Each year in the UK millions of surgical procedures are carried out, unfortunately, in some instances, patients are unwittingly let down by their surgeon before the treatment began.
In March 2015, a landmark decision in the United Kingdom Supreme Court (Montgomery v Lanarkshire Health Board) made it clear that medical professionals must ensure their patients are clearly made aware of the risks of any treatments they offer and of the availability of any suitable alternatives.
What this means in layman's terms is that it is a legal responsibility of a surgeon to properly inform the patient of the risks and alternative treatment so they can decide to go ahead or not. Furthermore, if the patient is adversely affected by the surgery and the consent was flawed, the patient may be entitled to make a claim against the surgeon for a lack of informed consent.
Worryingly, the complications and risks of treatments being offered by some private clinics, such as laser eye surgery, lens removal, and cataract surgery frequently seem to be downplayed, which could enable some patients to undergo surgery that is not as safe as they expect.
The NHS says that as many as 1 in 10 people having laser eye surgery require further corrective treatment and the Royal College of Ophthalmologists state that 5% of patients who undergo Refractive Lens Exchange are unhappy with the results it is important that people are made aware of these failings before consenting to surgery.
It seems attitudes to ensuring patients' rights are been taken lightly by some surgeons where patients are being let down even before surgery.
If you have been harmed by eye surgery and was not told about the risks or alternative treatment beforehand you may be able to claim compensation.