The truth about lens replacement surgery risk- is it worth it?

Lens replacement surgery is rising in popularity – due to patients being able to not only treat their cataracts but also throw away strong prescription glasses or lenses and enjoy dramatically improved vision. It is effectively a sophisticated advancement in the traditional treatment of cataracts that involves the removal of the eye’s damaged natural lens and the implantation of a powerful artificial lens. And although is a relatively new procedure, it has been performed by eye surgeons around the world many thousands of times – and is now one of the most popular eye surgery procedures available.
Surgery is quick and painless and you can expect the whole treatment to take just 20 minutes for each eye – with minimal recovery time.
Experts recommend that lens replacement surgery is a good choice for patients over the age of 50, who may not be suitable for laser eye surgery, and those who are suffering from, or at risk of developing, cataracts. This type of surgery is a step forward from traditional cataract surgery, however, because your surgeon is now able to insert an intraocular lens (IOL) - after surgery - that will give you even better vision than you had before you developed cataracts or when your vision started to decline.
The benefits of this type of surgery are clear, but as with any type of operation there are some risks of lens replacement surgery, so it is important to consider these before making the decision about whether you would like to go ahead with the treatment:

1.You may not have perfect vision after surgery               

Although the surgery does aim to improve your vision, in some cases you may not get the exact results you were hoping for. After the surgery has taken place, you might find that you are still a little long or short sighted, and need to wear your glasses for various tasks. If this is the case, however, you may discover that laser eye surgery is an option to help to improve your vision even further. Your vision will still show a marked improvement from before the surgery, even if it may not be 20/20.

2.You may experience some glares and halos after surgery 

Once you’ve had lens replacement surgery, you might find that you experience a glare or the image of a halo after treatment. Usually, this is only a short term problem, and most patients find that this issue resolves itself after three months maximum. On occasion, there may be some glare left over, but this is usually mild, and patients find that they are easily able to adapt to it. More often than not, this is a short term issue, and the benefit of improved eyesight in the long term is more than worth the slight issues that you may experience at the beginning of the recovery period.

3.Discomfort in the eye, and some redness 

Immediately after lens replacement surgery, you may find that you suffer from some redness in the eye(s) – however this should settle after a few days, and shouldn’t have any effect on your post-surgery vision. There is occasionally some redness due to blood vessels being disturbed, but this should disappear during the first few weeks. If you experience a sensation of grittiness in the eye, you can be given eye drops while this settles down –  however all of these issues are to be expected after any kind of eye surgery, and they will not have an impact on your vision during or after recovery.

4.Posterior Capsule Opacification 

 After your lens replacement surgery, you may find that the lens that has been inserted into your eye becomes cloudy. This can be corrected with a laser which works to clear away the cloudiness. After this correction treatment, you may find that you are able to see a few floaters in your line of vision, but these will naturally settle soon after your surgery.

5.Infrequent Complications

This type of lens replacement surgery comes with a slight risk of three complications.
In around one in every 200 patients, there is the risk of infection. This can be treated – However you should ensure that you see your specialist if you experience any pain or unexpected visual disturbances.

In addition to this, there is a slight chance of retinal detachment. This is able to be corrected with surgery, too; however vision may never reach the same level as before. But occurrences are extremely rare. 

Cystoid Macula Oedema, which is where part of the retina swells after surgery and causes a reduction of vision, is also a rare complication, however this can more often than not be treated by the use of eye drops, meaning that it isn’t anything to be concerned about.
If you’re thinking about lens replacement surgery, you will of course want to consider the risks. However, the research and information available suggests that most risks are only an issue in the short term, and that even the more serious risks (which are incredibly rare) can be treated.
If you feel that an increase in vision could improve your quality of life, then lens replacement surgery could be the perfect choice for you.
To find out more about lens replacement surgery at the UK’s no.1 most trusted eye specialist, please visit the dedicated lens replacement section of the website – where you’ll find links to download our free information guide: book a free lens replacement surgery consultation or attend one of our popular open evenings.

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