Founder of www.LifeAfterLasik.com
The main point that needs to be understood is that patients who had LASIK need to consider the fact that post-LASIK ectasia may not surface for years after surgery. In some instances, their right to sue may be over before they even knew they had a case.
So, when might the informed consent form matter? An article in Cornea reports that 20% of LASIK patients suffer varying degrees of dry eye after LASIK surgery. More candid surgeons admit the true number is closer to 50%. As a general rule, the complication or side effect of dry eyes is not due to any error or mistake by the doctor. It is generally considered to be a known and accepted risk of the surgery. The doctor tells you this so that you are not surprised if it happens to you. Dry eyes generally are not a sign of malpractice.
However, failing to inform a patient about this common side effect would constitute a breach of the duty of informed consent. Informed consent is a process. It is not a piece of paper. The pre-printed informed consent form is prepared for the vast majority of refractive laser surgery patients. But if the patient is at higher risk because he has a pre-existing corneal condition or disease, such as keratoconus, has suspicion for ectasia, or has a thin cornea, the doctor has a duty to inform his patient that he is not a good candidate for a refractive surgery. To learn more about informed consent and eye surgery read: http://www.krounerlaw.com/informed-consent .
To date, nationwide, Mr. Krouner has successfully tried or settled nearly two dozen LASIK, or related eye, medical malpractice cases. At www.krounerlaw.com , he has a LASIK blog that offers some great tips and advice for potential patients or persons who have been injured as a result of eye surgery:
Mr. Krouner was also the only attorney who spoke on behalf of injured LASIK patients at the April 25, 2008 emergency LASIK Ophthalmic FDA panel discussion held in Gaithersburg, Maryland. He also alleged that the LASIK industry is known for "underreporting dissatisfied/permanent injury outcomes."
Chappaqua, New York 10514
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