Step 1: Before your lens replacement procedure
When you arrive at the Optegra eye hospital, your Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon and clinical team will be waiting to welcome you and help you feel relaxed. Anaesthetic eye drops will be administered - once they’ve taken effect, your consultant will begin the treatment.
Step 2: During the lens replacement procedure
The whole process takes around 20 minutes to complete per eye.
Your consultant will remove the natural lens from the eye and replace it with an artificial intraocular lens (IOL) designed to last a lifetime – the same process as for a cataract procedure.
We offer the latest femtosecond laser technology so that surgery can be performed with laser precision. The system’s sophisticated imaging provides your consultant with a 3-D view of your eye, allowing for more accurate evaluation.
Step 3: Rest and recovery
Afterwards, you will be taken to our recovery suite to relax and enjoy some refreshments until you feel completely ready to return home. Most patients are ready to leave within an hour of the procedure being completed. It is advisable to avoid physically demanding activities during the early recovery stage.
You will be provided with drops to help your eye recover and will be given an emergency contact number for any aftercare queries.
After a good night’s sleep at home, your eye(s) will feel much more comfortable. The next morning you may notice an improvement in your vision that can continue to improve within 48-72 hours.
Step 4: Your aftercare
Your consultant will see you for a follow-up consultation in the first two weeks after your eye procedure to check on your progress, assess the results and provide expert aftercare.
Patients undergoing lens replacement should be aware that no surgical procedure is totally risk free. Your consultant will discuss any specific risks and answer any questions at your consultation.
Vision after surgery is not as expected: in some cases there may be some residual short or long-sightedness or astigmatism after surgery so spectacles may be required for reading small print or driving. In some cases, a laser “top up” procedure can be carried out when the eye has stabilised to improve vision further.
Glare and haloes: typically, these visual side-effects reduce significantly in the first month and continue to resolve over a three month period. Although IOLs may cause some glare, most people adapt over time and don’t suffer long term problems.
Red, sore or irritable eye: some patients may feel slight tenderness to the eye area after surgery which will settle after a few days. The eye can appear very red due to blood vessels being disturbed during surgery but this dissipates over a few weeks and does not affect vision or comfort. A gritty sensation can also be felt sometimes, which may be alleviated by eye drops. This can take up to six to eight weeks to settle down.
Posterior capsule opacification: in the months and even years following surgery, the lens capsule which remains in the eye to support the IOL can become cloudy. This is treated with a YAG laser to clear away the cloudy parts of the capsule.
Rare but possible complications
Infection: in less than 0.05% of cases, severe infection may occur despite the use of antibiotic eye drops. Any sudden pain or loss in vision must be reported immediately so we can arrange for swift medical treatment.
Retinal detachment: the light sensitive membrane at the back of the eye may become detached following surgery. This can be corrected by surgery but there is a risk that the quality of vision may not be the same as before detachment.
Cystoid macula oedema: the macula is a part of the retina that provides detailed central vision. Occasionally it can swell after surgery and cause a decrease in vision. Mild cases often resolve with no medical intervention but are treated with eye drops when detected. The swelling nearly always responds to treatment.