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Eyesight Surgery

Five-figure settlement for woman who suffered poor outcome from monovision lens implants

A woman who suffered a poor outcome from cataract surgery combined with lens implants has received a five-figure settlement from the private health provider concerned.

Posted on 10 August 2020

The 55-year-old, who we have called Louise, was diagnosed with cataracts and recommended the insertion of intraocular monovision lenses when she sought private advice and treatment after a deterioration in her eyesight.
She had developed short-sightedness (myopia) and glared vision at night, among other symptoms.
Intraocular monovision lenses work after cataract surgery when the clouded natural lens in one eye is replaced with a lens for distance-vision, and the clouded natural lens in the other eye is replaced with a lens for near-vision.
Louise had the surgery in her right eye, followed by the surgery in her left eye a week later after she was advised that she would be a suitable candidate for the procedure.
She says that that alternative options for correcting myopia were not discussed, and the risks associated with monovision were not explained.
Importantly, Louise was not told that some patients simply cannot adjust to monovision lenses and patients therefore usually undergo a trial of monovision with contact lenses ahead of surgery. In Louise’s case it was alleged that this had not been completed to a satisfactory standard.
During the initial procedure on Louise’s right eye, the incorrect lens was inserted, but was noticed, removed and replaced before the procedure had finished.  This made the procedure and recovery more painful than it otherwise should have been, with significantly greater inflammation.
When the procedure was complete, Louise suffered a poor visual outcome with significantly worsened vision, problems with glare and halos, and overall reduced acuity of vision.
She has required further treatment to her eyes, including LASEK surgery which was used to try to correct both her eyes to distance vision as far as possible, given that she was ill-suited to monovision.
Leigh Day solicitors, acting for Louise, argued that her unsuitability for monovision lenses could have been established prior to the procedure if the Defendant had appropriately explained the risks of monovision and alternative options available, and had a satisfactory monovision trial taken place.
The claim eventually settled for a five-figure sum with no admission of liability. Louise’s legal team consisted of specialist healthcare solicitors Suzanne White and Mathew Westlake of Leigh Day, and counsel Paul Reynolds of 1 Crown Office Row.
Leigh Day Partner, Suzanne White said:
“I am pleased that we have been able to secure a settlement which I hope will help Louise to put this ordeal behind her, although of course no sum of money can undo the damage that has been caused. It is crucial that patients are fully informed of their treatment options and that they are counselled about the risks involved, and that where pre-operative trials are needed the lead consultants take overall responsibility for ensuring that this has been completed to a satisfactory level.”