Lens replacement surgery, also sometimes called refractive lens exchange, involves surgically replacing the eye’s natural lens with an artificial implant, or IOL (intraocular lens).
There are two main types of lens replacement surgery: refractive lens exchange (also sometimes referred to as clear lens extraction or presbyopic lens exchange), where the crystalline lens is removed through a small incision, and Phakik IOL, which involves inserting an intraocular lens between the eye’s natural lens and the iris, so it does not require the removal of the crystalline lens.
If the lens replacement is taking place in conjunction with cataract surgery, the surgeon will also remove the cataracts before inserting the new lens.
All forms of the surgery is carried out using anaesthetic eye drops to numb the eye. The lens replacement takes just 10-15 minutes per eye, and patients can go home the same day.
The type of IOL implanted will depend on many factors, including the condition being treated and the patient’s personal preferences. Today’s premium lenses are available in a wide range of prescriptions and materials, for every type of vision correction, including multifocal lenses that can be used for both close-up and distance vision. Toric lenses are available to treat astigmatism by altering the shape of the cornea to correct the way the eye focuses light.
Ask your surgeon’s advice on which types of intraocular lens are suitable for you.
With laser eye surgery widely available, you may wonder if there is any advantage to lens replacement surgery. However, for many patients, lens replacement surgery is the ideal treatment.
If you have more questions, contact us to book a consultation with one of the surgeons.