Woman’s Eye Remains Impaired 15 Months After Cataract Surgery


A cataract is a cloudiness of the lens of the eye and causes loss of vision over an extended period of time. Usually cataracts affect older people, with about half the population having a cataract by age 65. Cataracts can be alleviated with surgery. Cataract surgery removes the defective lens and implants an artificial lens. The majority of people who undergo cataract surgery have greatly improved vision after. However, as is the case with all medical procedures, there are certain risks that are associated with cataract surgery. In some cases, cataract patient end up with poorer vision after the procedure. Though it does occur, this outcome is fortunately very low.

One woman in Maryland had cataract surgery 15 months ago. The surgery resulted in a hemorrhage and blood clot that required the removal of the inside of her eye. The vision in her eye remains impaired. She has filed a complaint in Baltimore City Circuit Court against Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Mid-Atlantic Permanente Medical Group.

Prior to the surgery, the plaintiff Marion Strachan was evaluated by Kaiser doctors Lazaros Volikas and Emil Thattassery. Volikas performed the surgery and noted “tears.” Strachan experienced worsening symptoms over the next week, including impaired vision, bleeding under the cornea, and worsening eye pressure. She was referred by Volkas to the John Hopkins Wilmer Eye Clinic.

When she was examined by Dr. Esen Akpek at the clinic, due to the hemorrhage there was not any view of the right pupil and upon dilation no view through the pupil from within the eye. Dr. Akpek brought in Dr. David Baranano for an emergency consultation. Both doctors agreed that Strachan required further surgery to remove a blood clot, wash the blood from beneath her cornea, and to remove a replacement lens as well as pieces of her own lens. When the surgery was performed three days later, a retinal tear was discovered and it was also repaired. Even though Strachan continues to receive treatment at Wilmer Eye Clinic, her eye vision remains poor.

Strachan is suing for medical malpractice. The complaint states that Volikas should have better appreciated the risks of the surgery; sought consultation sooner; when complications occurred, removed the middle of the eye; and checked her vision by dilating her eye.

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