RCOpth Significant Events In Refractive Surgery
Most refractive surgery is carried out on eyes that are healthy apart from having a refractive error and the primary aim of the procedure is to reduce dependence on spectacles or contact lenses for clear vision.
Inevitably, the expectations of surgery tend to be very high (sometimes unrealistically so), and the consequences of a serious complication can be far-reaching, particularly as most patients seeking refractive surgery are of working age.
It is particularly important therefore that patients are selected appropriately and that they understand the risks and benefits of the procedure they are contemplating, with time to ask questions and reflect on information they have been given. Patients who do not achieve as complete a correction as they wished or who experience a complication of treatment require support and accurate information about options for further treatment. Good record keeping and a reliable mechanism for responding to complaints are very important.
Serious malfunctions of laser refractive surgery equipment leading to harm to patients are fortunately very rare, but need to be reported to the Medical Devices section of the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Authority if they occur.
Serious incidents such as the incorrect entry of treatment parameters leading to a laser correction other than the one intended, or treatment of the wrong eye should always be reported to the appropriate authority and investigated using root cause analysis techniques.
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