I had surgery in September for ptosis caused by horners syndrom. Surgeon made an incision inside of the eyelid and tightened the muller muscle. Insurance approved for blephoraplasty. I have had no improvment in the symmetry of the eye or the symptoms i.e. fatigue, not being able to focus. Surgeon agrees that revision surgery is required as no improvment is showing up. However, insurance is not approving the procedure and surgeon refused to do as corrective surgery and now says that it's one of the risks associated with surgery. I was never told that there was a risk of 100% failure. At the time of the surgery, receptionist at the surgical center told me to sign a piece of paper stating that they ae not liable if the procedure fails and surgon was not available to discuss or explain. I was told I had to sign or no surgery and I would be liable for all expenses and it was standard practice. In my confusion and stupidity I signed it with a sentence why would I have surgery if no results can be achieved. Surgeon disclosed to me when I went back to her that she would not have charged me if I had paid her out of pocket and the insurance does not pay her enough so she has to charge me again. I had to pay 20% out of pocket for the procedure. I am still in pain and unable to carry out activities and now will have to pay again and feel like got subpar quality of care because I the surgeon accepted insurance. Can you help? Thank you.
I am sorry for your condition and inability to find a medical treatment that addresses the problem. I have some experience in representing medical doctors, with an emphasis on plastic surgeons, and I will attempt to address your question.
I am slightly confused. Horner's syndrome (also called oculosympathetic palsy) is the combination of drooping of the eyelid (ptosis) and constriction of the pupil (miosis). It indicates a problem with the sympathetic nervous system, a part of the autonomic nervous system. There are many causes, some of which are quite serious. What is confusing is the use of plastic surgery to address the drooping eyelid with the implied understanding that it would cure or alleviate the blurred or decreased vision in the miotic eye. This cannot be, and that is the disturbing part of your question. That is, the surgery you seem to have had simply addressed one of the symptoms (ptosis of the upper eye lid) and not the cause. It might be called for if the drooping eyelid was covering the pupil. However, the constriction of the pupil is the root cause of your vision problems, and is a symptom of Horners syndrome. You need to get to a proper medical expert to address the cause of your condition, and not the cosmetic problems. Was the surgery performed by a plastic surgeon or a ophthalmologist?
With respect to the success of the surgery, no surgeon can guarantee his or her results, and there is always a risk involved. Usually, the surgeon has you read and sign a form that lists the risks and possible complications that can occur from the surgery. This form was probably the "piece of paper" you signed. Liability depends on several things, but informed consent is one of the keys, meaning were you properly informed about the surgery performed, including the benefits and risks thereof. The standard Informed Consent Form for blepharoplasty surgery includes bleeding, blindness, infection, and asymmetry. Second, was the diagnosis, surgical treatment, and post operative care within the standard of care for a surgeon within the local medical community or did it fall below the accepted standard of practice in the medical community and cause injury or death to the patient. With respect to your continued blurred vision, this seems to be related to the miosis and not to the eyelid surgery. Whether the eyelid surgery fell below the standard of care can only be determined by consulting with an expert doctor knowledgeable in the area of your medical treatment.
Although you did not ask this, I will provide you the information anyway: In California, the statute of limitations for bringing a lawsuit against a health care provider is set forth in Section 340.5 of the California Code of Civil Procedure which states, “In an action for injury or death against a health care provider based upon such person's alleged professional negligence, the time for the commencement of action shall be three years after the date of injury or one year after the plaintiff discovers, or through the use of reasonable diligence should have discovered, the injury, whichever occurs first.” HOWEVER, before you can file suit you must provide your doctor or other health care provider a Notice of Intent to Sue pursuant to California Code of Civil Procedure Section 364.
As they say, you need a second opinion.
I hope this information helps you.
Drew Allan Cicconi
Attorney at Law
Disclaimer: This is a general discussion of legal principles by a California lawyer and does not create an attorney/client relationship. This is not intended to be legal advice in your specific case. It's impossible to give detailed, accurate advice based on a few sentences on a website. You should always seek advice from an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction who can give you an informed opinion after reviewing all of the relevant information in your case.
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