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LASIK, which is short for Laser-Assisted in-Situ Keratomileusis, is a surgical procedure that ophthalmologists use to correct eye problems such as myopia (near-sightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness) and astigmatism. As the name implies, this operation is done with the use of high-powered and computer-controlled laser. This laser is used to burn away any irregularities on the corneal tissue of the eye that impede vision. Whilst most procedures are carried out satisfactorily there are occasions when things go wrong and eyesight is permanently impaired. If you have experienced a less than satisfactory outcome, our medical negligence solicitors can advise you about a potential compensation claim for negligent treatment

Corneal Tissue Irregularities

If a patient wears contact lenses and chooses to undergo LASIK, the eye surgeon who will be treating him will advise him to refrain from wearing contact lenses for several weeks prior to the operation. Before the operation, the eye surgeon will make a topographic map of the patient's cornea using a device called a pachymeter. This will enable the surgeon to note where the irregularities of the corneal tissue of the patient's eyes are and if the patient has astigmatism. Knowing where these irregularities are will allow the surgeon to make more precise cuts to the corneal tissue using the laser.


The eye surgeon performs the operation on the patient while the patient is awake. A mild sedative may be administered, as well as anaesthetic eye drops. Once the eye is ready, the surgeon mechanically creates a flap in the corneal tissue so the stroma is revealed. The stroma is the middle layer of the cornea. After this, the surgeon uses excimer laser to burn away the irregular tissues in the stroma. When the surgery is complete and all the irregularities in the corneal tissue that prevent the patient from seeing perfectly are burned away, the surgeon replaces the flap that he has cut out. The patient may be prescribed antibiotics and anti-inflammatory eye drops.

Potential Complications

LASIK eye surgery is popular for two main reasons. One is that LASIK eye surgery is generally safe. The second is that the recovery time required after undergoing LASIK eye surgery is only a couple of days or so. Like any other surgical procedure, LASIK eye surgery, no matter how safe it is reputed to be, can have complications. Overcorrection and under-correction are not uncommon complaints among patients who have undergone this procedure. Glare, halos and starbursts around light sources are other problems some patients encounter after going through LASIK eye surgery. The worst case scenarios involve bleeding as well as incidences of retinal detachment (where the retina peels away from the supporting tissue), macular holes and uveitis (severe inflammation of the corneas middle layer). Complications arising out of the negligence of the eye surgeon entitle the aggrieved patient to protection and compensation under the law, not withstanding that they may have signed documents that appear to indicate otherwise. If you would like legal advice on a medical negligence compensation claim just call the helpline and a solicitor will give you advice at no cost and with no further obligation.

LASIK Negligence Solicitors

If you have been injured due to the incompetence of a healthcare provider during surgery you should speak to a specialist medical negligence solicitor about your ordeal and the likelihood of a negligent LASIK surgery compensation claim. Time limits apply and it is in your interests to obtain legal advice from a LASIK surgery solicitor at an early stage. Failure to abide by the Limitation Act may mean that the opportunity to claim compensation is lost forever. Don't delay - take legal advice now.



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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