According to statistics, there are over 24.4 million people in the United States over the age of 40 who are affected by cataracts. 50% of people over the age of 80 have cataracts. The federal government spends $3.4 billion annually for the treatment of this condition through Medicare.
According to the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery (ASCRS), approximately 3 million people in the US receive cataract surgery annually. The success rate of this type of surgery is 98%. 99.5% of patients do not have any severe postoperative complications.
Surgeons can perform cataract surgery at any stage of the condition's development. The most effective method of treatment is cutting directly into the cloudy lens' capsule. This is known as a capsulotomy. Surgeons remove natural lens completely and replace it with a synthetic lens. There are two main types of cataract surgery - extracapsular cataract extraction, or ECCE, and intracapsular cataract extraction, or ICCE.
ECCE - In modern day practice, extracapsular cataract extraction is the surgery that is more commonly used. In this procedure, surgeons are able to remove the lens without causing any damage to the lens capsule. Prior to extraction, high-frequency sound waves, known as phacoemulsification, may be used to break apart the lens.
ICCE - In current medical practices, intracapsular cataract extraction is a procedure that is rarely used. Although this surgical method offers the same benefits as ECCE, surgeons prefer if the lens capsule is left intact. Extenuating circumstances, like eye trauma, may make it necessary to perform an ICCE.
Difficulties in Cataract Treatment
A patient's vision can be restored with both ECCE and ICCE. Immediately after a cataract surgery, it may be necessary for a patient to wear glasses. This is only temporary. What is permanent is the new synthetic lens implant, and once the eye has healed, clearer eyesight should come to the patient. Cataract surgery is a common procedure, and many patients have a successful surgery.
Complications that can come with cataract surgery include:
· Posterior Capsular Opacification
· Posterior Capsular Tears
· Retinal Detachment
· Posterior Vitreous Detachment (PVD)
· Toxic Anterior Segment Syndrome (TASS)
Other complications include:
· Edema, or swelling of the cornea
· Macular edema, or swelling of the retina's central portion
· Displacement or dislocation of synthetic lens implant
· Hyperopia or myopia, resulting from eye measurements that are inaccurate before surgery
· Cyanopsia, where there is a blue tint in the patient's vision
· Floaters, which commonly occur after cataract surgery
Cataract Surgery Malpractice Claims
If you have suffered an adverse outcome after receiving cataract surgery, you may have questions about whether you can or should file a medical malpractice lawsuit against your eye doctor.
In order to win a malpractice case against your ophthalmologist, the first thing you will need to do is prove that your ophthalmologist did not provide treatment that maintained the "medical standard of care." This standard is commonly defined by the level of care that a reasonably competent health care professional in the same field would have provided under the circumstances.
It is likely that you will need to seek the services of a medical expert witness who has adequate knowledge and experience of performing cataract surgeries, such as a practicing ophthalmologist. The expert witness will need to testify as to what the proper standard of care was, and then show that your ophthalmologist fell short of that standard and that you were also injured as a result of that sub-standard care.
If cataract surgery that you or a loved one had has left you with complications due to your ophthalmologist's negligence, seek the assistance of a medical malpractice attorney at RMFW Law at 212-344-1000. Give us a call - the first meeting is free.
We have won millions of dollars for past clients - you too can be on this fantastic list. We know how to poke holes in the other side's case and we know how to build a case that is solid and airtight. Give us a call at 212-344-1000- we look forward to hearing from you.
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