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Lens replacement surgery can improve your vision and also reduce your dependence on glasses or contact lenses. Thousands of patients have found a new lease of life thanks to Optegra.
However, no surgical procedure is without risk. Your Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon will discuss any specific eye lens replacement risks that you need to be aware of prior to your lens replacement treatment (also called Clarivu™) and will give you the chance to ask any questions at your consultation.
Remember that lens replacement problems are rare and there are only minimal side effects of lens replacement surgery, however, to be completely informed before choosing ICL treatment, please see the information regarding the possible 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.
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.
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.
Lens replacement risks FAQs
Lens replacement surgery is incredibly safe when it is carried out at one of Optegra’s dedicated, modern and welcoming eye hospitals by one of our world class, NHS-trained Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeons.
All of our facilities boast the utmost in high professional standards and our technical and surgical equipment is the most advanced available. When you choose Optegra, you can rest assured that you will be in safe, knowledgeable and competent hands and that any lens replacement problems are extremely rare.
It’s natural to wonder if a medical procedure is going to be painful and to consider any eye lens replacement risks. The good news is that Optegra’s lens replacement surgery is completely painless as it is performed under local anaesthetic.
After surgery you may experience mild discomfort and an itching sensation but this is normal and should disappear within a day or two. We can also assure you that we take great care to minimise any eye lens replacement risks and that you will receive the highest standard of care from the minute you schedule your consultation to after your surgery.
Not everyone will encounter side effects of lens replacement surgery but there is a possibility you may experience one or more of the following.
Blurred vision: this will improve over the week or two following the procedure.
Glare and halos: these will significantly reduce in the first month and will continue to diminish over a period of three months.
Red eye: occasionally a blood vessel is disturbed during treatment which results in the eye appearing red. This is not uncomfortable and does not affect vision. The redness will vanish over the course of a few weeks.
Irritability: dry eye drops can help alleviate a ‘gritty’ sensation in the eye. This can take up to six to eight weeks to dissipate.
Tenderness: this will disappear after a few days.
As with any medical procedure there can be eye lens replacement risks, however these are extremely rare. Side effects of lens replacement surgery affect only a very small proportion of patients and your surgeon will be happy to discuss any concerns at your consultation.
Residual short or long-sightedness or astigmatism: glasses may be needed for tasks such as driving or reading. In some cases a “top-up” laser treatment to further improve the eyesight can be performed.
Infection: lens replacement problems can include infection in a fraction of cases – less than 0.05%.
Retinal detachment: the membrane at the back of the eye may detach following the procedure. This can be corrected by surgery but quality of vision may not be the same as before.
Cystoid Macula Oedema: occasionally the macula (part of the retina) swells causing a decrease in vision. Mild cases can be treated with eye drops.
Yes, lens implants are permanent. They have given countless people a far greater quality of life by giving them back, or improving upon, their vision. As we have said, there can be eye lens replacement risks, but they really are few and far between and affect a very small proportion of patients.
The vast majority of people who Optegra treats have encountered nothing more than mild side effects of lens replacement surgery such as a little tenderness around the eye area or blurred vision – both of which dissipate in the week or so following the treatment.
By Author: Amir Hamid
Mr. Amir Hamid is our Medical Director for Vision Correction and an expert refractive surgeon, based in London.
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