March 2019: Long-term study in refractive lens exchange reveals long-term benefits

As interest in refractive surgery continues to grow, Optegra Eye Sciences has undertaken the first study of its kind into long-term benefits of lens exchange surgery – with 88 per cent of patients stating quality of life has improved.

Lens surgery to correct presbyopia can produce visual and refractive outcomes with low complication rates and high patient satisfaction – says a new study, presented by Dr Andreas Hartwig and Dr Clare O’Donnell from Optegra Eye Sciences, and Mr Shafiq Rehman, ophthalmic surgeon for Optegra, at the 36th Congress of the ESCRS in Vienna, Austria.

The study reviewed data from 12,990 refractive lens exchange (RLE) procedures performed between 1 Jan 2011 and 30 June 2017. It included lenses of eight different designs and varying focusing power and found:

  • Postoperative monocular distance vision was 20/40 or better in 96.2% of eyes
  • And 20/20 or better in 60.8% of eyes
  • Binocular vision was 20/40 or better in 99.5% of eyes and 20/20 or better in 77.3%
  • Even in patients with high ametropia, distance vision was 20/40 or better in 99.0% of high myopic eyes and 93.0% of high hyperopic eyes (based on analysis of 264 highly myopic and 152 highly hyperopic eyes)

Dr. Clare O’Donnell who led the study is Head of Optegra Eye Sciences and also Reader at Aston University. She said:

“The rationale for this study was to reflect our interest in and commitment to the long-term care of our patients, particularly as there is an increasing desire from many to become spectacle independent. While there are many studies capturing immediate outcomes and also one year on, this is the first to review patient outcomes and satisfaction up to seven years after treatment.

“The results were very encouraging, with 88% of respondents saying that knowing what they know now, they would have treatment again; and 88% saying their quality of life has improved since having RLE.”

Within the larger study, a subset of the main cohort were audited – from January 2018, Optegra Eye Sciences approached a selection of 2,427 patients, with 850 responses to date. Of these, 65 per cent were female and 35 per cent male, and an average age of 65 years.

All patients had undergone lens exchange surgery at one of Optegra’s seven UK specialist eye hospitals between two and 7.5 years ago.

Key findings included:

  • 88% reported their quality of life had improved following surgery
  • 87% say expectations met or exceeded regarding being free of glasses
  • 85% strongly agree/agree they are satisfied with their unaided distance vision post surgery
  • 84% strongly agree/agree they are satisfied with their unaided mid-range vision
  • 74% strongly agree/agree they are satisfied with their unaided near vision
  • 90% of patients were comfortable with their vision without glasses or contact lenses during the daytime and 73% at night
  • 83% of patients said their expectations were met or exceeded around their current incidence of glare

Dr. O’Donnell concludes: “These results are very encouraging, with such high satisfaction levels and a marked improvement in quality of life for so many patients.

“While it is well documented that there are some potential side effects – halo and glare – for all intraocular lens procedures, this study shows that Optegra’s consultant surgeons are doing an excellent job in counseling patients on possible side effects and also not recommending the treatment if it was felt the patient could not cope with or adjust to them. This has led to a very high level of satisfaction around this – even if there are some symptoms, it has not impacted patients’ overall satisfaction of the procedure.

“We plan to continue this study as results still come in from this cohort; and also we are keen to launch a similar study to review long term laser patients also.”



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