Cataract Surgery

Refractive Lens Replacement Surgery

Refractive lens exchange or lens replacement is an advanced form of vision correction that is typically recommended to those over 50 years old who need spectacles or contact lens for good distance and near vision. Whilst no treatment can rewind the clock to restore the vision you had in your twenties, lens replacement is a safe and effective treatment to reduce dependency on glasses.   

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How Is Lens Replacement Different From Cataract Surgery?

Cataract surgery and refractive lens exchange are essentially the same operation, the only difference being in lens replacement that the natural lens is still clear and has not yet developed cataract.

In lens replacement the surgery is performed to correct the focus of the eye (short or longsightedness) where either laser eye surgery is not able to be performed, or where you are expected to develop cataracts within the next few years.

What Are The Intraocular Lens Options?

In the lens exchange the most commonly used intraocular lens is a premium Extended depth of focus (EDoF) lens. These provide greater spectacle independence than standard monofocal lens, but with less optical side effects such as glare and halos that traditional multifocal lens have. Extended depth of focus lens work best with femtosecond laser assisted surgery as the laser can be used to reduce any pre-existing astigmatism. Mr Alex Day’ preferred extended depth of focus lens provides excellent vision for everyday activities such as driving and also computer work, using a mobile or reading price tags. Glasses may still be needed for night driving and for reading small print or other near tasks. Multifocal lens are not suitable for everyone, and for those with eye conditions such as retinal problems macular degeneration, or diabetic retinopathy, or those with glaucoma, monofocal lens are preferred.

Mr Alex Day will specifically advise you about your situation and the lens choices available.

Femtosecond Laser Assisted Lens Replacement

Some of the stages of lens exchange surgery can be completed more precisely using a femtosecond laser than can be done by the surgeon’s hand.

Femtosecond laser assisted lens exchange surgery also allows for correction or reduction of mild to moderate astigmatism at the time of surgery. This is done by making femtosecond laser intrastromal astigmatic keratotomies in the cornea, these result in precise flattening of the corneal where they are located so correcting the astigmatism. The gas bubbles disappear within a matter of minutes and their effect remains.

The laser part of the procedure only takes a few minutes and is painless, and the remainder of the procedure is then completed as usual in theatre.

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Lens Replacement Surgery Outcomes and Complications

Lens exchange surgery is an effective operation and greatly improves visual quality in the vast majority of patients. Whilst it is a low risk procedure, it is not zero risk and surgeon experience and the number of cases performed per year are the biggest determinants of surgical outcomes. The majority of complications are minor and are treatable with the overall rate of significant vision loss due to a surgical complication that cannot be corrected by glasses or contact lens is about 0.1% (1 in 1000 operations).

More detailed, transparent information about possible complications relevant to your individual situation will be provided at your consultation.

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To arrange a consultation call my team at Moorfields Private Eye Hospital, 9-11 Bath Street, EC1V 9LF, London, or complete the contact form.

020 7100 5468