Channel NewsAsia

Botched cataract surgery leaves man seeing double

Mr Colin Sim said a Tan Tock Seng Hospital surgeon's failure to take in account his history of LASIK when performing his cataract surgery, left him with headaches and vision problems.

SINGAPORE: Mr Colin Sim wanted to correct his vision with cataract surgery, but was left seeing double instead. He had undergone a LASIK procedure 10 years ago, but the cataract surgeon failed to factor this in, he said.

The operation took place at Tan Tock Seng Hospital's Eye Centre on Aug 25. "When I was pushed to the recovery bay, suddenly, the doctor rushed to my bedside and said 'Sorry Colin, wrong power - 100 to 200 (degrees too high),' Mr Sim recounted. He added that the doctor wanted to push him back to the surgical table to take out the lens and replace it.

However, the 53-year-old declined the offer of a corrective procedure because he was concerned about his health. He continues to suffer from headaches and vision problems.

In a statement to Channel NewsAsia, Tan Tock Seng Hospital said that while Mr Sim's eye remains "structurally unharmed", it will monitor his recovery, and will discuss with him if he still needs a corrective procedure.

Dr Chua Wei Han, Senior Consultant Opthamologist at Parkway Eye Centre at Mount Elizabeth Hospital said those who have previously undergone LASIK procedures are at a risk, as the changes to the eye curvature, as well as length required to accurately calculate the power of the implant may not be measurable by even the latest medical instruments.

Aside from these measurements, surgeons would need to use a different formula to calculate the appropriate power for the implant.
"Unfortunately, we know that not all doctors who are cataract surgeons are familiar with LASIK," Dr Chua said. 

"We need to be aware that more and more patients have undergone LASIK. When we assess these patients before surgery and we need to ask them about their history of LASIK. In addition, we need to ensure that the formulas we use are appropriate for these patients who have undergone LASIK. These are the steps they need to take into account to minimise errors."