Earlier this year there were reports* of people experiencing vision problems, including “blind patches”, as a result of intraocular lenses being used in lens replacement surgery in the UK. The lenses, manufactured by the large multinational pharmaceutical company, Oculentis, were found to cause issues at various stages post-surgery. If you have suffered loss as a result of lens replacement surgery in the UK, Friends Legal can help you to bring a claim for compensation.
At Friends Legal, we have a specialist eye injury team who deal with these cases day in day out across the UK, bringing claims against companies such as Oculentis on behalf of those that have suffered an injury as a result of medical negligence. We can help you claim the compensation you deserve.
What are Intraocular Lenses?
Intraocular lenses are used by surgeons to replace a patient’s natural lens when they have developed a cataract. The cataractous lens is removed and replaced with a synthetic intraocular lens.
Intraocular lenses have been used increasingly in surgery on patients who do not have cataracts but wish to remove the need to wear glasses or reduce dependency on glasses. Some private High Street surgery providers advertise that lens replacement surgery removes the need to wear glasses.
Several types of intraocular lens exist currently, and can be used in lens replacement surgery:
- Monofocal lenses seek to correct refractive errors at one distance. These tend to be what is used by the NHS. Patients often have monofocal lenses implanted which seek to provide good distance vision, however, such patients are required to wear glasses for close-up tasks after surgery
- Multifocal intraocular lenses seek to improve vision at distance, intermediate and near. Extended depth of focus lenses such as the Symfony Tecnis seek to provide good vision at all distances
What Can Give Rise to a Claim for Faulty or Defective Lenses?
Whatever type of lens is used, patients face a risk of developing a condition called Posterior Capsular Opacification (“PCO”) when the bag containing the clear lens thickens and interferes with the patient’s vision. If this occurs, the patient often complains that their vision has become blurred.
If this condition occurs, the treatment is ndYAG laser capsulotomy. Initially, some people were told that they had developed PCO as a result of the initial surgery, which would then require treatment with ndYAG laser. However, further examination revealed that the patient’s issues were not in fact caused by PCO, which is common following both cataract and elective lens replacement surgery.
In some cases, problems have arisen when the lens used in surgery was manufactured by Oculentis. It was discovered that the lenses used had started to opacify: also known as mineralisation or calcification. The onset of visual problems is often sudden, although many people experience a more gradual deterioration in their vision over time, sometimes years later. This deterioration is caused by calcium deposits accumulating on the surface of the lens.
As a result of ongoing post-surgery complications, the lenses in question were recalled by the manufacturers in 2014 and in 2017.
Faulty & Defective Lens Claims Lawyers
If you are unsure if you have a claim, our team can help. After an initial consultation, our solicitors will then be able to advise you as to whether your claim has a good chance of succeeding and also whether we can work with you on a no-win, no fee basis. Call us now on 0131 357 6261 or complete our online enquiry form, and we will get back to you without delay.
If you have suffered vision deterioration as a result of a lens replacement surgery, you may be entitled to a no-cost remedial surgery. As a result of the large number of patients affected, Oculentis set up a scheme whereby people can have the faulty lens explanted and replaced, free of charge. Several people have had the explant and replacement surgery performed by the original surgery providers (e.g. Optical Express), while others have the surgery performed on the NHS. Others go to surgeons who have agreed to perform the surgery: Oculentis also provide a list of the surgeons experienced in this area who are willing to assist, located across the UK.
How Friends Legal Can Help
Where a patient has had treatment for PCO, explant surgery is even more difficult and poses even more risks than cases where the patient has not had ndYAG laser treatment. Further surgery can pose further risks to your health and long-term vision, issues which you may be entitled compensation for.
Oculentis state that the mean stage at which problems develop is 3 years after lens replacement surgery. However, here at Friends Legal, we have clients whose problems did not arise until 8 or more years later.
It can be difficult to understand exactly what has gone wrong and at which point, but our specialists will discuss your case with you fully to determine whether you have a good claim.
Contact Us for a Free Initial Assessment & Advice from Our Specialist Eye Team
We have a specialist eye injury team who deal with these cases regularly across the UK, bringing claims against lens manufacturers including Oculentis. If you have been affected by faulty or defective lenses, we can also help you arrange remedial surgery to correct the issue.
We understand the impact your injury may have had on your life and the lives of your loved ones, and we will fight to get you the maximum compensation you are owed.