The truth about Clarivu lens replacement surgery

Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE), is a proven and permanent procedure used to remove cataracts and correct visual errors such as long and short sightedness. Here at Optegra, our brand name for this procedure is Clarivu.
With so much information online about lens replacement surgery, it can be difficult to know the facts, so below we’ve put together a guide to help you understand exactly what Clarivu is, what it involves, and the risks to be aware of.


What is Clarivu?

Clarivu is simply Optegra’s brand name for our Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE) package. It is effectively an enhanced form of lens replacement surgery, which involves replacing the eye’s natural lens with a specialist intraocular lens (IOL).
Lens replacement in itself is nothing new, as it is an established treatment for cataracts. What makes Refractive Lens Exchange different is that instead of replacing the natural lens with a monofocal lens, it is replaced with an intraocular lens which has been specially selected to correct visual errors such as long and short-sightedness. Our Clarivu package also includes any top-up laser eye surgery which may be required, depending on your individual needs.
At Optegra, we offer Clarivu lens replacement surgery with a free consultation, and a single fixed price for your procedure, lenses and aftercare. There are no hidden costs – just a clear vision of what to expect.


Why choose Refractive Lens Exchange?

In most cases, lens replacement surgery is carried out to remove cataracts. Standard cataract surgery involves replacing the eye’s natural lens with an artificial monofocal lens. Although this removes the problem of the clouding caused by the cataracts, the patient may still need glasses to correct visual errors such as long or short-sightedness.
Refractive Lens Exchange is different as it involves replacing the natural lens with a more advanced artificial lens known as an intraocular lens, or IOL for short. This procedure can still be used to treat cataracts, so patients can benefit from having vision correction at the same time as having their cataracts removed.
Refractive Lens Exchange can also be used to correct visual errors for patients who don’t have cataracts, and is particularly useful for patients who don’t qualify for other treatments such as laser eye surgery. In particular, RLE can be used to correct long-sightedness, short-sightedness, astigmatism and presbyopia. A range of different types of IOLs are available for different needs. Here at Optegra, our experienced ophthalmic surgeons will carry out a consultation to select the lens which is best for your requirements.

The risks of lens replacement

No surgical procedure is completely without risk, and there are a number of factors which can affect a 100% successful outcome. Problems are rare, but possible issues to be aware of are as follows:
  • Vision not as expected
Some patients find that their vision after treatment is not as successful as they were hoping. They may continue to rely on glasses for some activities, such as reading or driving. Other patients might experience glare or a halo effect, but these visual side effects usually disappear in the first couple of months after treatment. Few people suffer any long-term problems.
  • Red, sore or irritable eyes
Some soreness or irritation to the eye is another common side effect. This can sometimes take the form of reddening or visible blood vessels in the eye, most commonly caused by minor disruption during surgery. In most cases this will settle down between six to eight weeks after surgery.
  • Posterior Capsule Opacification
After the replacement, some patients find that their eyes become slightly cloudy again. This is known as Posterior Capsule Opacification. This can usually be corrected with a simple laser treatment, which clears away the cloudy areas.
  • Infection
Infection can occur in some cases, although this is extremely rare. Fewer than 0.05% of cases result in any kind of infection. At Optegra, we provide high quality aftercare to support you following your treatment, to ensure that any problems are picked up quickly. Your surgeon will give you detailed information about what to look out for, and you should report any sudden loss of vision or pain immediately.
  • Retinal detachment
In rare cases, the retina can become detached after surgery. This can usually be corrected with further surgery, although quality of vision may not be quite the same as it was before the detachment took place.
  • Cystoid Macula Oedema
Cystoid Macula Oedema is a condition caused by the swelling of the lens after surgery. This can usually be managed using eye drops.

Making your decision

Before making a decision about whether to go ahead with Refractive Lens Exchange, it’s important to think carefully about whether it’s right for you.
If you do decide to go ahead with treatment, it’s important to choose a high quality provider who can help to ensure the treatment goes as smoothly as possible. At Optegra, our ophthalmic surgeons are some of the best in the world and are highly experienced in carrying out this type of treatment. Your surgeon will keep you informed about what to expect and can answer any questions you may have. There’s also an out of hours helpline should you ever need any advice or have concerns.
If you feel that Clarivu lens replacement surgery could be the right fit for you, then get in touch to find out more. We offer free consultation appointments where you can get more information, or simply come to one of our open evenings at your nearest hospital or clinic.

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