilitation to make sure you or your loved one gets the support needed to live a life as normal as possible.

Read more about rehabilitation support here

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