Lasik Eye Surgery - Medical Negligence Lawyers
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Our Lasik Eye Surgery medical negligence lawyers have solicitors offices situated in Adelaide, Canberra, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney, Brisbane and Darwin.
Lasik Eye Surgery
Lasik eye surgery is also called "laser assisted in situ keratomileusis". It is a laser assisted surgery that is used to treat myopia or nearsightedness, astigmatism or hyperopia, which is farsightedness. It is successful because it reshapes the cornea so that light can focus on the retina better.
In almost all cases, the procedure is free of pain and takes only about fifteen minutes to treat both eyes. The improvement in vision can be immediate or can take up to twenty four hours. No glasses or contact lenses are needed. There are a lot of Lasik surgeries available. Talk to the doctor about which surgeries are available to you.
The surgeon begins the procedure by creating a flap using a microkeratome. The flap is folded back and some tissue is removed by means of an eximer laser. A laser is then used to reshape the cornea at the microscopic level. Light is focused better on the cornea. The idea is to flatten the cornea in nearsighted individuals and a steep cornea is needed in those who are farsighted. Astigmatism is corrected by smoothing out the cornea. After the procedure, the flap is returned to the cornea and healing is allowed spontaneously.
Lasik works by numbing the eye with a local anesthetic that last for up to an hour. The ultra-thin flap is able to cover the surgical area so that there is minimal pain after surgery. In effect, it bandages the eye surface. An ink marker is used to center the eye. A suction device is used to keep your eyes from inadvertently moving during the procedure. A computer is programmed to make just the right laser moves on the eye and the laser works to make the cuts in the eye while the patient is looking at a red light to keep the eye from moving. The entire procedure per eye is about 5 minutes.
When done correctly, the LASIK eye procedure can improve a person's quality of life. Many of the patients achieve 20/20 vision but some only get about 20/40 vision. If the patient needs to wear glasses after surgery, they need to wear a lesser prescription. There are, however, complications of the surgery that patients need to know about before embarking on LASIK surgery.
Some patients will need to have an enhancement, also called a "touch up" procedure in order to maintain a good vision. People over forty need to have a special kind of LASIK procedure for old age eyes, called presbyopia, or else they need reading glasses. Overall the success rate for LASIK is very high.
Common complications of LASIK surgery are dry eye and problems with night vision. In one study by the FDA, a total of 17.5 percent of patients have halos in their vision that show up around bright lights. About 19.7 percent of patients have postoperative starburst and 19.3 percent have problems with night driving. Twenty one percent have dry eyes after surgery.
Other side effects include depression and possible suicide, possible eye pain, keratoconus, corneal neuropathy, late flap dislocation, problems with the flap, the presence of floaters, vitreoretinal damage, herpes simplex in the eye, epithelial ingrowth, central islands, inflammation, bladeless LASIK complications and rarer complications.
The eye doctors don't consider night vision problems and dry eyes as legitimate complications and yet car accidents and loss of ability to function can come out of the night vision problems. These complications can really be debilitating and can be permanent in nature. LASIK surgeons are, however, aware that these complications exist and that they are permanent deficits. Having a patient with star bursts and halos does not mean they report these findings as a complication, stating instead that the complication rate is one percent or less.
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The author of the substantive medical writing on this website is Dr. Christine Traxler MD whose biography can be read here