Patient Blinded After Lasik Surgery

    This case involves a female patient who presented to an ophthalmologist for LASIK surgery. The patient was seeking this procedure to eliminate the need for corrective lenses. While performing the procedure, the physician used a LASIK blade to shave the cornea. At some point through the procedure, the flap was misplaced. The patient is now legally blind and in need of a corneal transplant to correct the damage from the procedure.

    Question(s) For Expert Witness

    • 1. What is the proper technique for LASIK eye surgery?

    Expert Witness Response

    There are five methods to correct vision: LASIK, PRK, LASEK, EPK, Epi-LASIX. In this particular case the patient had LASIX done, which stands for Laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis. It is performed for patients who have mild to severe myopia or hyperopia, with and without astigmatism. It is an outpatient procedure that is performed with topical anesthesia in the eye. The specific laser used is called the excimer laser. It is used to ablate a the corneal stroma, which creates a flap; the flap is irrigated and replaced. There are no sutures involved. Patients are usually sent home the same day with topical eye drops. The patient should also be wearing an eye shield overnight with a follow-up appointment the day after then at one week. The patient has follow up appointments anywhere from one to six months post procedure.

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