How Dangerous is A-920?

Meet Vicki Rutledge and then scroll down to take action

Vicki Rutledge is from Hugo, OK. She is a member of the Choctaw Nation.

She had been under the care of a private ophthalmologist and had cataract surgery successfully performed on her right eye in 2016.

She experienced a common side effect of cataract surgery that can make vision cloudy or fuzzy. Her optometrist—who was neither a surgeon nor a medical doctor—recommended a procedure called a YAG capsulotomy. In New Jersey and most other states, this procedure can only be performed by an ophthalmologist, who is actually a medical doctor and an eye surgeon. This safeguard is in place for good reason.

During the surgery, Vicki sensed that things weren’t going well but did not say anything as she felt that the optometrist was a “doctor” and she “couldn’t say anything and had to put her trust in her to do the surgery.” She went home with a patch on the eye (not typical), and the next day, when she removed the patch as instructed, she saw a large black area in the center of her vision.

She lost central vision in the right eye, and she is now legally blind.

The damage to her right eye from the optometrist who performed her surgery was, in her words, “not something that should have happened, preventable, and something that (she) does not want to ever happen to anyone else.” She says that “perhaps something good can come out of what has happened to her,” and she wants to do whatever she can to let state legislators throughout the nation know that patients and their vision need to be protected from eye surgery being performed without the necessary level of education and training.

Her story illustrates why optometrists should not be permitted to perform these surgeries in New Jersey.

Only medical doctors and trained eye surgeons (ophthalmologists) can and should perform eye surgery in New Jersey. Let’s keep it that way.