My question involves medical malpractice in the state of: Texas
In November of this year I was diagnosed with cataracts in both eyes, the right one being much worse than the left. I had surgery for the right eye on November 7th and the left on December 5th. The surgery seemed to go well, and my vision in the right eye was 20/25
While returning from a Thanksgiving trip on November 30th I noticed a shadow at the top of my vision in the right eye. I had an appointment with the optometrist who works with the surgeon and I mentioned this shadow. He looked at the eye and told me that he believed it was due to the normal swelling after surgery. I had surgery on the left eye that same week.
A few weeks went by and the shadow gradually progressed into my line of sight. At my next follow up visit with the optometrist I mentioned this again, as well as the fact I was seeing "floaters". By this point the shadow was blocking about 30-40% of my vision. The optometrist dilated the eye and checked for a retinal detachment, but said everything looked fine and that it was probably still due to the eye recovering from the surgery.
At the end of January I had another follow up. By this point the shadow was covering over half of my vision and the eye was essentially useless. The optometrist looked again and said he still didn't see any sign of a retinal detachment, and thought it might swelling of part of the eye. At that point he told me we had a couple of options, we could treat the swelling with some drops, or I could go see a specialist to make sure the retina wasn't detached. I opted for the specialist and went directly from the optometrist to the retinal specialist. Within a couple of minutes they determined that the retina was over 60% detached and that I needed surgery.
I had to go to another city for the surgery on February 2nd and the retina was successfully reattached. I was told that only time would tell how much vision I would recover. At my last checkup, my vision was roughly 20/60, however after telling them of pain I was having in the eye, and that my pupil was permanently dilated, they discovered that the lens the cataract surgeon implanted had slipped and was blocking the iris open. This may or may not require surgery to fix.
It is my feeling that the optometrist who works with the cataract surgeon should have sent me to a specialist when I first complained about the shadow. The success of reattaching the retina often has to do with how soon it is diagnosed and treated. Instead, it took nearly two months before he even suggested seeing a specialist as an option, and even then seemed to be leaning toward trying to treat the swelling with the drops.
In hindsight and after doing some research on my own, i understand that I should have taken maters into my own hands regarding contacting a specialist, however I trusted that the doctor knew what he was doing and that he would send me to a specialist if there was any reason for concern.
My question is, is a medical malpractice suit worth pursuing against the doctor who failed to diagnos and refer me?