Iowa lawmaker to propose legislation banning ‘retinal tear’ treatment

Iowa State Representative Mark Lamberth is introducing a bill that would prohibit doctors from performing surgery to repair a “retinal wound.”

Lamberth told WCPO-TV he has been hearing from constituents who have had eye surgeries after experiencing eye tears.

He says a number of people are requesting that his bill include a “reasonable time frame” to allow for the retinal surgeon to make the necessary repairs.

The Iowa House voted to enact the measure last month, with Lambertst joining state Sen. Jennifer Granholm and state Sen, Mike DeWine, to vote against the measure.

Iowa’s Senate has already voted to repeal the state’s ban on the procedure, and the Iowa House passed a similar bill in June.

Lambth says he’s been working with the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Medical Association on the issue.

“I want to ensure that no one is going to be turned away for this procedure and we need to ensure everyone gets the treatment they need,” he said.

More from the Associated Press: Iowa governor signs bill to prohibit retina tear surgery article The governor of Iowa has signed a bill to ban the procedure known as retinal fusion.


Kim Reynolds told the Des Moines Register that the bill was signed into law to address a rise in the number of eye injuries in the state.

According to the Register, the state will begin requiring a three-month waiting period before the procedure can be performed, with the first eye surgery scheduled for Sept. 1.

There are no current plans to ban laser vision correction surgery or other medical procedures for the eyes, but officials say they will seek more research to determine if those procedures can be safely performed.

It’s unclear how the state would prevent doctors from using the laser to fix a retinal injury or remove the tear, but the Iowa Department of Public Health says retinal trauma is a serious medical condition that requires immediate treatment.