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Sarah Rowland, one of our associate solicitors, won £90,000 in compensation for a client who underwent Lasik laser eye surgery, although it was later discovered he was not a suitable candidate for surgery.
In September 2001 the client went to the Optimax Clinic in London for an assessment of suitability for laser eye surgery. During this assessment our client informed the ophthalmologist that he had been refused laser treatment in South Africa due to the uneven surface of his cornea. He understood that the improvement in technology might have changed his suitability for treatment.
The ophthalmologist took Orbscan readings (which mark the contours of the cornea). These readings were clearly abnormal and should have led to a diagnosis of an irregular astigmatism due to either sub-critical pellucid marginal degeneration or forme fruste keratoconus; both of which are absolute contraindications to laser treatment.
Nevertheless, the ophthalmologist told our client that he was a suitable candidate for laser treatment which was duly carried out in October 2001.
Within a few months there had been an increase in the degree of the irregular shape of the cornea in both eyes and there was a marked deterioration in his vision. He underwent INTACS implantation in March 2004 but this failed to result in an improvement.
Our client was employed in a computer-based job and was unable to continue to work and without further surgery it was likely that his vision would continue to deteriorate further.
The ophthalmologist admitted that our client was not a suitable candidate for laser surgery and agreed to compensate him for the injuries caused by the treatment.
Sarah Rowland, said "As laser eye surgery becomes more popular we are seeing more examples of people suffering injuries which could have been avoided. As this example demonstrates, it is important that all ophthalmologists who provide these services are fully aware of the risks and consider very carefully whether the patient is a suitable candidate."
If you or a loved one has suffered as a result of negligent laser eye surgery, we may be able to help you claim compensation. See our Medical Negligence Guide for more information.
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