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Cataract surgery is a very common procedure, but that does not make it risk-free. If you experience complications from routine cataract surgery, do you automatically have grounds for a medical malpractice claim? Unexpected outcomes are not always malpractice. Here is some information to help you determine whether or not to file a medical malpractice lawsuit against your ophthalmologist.
Cataract surgery involves removing a cloudy film from the eye and replacing it with a clear, artificially made lens. More than 3 million Americans undergo cataract surgery every year, with around a 98 percent success rate, according to the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery. Developments in the techniques and tools used in cataract surgery have significantly reduced the risk and severity of complications.
However, no surgery is completely without risk. One of the most common complications from cataract surgery is PCO or posterior capsule opacity. In layman’s terms, that means that the part of the lens capsule left behind after the cataract is removed becomes cloudy in the days, weeks, or months after surgery. When that happens, the patient’s vision can be left worse than it was before surgery. The lens inserted by the ophthalmologist can also dislocate for a variety of reasons. Without intervention, this can cause scarring and become difficult to reposition.
A dropped nucleus is another complication of cataract surgery that usually requires additional surgery to correct. Without correcting this problem, the patient can suffer severe eye damage. A detached retina is a complication that can occur well after cataract surgery. Floaters and flashes of light may indicate a retinal detachment. If treated quickly after symptoms occur, retinal detachment can often be treated successfully. Pain, swelling, infection, and complications from anesthesia are also risks of cataract surgery.
So when are those complications considered medical malpractice? In order to prove medical malpractice, you must establish that your medical professional – in this case your ophthalmologist – provided less than the “medical standard of care.” That standard is considered the level of care that an equally qualified medical professional would provide in the same circumstances.
If you intend to pursue a medical malpractice claim, you should act quickly. It is important to note that medical malpractice cases have a short statute of limitations, so timing is important.
Even though your medical procedure did not go as planned, it can still be tough to prove your doctor committed medical malpractice. Medical malpractice lawyers at Folkman Law Offices, P.C. know what is needed to prove tough cases. Our team of South Jersey medical malpractice lawyers will fight for the settlement you deserve, so you can pay your medical bills and supplement lost wages. Call our Cherry Hill, New Jersey office at 856-354-9444 or contact us online.