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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    6

    Default Cataract Surgery: Wrong Implant

    First ophthalmologist cataract surgeon I saw I not only made it clear at initial visit that I wanted a lens implant for distance vision, I have worn reading glasses most of my life and don't mind them, that I did not want to need glasses for distance or driving after the surgery. I FAXed him some questions after that initial visit and received a letter from his office clearly stating if I didn't need glasses for distance and driving before surgery I wouldn't need them after surgery.

    I went for a second opinion to an out of town ophthalmologist who was highly recommended, practiced at a renowned eye institute affiliated with a teaching hospital and who well known for his glaucoma research since I was concerned about the effect of cataract surgery on my mild glaucoma in that eye. I made it clear to this surgeon as well that I wanted a lens for distance vision and did not want to have to wear glasses for distance after the surgery but put nor got anything in writing. I opted to schedule the surgery with him. At not time did he suggest any other type of lens implant.

    The implant he gave me was a "reading" implant. To add insult to injury the implant is even stronger than he intended (which I realize is a "honest" and somewhat unavoidable error) so that I must hold written material much closer to my face than is comfortable.

    I can NOT drive at night w/o glasses. I encounter halos around headlights, around street lights and around business sign lights so bad that I cannot see except to close that eye and drive with just my good eye. I cannot see to drive with just the eye that had surgery, everything is just one big blur.

    At no time prior to surgery did this surgeon mention "mono-vision" or suggest or discuss what type of implant he thought I should have or he intended to use nor give me any reason to expect I would get anything but a distance lens implant as I indicated I wanted and expected.

    I've been told my only options are replacing the implant lens with the correct one which is NOT recommended; refractory surgery, contact lenses, or glasses with corrective lens, w/or w/o bifocal/trifocal vision. The first corrective lens we tried did not work and he has suggested the frame and lens is too large and a smaller frame and lens needed. I am currently waiting for the new smaller frame and lens to arrive.

    In his letter to my optometrist prior to the cataract surgery he did state" "However, the cataract seems to be bothersome for her, particularly with driving." He also stated that "we reviewed the somewhat increased risk of cataract surgery in eyes with pseudoexfoliation ... " which is untrue. He didn't even bother to mention the risk of "floaters" either.

    I am NOT a happy camper. But then I have not been blinded nor completely lost sight in that eye. Nonetheless, do I have ANY recourse. This man either accidentally or intentionally gave me a lens implant the exact opposite of what I made it clear I wanted if I were to have the cataract surgery.

    :? :cry: :x :evil:

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    98,846

    Default Medical Malpractice

    Given that the doctor's letter apparently predates your surgery, it becomes hard to argue that he was trying to cover up a mistake - at least in relation to the content of the letter. The larger issue for medical malpractice is damages - the cost of bringing a malpractice lawsuit in Michigan is very high, and the question of damages is thus central to whether the recovery would justify the cost of litigation. Many cases of malpractice go unprosecuted in Michigan because of the cost of litigation.

    If it is likely that you can achieve an adequate recovery through refractory surgery, contact lenses, or eyeglasses, it unfortunately becomes less likely that your damages would be sufficient to justify the cost of litigation. Still, you should consider consulting a malpractice lawyer and and having your case reviewed. Michigan has a two year statute of limitations for medical malpractice actions, and you don't want to leave things to the last minute.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    6

    Default

    Thank you for your reply and advice. It is about what I expected. I am filing a complaint with the state licensing bureau. Again, I doubt that anything will really come of it since the "damages" are so minor to any one but me but he was wrong and I can't not file some type of complaint.

    :evil: :roll:

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    2

    Default

    How are you doing? Has your blurred vision cleared? What's become of your floater? Would like an updaqte on your condition; and progress in resolving your injustice. Please post your reply.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    6

    Default

    Thank you for your concern. No problem with floaters. However, the new glasses while better than the previous pair are not particularly satisfactory. I'm just not adjusting well at all to this mono-vision that surgeon gave me with that "reading" implant. I now need glasses for both reading and driving. Every time I get behind the wheel of my car, especially at night, I get angry with this surgeon all over again. I've been driving since I was 12 years old. For 20 years I drove for a living. Now I am not comfortable driving as I once was. I no longer enjoy driving.

    I did receive a call from one of his office staff the same day I received the certified receipt from my complaint letter to the state. The state must have contacted him immediately upon receipt of my complaint. I was "invited" to go down to see him again and allow him to explain ... I refused. I was asked what he could do to rectify the situation and I told them not a d--n thing except to stay the heck out of my life, the damage was done. The offer was made for me to see another opthalmologist there and I refused that as well. I told them that if he didn't feel that my desire for a "distance" lens was reasonable or feasible he should have so informed me and discussed alternatives with me so that "I" could decide whether to go ahead with the surgery instead of him deciding what was best for me w/o informing me. Since the local surgeon planned on inplanting a distance lens I still cannot fathom this jerk's reasoning. He hasn't even had the decency to at least express regret or to apologize.

    It would appear that my best option is refractory surgery but there is no way I would let another surgeon near my eyes until I'm virtually blind and have no choice!!!! I am still very bitter and very angry.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    2

    Default

    I am so sorry to hear of your discomfort with your sight . Very unfortunate; but I do hope you rececive some satisfactory relosultion with you complaint. You deserve it!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    6

    Default

    As an aside: To add insult to injury I sent a Release of Information to myself of my ENTIRE surgical/medical record including office notes, etc. to the clinic. All I received was the letter thanking my optometrist for the referral and information on testing done, etc. and the surgical report. No office notes, etc. That torqued my jaws as well. I want to see those office notes!!!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    1

    Default Wrong Implant Too From My Cataract Surgery

    I can relate to Limbo's problems. In May 2005 I had cataract surgery (I am 46 yrs old) from a doctor who has an excellent reputation. Let me preface this by saying that even with the cataract in my right eye, my vision was still crystal clear because of my good (20/20) left eye. I could see perfectly except for using reading glasses occasionally. However the cataract was diminishing the peripheral vision in my right eye (I could see only shadows in that eye). While having my pre-op visits, the doctor asked me if I wanted an implant that would allow me to read without reading glasses, as I am prominently far sighted.

    When the doctor asked this, I asked him, "you mean I won't have to wear reading glasses?", to which he replied, "Right!". Well, I was ecstatic, as I thought now that I won't have to wear reading glasses any more. I thought the doctor was saying that I would see both near and far sighted well after the surgery. I kept asking him questions, but he never mentioned a thing about the implant being mono-vision and he kept reassuring me that all would be fine.

    Well, all did not turn out fine. After my surgery, I immediately developed a swollen cornea. My doctor and another doctor said they have NEVER seen this in a cataract patient who had perfect eyes with no pre-existing cornea or retina problems. After 1 harrowing month of being on predforte drops and being told I might need a cornea transplant (and being almost totally blind in that eye), the swelling in the cornea finally went down to a normal state.

    However, I still couldn't see clearly and that's when I realized something was wrong with the implant. I see blurry all the time now, because the implant that was put in my right eye does not work correctly with my left eye. I feel my eyes are in competition with each other. I always try to blink and focus, to no avail. When I approached my doctor on this, he said he was half a diopter off and that I should "just get glasses".

    Well, I never wore glasses in my life and now I have to wear glasses after cataract surgery, which was supposed to make my vision better. I cannot see near-sighted or far-sighted well. I can only see well within about 10 feet - anything past that is blurry, and everything in fine print is blurry too. My 2-eyed vision is worse now than it was before the surgery even when I had the cataract. Only if I close my implant eye can I see clearly.

    I am upset beyond words. Like Limbo's doctor, my doctor told me too of Refractive surgery, replacing the implant (highly risky), or wearing a contact lens or glasses for the rest of my life.

    I don't want anyone going near my eyes either, just like Limbo, so I feel like my vision is now impaired for life.

    Can anyone please tell me my options legally? I plan on seeking legal council. Oh yeah, also, after my surgery, the doctor told me it was ok to drive, even with the swollen cornea. So I drove to a local store, and side swiped a light pole because my cornea was so swollen that I had no peripheral vision on the right side of my face. So my car has damage which I am unable to afford to fix right now.

    I highly recommend ANYONE seeking cataract surgery to BE CAREFUL and ASK TONS OF QUESTIONS! Know that the implants are mono-vision and can cause blurred vision if it doesn't work in sync with your good eye - they should be close or the same strength. Before my surgery I needed only reading glasses occasionally; now I need glasses (bifocals) almost all the time, both for reading and driving/walking around stores.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated! thanks!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    6

    Default

    :shock: Upset2, I am so sorry to hear of the problems you are having as well.

    In my case I have "tunnel vision". I can see straight ahead but any vision to either side, up or down, is distorted or double vision. The glasses have helped in that they have cut down somewhat the halos when driving at night. They have eliminated what I/we thought were floaters if I have them on. But still the vision is clear only in this narrow tunnel straight ahead. I can't use my side view mirror without drastically turning my head. The halos in my vision are far worse than they ever were from the cataract. Short of looking straight ahead in this very small window of range my distance vision is badly distorted. I still see clearest when driving if I close the implanted lens eye.

    I can read w/o glasses if I hold the reading material about 6 inches from my face and read with just the implanted lens eye. Reading is especially difficult as I can't range a full page width or more than two or three lines up or down w/o moving my head to be able to read w/o distoriton or double vision.


    My implanted lens is an AcrySof 24.0 D, Length 13.0mm, Optic 6.0mm, UV. The lens the local cataract surgeon was going to put in was a ClearFlex +18 x 50.

    :roll: One explanation given to me is that my eye was measured wrong and the "springs" of the inplant aren't under enough tension to hold the implant correctly in place. My pupil is larger than provided for. The assumption is that my pupil is rather large. The implant lens probably isn't quite as large, the edges are "rough" and reflect light off of themselves which my retina catches. The "springs" that hold the implant in place might not be in correct position. Near the end of the surgery there was a couple of moments when the entire visual area was a light blue with a darker blue "curl" in the bottom outside of my vision and a darker blue "W" shape in the upper inside corner of my vision. I forget if the open end of the "W" pointed toward the center of the eye or toward the upper outside of the eye. I can't find my drawing at the moment. Those two darker blue areas could have been the implant "springs" that I was seeing. My pupil is too large for them. When I tried to bring up what I "saw" during the surgery the surgeon said patients "saw" many things that meant nothing and again, we shouldn't look back, there's nothing to be gained by looking back .... blah, blah, blah.

    I should have walked away and not had the surgery with him when I had to sit thru a 10 minute lecture on the evils of smoking. I said nothing, I thought I did a good job of hiding my exaspiration with the lecture. However, his assistant was either much more sensitive and/or felt he was out of line as well as she said as she was leading me back to the main desk he means well or something to that effect.

    The lady from Risk Management who called me offered to help with any request I might have. I asked for the pictures of my eyes taken by my local ophthalmologist that this surgeon asked if he could keep prior to my surgery and for a copy of the surgeon' s notes. I have yet to receive them. I've sent another certified letter clearly stating which records I want this time: explicity the pictures of my eyes taken locally and the surgeon's office notes and all test results generated at this facility. Absolutely no response. If I haven't recevied this information by the first of the year I will notify the state of this. I am getting irritated enough that if I were still working I'd hire an attorney just for spite to rattle their chains a bit. :evil:

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Cataract Surgery: Wrong Implant

    January 1, 2007

    So what happened, re 2005 problems?

    FWIW, I'm 70, diabetic, had a lot of retinopathy damage and cataract surgery, didn't want the mono-focus implant but wasn't informed there was any choice. Mine's set for distance, and I still have to use both distance, closeup, and intermediate glasses. I'm not sure my young opthalmologist even does multi-focus implants such as the ReSTOR. A friend who's about my age but not diabetic is also mourning the loss of her near vision. We're both musicians and readers, and don't drive much. I'm not a happy camper either. And the retina specialist doesn't seem to know the opthalmologist as well as she thinks she does. He won't even face me, let his younger brother take me over.

    A wrong glasses prescription used up my glasses insurance for 2 yrs, and I think he knows the people that made them are asking will he pay for remaking, as most opthalmologists do. I think it was the fault of his employee who does the glasses exam, who just says the retina specialists agree with him. They were just taking a shortcut. But anyway, surgeons not telling us we'll lose near vision with the old-fashioned mono-focus implants is a problem. My friend was given a choice of paying $3500 extra but it wasn't made clear to her that she'd feel such a loss of her near vision.

    Does anyone with diabetes and scarring know if the ReSTOR would work for us, just as well as the mono-focus implant?

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