Cornea: External Disease and Contact Lenses
Malpractice as it relates to the cornea involves many of the same issues as other specialties in ophthalmology. Problems relating to informed consent, failure to diagnose, failure to treat appropriately, surgical complications, and poor outcome could potentially be faced by all ophthalmic surgeons. Graft rejection, on the other hand, is a problem unique to corneal specialists.
Aside from refractive surgery, which is covered in Chapter 20, the main surgical operation that corneal specialists perform is the corneal transplant. Pterygium surgery is the second most common surgical procedure. There are very few lawsuits relating to corneal transplant or pterygium surgery, and most of these suits are the result of surgical complications and poor outcomes. In the over four decades that I have been at the Wills Eye Institute, there have been approximately 14,000 corneal transplants performed. Only eight lawsuits relating to corneal transplants are known, with none resulting in a verdict for the plaintiff. The Ophthalmic Mutual Insurance Company (OMIC) has several suits involving corneal transplants on file, and these also relate mostly to surgical complications or poor outcomes.
KeywordsContact Lens Corneal Transplant Foreign Body Sensation Suture Removal Bacterial Conjunctivitis
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