Is lens replacement surgery safe?

27 November 2019

Lens replacement surgery has helped thousands of people to benefit from improved vision, but it’s only natural to have some concerns before going ahead with treatment.

Read on below to find everything you need to know about lens replacement surgery and how safe it is, so you can decide for yourself whether it’s the best treatment option for you.

What is lens replacement surgery?

Lens replacement surgery is an innovative treatment which can correct a wide range of visual errors, including long-sightedness, short-sightedness, astigmatism and presbyopia, as well as treating cataracts. It’s one of the most commonly performed elective surgical procedures in the world.

Other terms for lens replacement that you might have come across are refractive lens exchange and clear lens surgery. The treatment involves replacing the eye’s natural lens with an artificial lens which has been specially selected to correct visual errors, depending on the patient’s individual needs. This lens is known as an intraocular lens, or an IOL for short.

Lens replacement surgery is a very straightforward and very safe procedure. It takes around twenty minutes per eye, and you can go home the same day. At Optegra, our lens replacement surgery package is known as Clarivu.

How it works

You’ll meet with one of our world-class surgeons, who will work with you throughout your treatment. They will assess your vision, and will recommend whether lens replacement surgery is a good option for you.

Your surgeon will recommend the intraocular lens that is best suited to your individual needs. There are a variety of different artificial lenses available.

During the treatment itself, your eye’s natural lens will be replaced with the artificial one. Our surgeons use state-of-the-art femtosecond lasers for the treatment, to ensure the very best results.

Risks of lens replacement surgery

Of course, as with any surgical procedure, there are some lens replacement risks to be aware of. Our surgeons will always talk through the possible outcomes of any treatment, so you will be fully informed about potential risks before you make any decision. You will also be able to ask any questions you might have, to ensure that you’re fully prepared for what to expect.

Read on below to find out more about the potential risks of lens replacement surgery.

  • Vision not as expected

You may find that your vision hasn’t improved quite as much as you expected. Lens replacement surgery can have great results for patients’ vision, but it’s important to remember that it’s not a miracle cure, and you may still need to wear glasses for certain activities, such as reading or driving.

The results of lens replacement surgery tend to improve over time, and you may find that your vision gets better after you’ve had a while to recover. If you find that you’re not happy with the results of your treatment, get in touch with your surgeon, as a top up procedure may be possible to further correct your vision.

  • Glare or halo effects

Some patients experience some glare or halo effects after having treatment. These side effects are most common in the first month but usually subside after that. Very few people suffer any long-term visual side effects.

  • Soreness or itching

During recovery, you may experience some soreness, redness or itching. Again, this is fairly common and your surgeon will give you drops to help relieve the symptoms. It can take up to six to eight weeks to completely settle down.

  • Lens clouding

In some rare cases, there may be some further clouding of the lens. This is not a cataract returning or forming, but a process called posterior capsule opacification and can be treated with a YAG laser to clear the cloudy parts. Your surgeon will be able to further advise you if this is a possibility.

  • Other rare problems

Other very rare side effects include infection in around 0.05% of cases, retinal detachment, and cystoid macula oedema, which is caused by swelling after treatment. Again, the risk of any of these problems occurring is very small, and any problems will be addressed and treated by your surgeon. If you have any concerns, you can get in touch with us on our 24-hour patient helpline.

Lens replacement safety at Optegra

While it is important to know that there potential risks of lens replacement surgery, you should also be aware that the chances of complication are very small. This procedure is carried out thousands of times globally each year in complete safety, and here at Optegra you’ll be working with some of the best eye surgeons in the world.

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