What is Clarivu lens replacement surgery?

At Optegra, we offer a refractive lens exchange (RLE) package known as Clarivu - but what exactly is Clarivu and how do you know if it’s right for you? Read on to find out more.

What is refractive lens exchange?

Refractive lens exchange is a type of lens replacement surgery which can correct visual errors, as well as treating cataracts.
Lens replacement is not a new procedure - in fact, it has been used to treat cataracts successfully for many years. However, what makes refractive lens exchange different is that multifocal intraocular lenses (IOLs) are used instead of standard artificial lenses, making it possible to correct a wide range of visual errors.
RLE can be used to correct short-sightedness, long-sightedness and astigmatism, which could reduce your dependence on glasses or contact lenses.

What is Clarivu?

At Optegra, we offer a refractive lens exchange package called Clarivu. This package includes:
  • All diagnostic eye assessments
  • A specially selected artificial intraocular lens
  • Surgery in a dedicated Optegra eye hospital
  • Aftercare and additional treatment if required
As with all of our treatments, Clarivu is tailored to each individual patient’s needs, so there’s no such thing as a standard package here at Optegra.

What happens during refractive lens exchange?

During an RLE procedure, your eye’s natural lens is replaced with an artificial intraocular lens (IOL), which has been specially selected to correct your vision. There are many different intraocular lenses available for different needs, and your surgeon will carry out a consultation beforehand to select the very best option for you. Our world-class surgeons carry out thousands of RLE treatments each year, and will be able to answer any questions you may have prior to your surgery.

The benefits of refractive lens exchange

If you need treatment for cataracts, it makes sense to correct other visual errors such as long-sightedness and short-sightedness at the same time.
Standard cataract surgery will remove the cataract, but any existing vision problems will remain, so you could still rely heavily on glasses or contact lenses. With refractive lens exchange, however, you can effectively benefit from two treatments at once. The lens with the cataract is removed, restoring clear vision, and a replacement lens is put in place to correct your other visual errors, reducing future reliance on glasses.
Even if you’re not suffering from cataracts, RLE can still be a great alternative if you’re not considered suitable for other treatments, such as laser eye surgery. Refractive lens exchange can help correct long-sightedness, short-sightedness, astigmatism and even presbyopia, with a range of specially designed IOLs.
At Optegra, our surgeons will assess your needs and will select an IOL to help you get the best results from treatment. No two patients are the same, so each treatment is 100% unique.

The risks of lens replacement surgery

Of course, as with any surgical procedure, there are some risks to consider before you opt for treatment, including:
  • Vision not as expected
Firstly, you need to be aware that RLE is not a miracle cure. Although our aim is to reduce your dependence on glasses as much as possible, you may still find that you need to use them for some specific tasks, such as reading or driving. Sometimes people have unrealistic expectations about their treatment, but here at Optegra, we’ll make sure you know exactly what to expect before, during and after the surgery.
  • Glare or halo effects
Some patients experience glare or halo effects after treatment, but these side effects tend to reduce significantly during the first month and continue to resolve during the three months following treatment.
  • Red, sore or irritable eyes
Your eyes may experience some soreness or redness in the days after surgery. This is perfectly normal but may be a little uncomfortable. You will be given eye drops to help, and we’re always on hand if you have any queries or concerns.
  • Posterior capsule opacification
In some rare cases, patients can find that the lens capsule which supports the IOL becomes cloudy. This is known as posterior capsule opacification, and it can be treated with a YAG laser eye treatment, which is included in the Clarivu package.
  • Infection
Problems with infection are very rare, affecting fewer than 0.05% of cases. At Optegra, we provide comprehensive aftercare to ensure that any problems are picked up early and dealt with as soon as possible. Your surgeon will give you detailed information about what to look out for, and you can get in touch at any point if you have concerns.
  • Retinal detachment
Another rare complication is retinal detachment, which is when the light sensitive membrane at the back of the eye becomes detached after surgery. This can be corrected with further surgery, although the quality of vision may not be exactly the same as before the detachment took place.
  • Cystoid Macula Oedema
The macula is part of the retina which provides detailed central vision, and in some rare cases it can swell following surgery. This can be treated with eye drops, to help the swelling reduce back down.

Could Clarivu be right for you?

To find out more about Clarivu and the other treatments available here at Optegra, head to one of our open evenings. You’ll be able to look around our facilities, and ask any questions you may have about treatment.
The best way to know for sure if Clarivu is right for you is to book a free consultation. Our surgeons will be able to assess the most suitable treatment for your needs, and will start you on the path to better eyesight.

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