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Eye Surgeon Punished for No Fault of his The Maharashtra Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission has recently pulled up a Mulund-based ophthalmologist, Dr Ashlesh Gala, for a botched up cataract surgery which resulted in the loss of vision for one of his patient. The forum held that the doctor failed to take the preliminary precautions of conducting the mandatory medical tests for the consumer which resulted in vision-loss in one eye. The commission has asked the doctor to pay a penalty amount of Rs 45,000 toward the complainant for his mistake. However, the patient, Gopal Joshi, is unhappy with the order and has decided to take the matter to the National Commission. The commision's order read,"It cannot be disputed that the cataract surgery in modern day is a low-risk eye surgery as it is usually done with local anesthesia to numb the eye and then medicines are prescribed for relaxation of the patient. However, even though eye surgery has very low risk, many healthy people get a routine set of tests done before the surgey is conducted. In these cases, the tests don't change or make it safer but helps controlling blood pressure and sugar during the time of the surgery." Meanwhile, Joshi's lawyer, Mangesh Nalawade, while speaking to DNA said, "Our plea was on the grounds of negligence as the medical papers say that there was a cornea tear of my client which lead to loss of his vision in one eye. But, the aspect of negligence was not considered by the Commission. We are definitely approaching the National Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission and filing an appeal." -- If you’re going to have cataract surgery or another eye surgery, you may be given some medical tests first. For example, you may have an electrocardiogram (EKG) to check your heart, or a complete blood count (CBC) to check for anemia, a low amount of red blood cells. These tests may make surgery safer. For example, they may find medical problems that lead to a delay or change in your surgery. But most people don’t need these tests before eye surgery. Here’s why: The tests usually aren’t helpful for low-risk surgery. Generally, cataract and other eye surgeries have very low risks of complications or problems, such as heart attacks. There really isn’t anything doctors can do to lower the risk any further. Eye surgeries do not take long, and they use only a local anesthetic to numb the eye, often with a medicine to relax you. Even so, many healthy people get a routine set of tests before eye surgery. In these cases, the tests don’t change the surgery or make it safer. They can lead to more tests. The tests themselves are very safe, but they can cause false alarms. This can lead to anxiety and more tests. And they can needlessly delay your sur­gery. For example, one test may be followed up with a repeat test, an ultrasound, a biopsy, or a test that exposes you to radiation, such as an X-ray or CT scan. The costs can add up. Your health plan may not pay for the tests if you do not have a specific medical need for them. If this happens, you may need to pay for them. It could cost between $25 and $50 per test, according to So when are the tests needed? You may need the tests if you have certain kinds of health conditions or illnesses. For example, you may need an EKG if you have heart disease or symptoms such as chest pain or shortness of breath. If you have diabetes, you will probably need a blood test to make sure it is under control. Based on the test results, your doctor may need to change your surgery or anesthesia. You may need special care during or after the surgery. Or you may need to postpone the surgery until the problem is treated or controlled. This report is for you to use when talking with your health-care provider. It is not a substitute for medical advice and treatment. Use of this report is at your own risk. © 2013 Consumer Reports. Developed in cooperation with the American Academy of Ophthalmology. 04/2013

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Eye Surgeon Punished for No Fault of his


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