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Posted by Patty on March 04, 2000 at 02:01:55:

In Reply to: Re: Failed cataract surgery posted by concerned on March 03, 2000 at 20:17:36:

: : Please help with some info. My father had cataract surgery on Feb. 28th. It was a difficult one because the cataract was thin. The surgeon said she successfully removed the cataract but had to put in a new lens because the thing the lens implant lays on broke under pressure from the irrigation, or flushing out of the eye. She couldn't put the lens on the outer part of the eye because he has glaucoma as well. When she took the bandage off on the 29th, she said his retina looked bad and sent him to a retinal specialist. Now he has choroidals (swelling of the eye), which is very bad the doctor said and is scheduled to have a vitrectomy to save his eyesight in his right eye. The retinal specialist got angry when he asked questions. We wonder if malpractice is involved. Is it common for these things that lens implants go on to break? Or was it doctor error? Doctors all protect each other so we aren't getting anywhere with questions and they all seem very nervous and angry with us, when all we want to do is understand what happened, why, and will he see again out of his right eye?
: : Please e-mail any info to [email protected]
: : Thank you.

: Dear Patty:)
: You wrote that your father had glaucoma and cataracts. Glaucoma is the disease of the optic nerve that is progressive and is preventable, but if untreated it leads to blindness. If your father has glaucoma he must have had it for years and if he has been seeing his eye doctor on yearly bases he must have been given drops to treat it.
: As for cataracts...cataract is the clouding of the lens and once it becomes too clouded for your father to see out of that eye, the doctors had to remove it. What is done during the surgery is that an artificial lens is inserted that rests where the original lens used to. Sometimes, this anchoring base or capsule as it is called breaks, and the doctors have to find another way to attach this new lens. You said that the surgery was successful, meaning that they have found a way to attach it.
: Then you said that the surgeon noted that your father has "bad retina". All this means is that after the lens was removed the doctor had a better view looking inside of the eye. Remember that when the eye has cataract, you cannot see out of the eye, nor can doctors see inside of the eye.
: Your concern was with the lens breaking...usually what breaks is the anchoring capsule, not the implant, and if the implant ever got damaged it is not a big deal, since doctors usually keep 2 during the surgery available.
: So, I did not quite understand where did you get the idea about malpractice and what 2 things are you corelating.
: As for the retina specialist not wanting to answer your questions and getting angry, I thin that is the most unprofessional behavior that is unfortunately seen in healtcare daily (specially if you don't have the "right" insurance coverage). I am sorry to hear that your father has been treated this way, but next time you go and see the doctor, remind him that you are a patient and a human being and that you deserve explanations and answers to your questions, as would he/she if it were his/her father who had the same condition.
: The third thing that you mentioned is the nose bleed. I don't think that it is related to the eye because the lens and the nasal canal are not connected. When you apply makeup and have it come running through your nose it is because the makeup does not enter the inside of your eye, but it drains through your puncta (the little opening on your lid margins where tears drain) amd this puncta is connected to your nose and further your throat.
: I hope that this information helps you understand some of the surgical procedures better.
: However, always follow what the doctors say and never be afraid to ask the doctor (not the staff) exactly what you have doubts or misunderstanding about. If it becomes necessary, I would remind the doctor that as every human being I deserve the respect and deserve to know what is going on.
: Good luck to you and your father.

I will try to explain further and I am grateful for the information you have given me. My question of malpractice is based on several things. First, I have read that cataract surgery is one of the most common surgeries performed in the US and has over a 90% success rate. Second, I don't believe my dad had a bad retina before the cataract surgery. You say that the doctor can't see into the eye very well with a cataract. Well, the retinal specialist said that his retina does not look completely detached but there is a suspicious area. He said that the corroidals, or swelling of the eye, is what caused his retinal problem and that usually choroidals have a very high risk of retinal detachment. It is a serious problem he said. He also said that any time you have eye surgery (like my dad's cataract surgery, he means), you run the risk of swelling of the eye or these choroidals. Ok, so WHAT caused the swelling when the majority of Americans who go in for cataract surgery are treated successfully and do NOT have swelling and resulting blindness or partial blindness in one eye??? I can only think that it is due to this capsule breaking. How common is that? Is it due to a product defect or doctor error? When my dad asked the retinal specialist about the capsule breaking during his cataract surgery with a previous surgeon, he got very angry and defensive. Why? The cataract surgeon very quickly and nervously sent my dad over to this retinal specialist IMMEDIATELY upon taking off his bandage and seeing the damage in his eye, saying that he would probably have to have immediate emergency surgery. The retinal speciali

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