Lens replacement surgery is now an important form of treatment for many visual problems, despite being a relatively new procedure. Conditions that can be treated using lens replacement surgery include cataracts, astigmatism and other refractive errors.
What’s involved in the procedure
Lens replacement surgery, also sometimes called refractive lens exchange, involves surgically replacing the eye’s natural lens with an artificial implant, or IOL (intraocular lens).
There are two main types of lens replacement surgery: refractive lens exchange (also sometimes referred to as clear lens extraction or presbyopic lens exchange), where the crystalline lens is removed through a small incision, and Phakik IOL, which involves inserting an intraocular lens between the eye’s natural lens and the iris, so it does not require the removal of the crystalline lens.
If the lens replacement is taking place in conjunction with cataract surgery, the surgeon will also remove the cataracts before inserting the new lens.
All forms of the surgery is carried out using anaesthetic eye drops to numb the eye. The lens replacement takes just 10-15 minutes per eye, and patients can go home the same day.
Types of implantable lens
The type of IOL implanted will depend on many factors, including the condition being treated and the patient’s personal preferences. Today’s premium lenses are available in a wide range of prescriptions and materials, for every type of vision correction, including multifocal lenses that can be used for both close-up and distance vision. Toric lenses are available to treat astigmatism by altering the shape of the cornea to correct the way the eye focuses light.
Ask your surgeon’s advice on which types of intraocular lens are suitable for you.
Why opt for lens replacement surgery?
With laser eye surgery widely available, you may wonder if there is any advantage to lens replacement surgery. However, for many patients, lens replacement surgery is the ideal treatment.
- Cataract patients will undergo lens replacement surgery as part of their treatment.
- Patients who are not eligible for laser eye surgery can look to lens replacement surgery as an effective alternative. This includes individuals with thin corneas, high prescriptions or other complications.
- Older patients aged 50+ may choose lens replacement surgery as they are at a higher risk of developing cataracts; by opting for lens replacement, they won’t need to undergo cataract surgery in future.
Allon Barsam: refractive lens exchange pioneer
If you are looking for a surgeon who is highly qualified to perform the surgery, you won’t find anyone with more expertise than Allon Barsam. Mr Barsam performed the first lens implant surgery in England at the Luton and Dunstable University Hospital, and has an exemplary track record in this field.
Contact us to book a consultation with Mr Barsam.