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Malpractice Claims Mount, But Chicago Doctor Still Practicing

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By David Goguen on July 06, 2009 10:22 AM

Almost 50 medical malpractice lawsuits filed, and hundreds of dollars awarded to patients injured by botched LASIK eye surgery procedures. That's the recent litigation history against one Chicago eye doctor who is still treating patients, and just part of the alarming story being reported in the Chicago Tribune this week.

Almost a year ago, the chief medical prosecutor in Illinois investigated the mounting claims of negligence against Dr. Nicholas Caro, and recommended that the Chicago ophthalmologist's medical license be revoked or suspended, after Caro "mishandled Lasik surgeries and failed to properly manage treatment of post-operative complications," the Tribune reports.

But so far no action has been taken against Dr. Caro, who continues to perform eye operations, and the case highlights the sometimes glacial pace of disciplinary proceedings against doctors, even when those who are tied to stacks of complaints.

In Illinois specifically, the state's division of professional regulation "has been the subject of criticism in recent years for being slow and overly lax in taking action against incompetent and dangerous doctors," according to the Tribune. The story details the plight of two of Caro's patients who were awarded hundreds of thousands of dollars after botched LASIK eye surgeries.

Read the article: Lasik Lawsuits: Disciplinary Proceedings Lag Against Chicago Doctor.

LASIK (Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis) is a surgical procedure that can correct vision problems by using a laser to change the shape of the cornea and improve the eye's ability to bend light rays properly, so that blurry vision is eliminated. LASIK eye surgery is most effective in treating nearsightedness (myopia).

As surgeries go, a LASIK procedure is quick (lasting about 15 minutes) and relatively uncomplicated. But obviously, with any operation involving the eye there is very little margin for error. Mistakes in a LASIK procedure can be difficult to correct and may have serious and long-term effects like vision loss, as evidenced by the allegations made against Dr. Caro in Chicago.

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