The Real Risks and Benefits of Lens Replacement Surgery
Lens replacement surgery — the best option?
Lens replacement, or cataract surgery, is growing in popularity as a method of vision correction for presbyopia (age-related farsightedness). This is a natural condition as we reach our 40s, where we lose our ability to focus on near objects and have to use reading glasses to see up close.
Many patients tell us they’ve been told that lens replacement surgery is their only option — but thousands of our patients achieved freedom from reading glasses with our LASIK vision correction technique, ‘blended vision’.
Lens replacement is a relatively safe surgery, but comes with risks, just like all surgical procedures. That is why it’s inadvisable as a first-line of treatment for this natural part of aging that we all go through.
This post will provide you with an all-encompassing rundown of:
- What is lens replacement surgery?
- RLE vs lens replacement.
- Risk factors.
- Blended vision with laser vision correction.
What is lens replacement surgery?
During lens replacement surgery, your ophthalmologist will make a small opening on the side of your cornea. The surgeon will then remove your eye’s natural lens and insert an artificial lens, called an intraocular lens, in its place.
The intraocular lens will then stay in your eye permanently. This new lens lets light pass through and focus properly on the retina, bringing back clear vision.
Refractive Lens Exchange vs Lens Replacement
When used for vision correction, this procedure is called refractive lens exchange (RLE).
But when used to treat a cataract-clouded lens, it’s called lens replacement surgery.
Though essentially the same procedure, RLE poses a greater risk-benefit ratio compared to lens replacement surgery. This is why RLE patients should be well informed of any potential risks.
This distinction means that:
- RLE patients often see quite well with the help of optical devices, like glasses or contact lenses. So, they stand to lose a lot more if there is a less-than-excellent result.
- Patients with cataracts have a visual deficit that they’re seeking relief from. So, for them, most improvements are benefits.
This is why we use lens replacement surgery as a permanent solution for cataracts, and offer other treatment strategies first, for presbyopia.
Risks of lens replacement surgery
Side effects of RLE and lens replacement surgery can last a few days to a week, post-surgery. If your symptoms persist beyond this, contact our specialised team of ophthalmologists and optometrists.
Possible adverse effects include:
- Dry eye
- Red eye
- Blurry vision
- Sensitivity to light
- Itchy or scratchy eyes
- Glare or halos around light
- Sensitivity or discomfort in the eyes
Potential complications of surgery include:
- Retinal Detachment — the light-sensitive membrane in the back of your eye may become detached following surgery.
- Cystoid Macula Oedema — a swelling in part of the retina, causing a decrease in vision.
- Posterior Capsular Rupture — ophthalmologists with extensive experience performing lens replacement will be able to identify and remedy this during surgery.
- Endophthalmitis — a rare and serious post-surgical infection that can have devastating consequences on a patient’s vision. Early detection and prevention by expert eyecare specialists is key in treating this complication.
Blended vision with laser vision correction
Using over 20 years of clinical experience and cutting-edge diagnostic and therapeutic equipment, we pioneer out-of-the-box treatment modalities to deliver optimal care for our patients, regardless of the complexity of their visual condition.
One such technique is our laser ‘blended vision’ correction.
It’s similar in concept to monovision, where one eye is focused for distance and one for near. But blended vision gives an even greater depth of field and is much easier to adapt to. Our state-of-the-art vision correction technology provides our patients with this level of precision.
Get your treatment with confidence
Book your consultation for a detailed diagnostic evaluation to assess your suitability for our laser vision correction with blended vision. You will also get the opportunity to try out what day-to-day vision will look and feel like with blended vision.
In our experienced hands and state-of-the-art equipment, almost every patient who walks through our doors is a candidate for laser vision correction.
That being said, if it is not the right option for you, we will evaluate the relative risks and benefits of alternative options and provide the optimal treatment plan for your visual health.