Lens Replacement Surgery Risks

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Risk of Lens Replacement Treatment

Lens replacement surgery (Clarivu) can improve your vision and also reduce your dependence on glasses or contact lenses.

However, no surgical procedure is without risk. Your Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon will discuss any specific risks that you need to be aware of prior to your lens replacement treatment and give you the chance to ask any questions at your consultation. Please see our information regarding the risks of lens replacement surgery below.

Eye Lens Replacement Considerations

Vision after surgery is not as expected

One of the risks of lens replacement surgery is that in some cases there may be some residual short or long-sightedness, or astigmatism following the procedure. Therefore spectacles may be required for specific tasks such as reading small print or driving. In some cases, a laser “top-up” procedure can be carried out to improve the vision further.

Glare & haloes

All patients should be aware that they may experience haloes and glare after lens replacement treatment. These visual side-effects reduce significantly in the first month and continue to resolve over a three month period. Although IOLs may cause some glare, most people adapt over time and do not suffer any long term problems.

Red, sore or irritable eye

Some patients may feel some slight tenderness to the eye area after surgery which will settle down after a few days. The eye can sometimes appear very red due to a blood vessel being disturbed during surgery. This redness dissipates over a few weeks and it does not affect vision or comfort. A gritty sensation can also be felt sometimes, which may be alleviated by dry eye drops. This can take up to 6 to 8 weeks to settle down.

Posterior Capsule Opacification

In a few cases, lens surgery complications can occur in the months and years following treatment, where the lens capsule which remains in the eye after surgery to support the IOL can become cloudy. This is a treated with the YAG laser which effectively clears away the cloudy parts of the capsule.

After the YAG laser treatment it is common to experience a few or many floaters when looking straight ahead, especially in bright light. These floaters gradually begin to disappear and settle down in the jelly of the eye without causing any problems.

Rare But Possible Lens Surgery Complications


In less than 0.05% of cases, lens surgery complications in the form of severe infection may occur despite the use of antibiotic eye drops. It is therefore extremely important to report any sudden loss of vision or pain immediately to Optegra.

Retinal detachment

The light sensitive membrane at the back of the eye may become detached following surgery. This can be corrected by surgery but there is a risk that the quality of vision may not be the same as before detachment.

Cystoid Macula Oedema

The macula is a part of the retina that provides detailed central vision. Occasionally it can swell after lens replacement surgery and cause a decrease in vision. Mild cases often resolve with no medical intervention but when detected, it is treated with eye drops. The swelling nearly always responds to treatment.

If you have any queries or concerns, our Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeons will be able to explain both the benefits and risks of lens replacement surgery at a free consultation.

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