Contact lenses can be implanted into the eyes of patients and don’t have to be removed.
Phakic IntraOcular Lens
Phakic intraocular lenses are implanted in the eyes of patients with higher degrees of short-sightedness (Myopia) or long sightedness (Hypermetropia).
This procedure involves the implantation of a small artificial lens inside the anterior chamber of the eye leaving the eye itself unchanged. This lens is used to correct the prescription that you would otherwise need in your glasses or contact lenses. Unlike contact lenses, the lens implant stays in the eye permanently.
Lens Implantation procedure is usually suitable for patients under the age of 40 with otherwise healthy eyes. There should be no cataract. The anterior chamber of the eye needs to be deep enough to allow the lens to be implanted and there are other measurements that need to be made before it can be determined that this procedure is suitable for you. These measurements are performed at the time of the consultation.
What are the Risks Involved with Lens Implantation Procedure?
They are similar to those which can arise with cataract surgery. The greatest concern is over infection inside the eye known as endophthalmitis. We use sterile techniques in an operating theatre for the procedures and have not had any infections to date. Other risks are a rise in eye pressure, clouding of the cornea and the need for removal of the implant. The risks and benefits will be discussed further with you at your consultation. These vary according to the patient and situation.
Refractive Lens Exchange
Refractive lens exchange is similar to a cataract extraction and lens implant but the lens being replaced is not cloudy. With the use of laser and ultrasound the weak lens of an eye which needs glasses or contact lenses to see well is reduced to fragments and taken out of the eye. Through a micro incision a tiny folded artificial lens is implanted in its place. This small incision is so small it closes up by itself (no stitches).
Refractive lens exchange procedure can be used to correct short sightedness (myopia) or long sightedness (hypermetropia). Astigmatism may also be corrected. Multifocal lenses are used to combat presbyopia and allow patients to see well both far away and up close without glasses. These lenses are not the same as multifocal lenses that you may have in your glasses.
Patients who choose the Refractive Lens Exchange procedure are patients in their mid-40’s or older. Presbyopia is caused by the lens of the eye becoming inflexible in accommodating to focus on near targets. It is usually corrected by the use of reading glasses. The main attraction to have refractive lens exchange is that it is permanent. With only occasional exceptions, patients who have this procedure performed will be spectacle independent for the rest of their lives.
What does the Refractive Lens Exchange
Like a cataract operation, the procedure of refractive lens Exchange is performed in a sterile environment in an accredited surgical operating theatre. Local anesthetic is all that is required but an anaesthetist is present to supplement this with some sedation using intravenous medication.
How Long does the Refractive Lens Exchange
The procedure takes 10 to 20 minutes per eye. If both eyes are operated on the same day, there will be a gap between the two cases as the theatre staff prepare for the second eye. Over all you will spend about 2-3 hours at the accredited day theatre to ensure that you have recovered adequately to be discharged home.
Will I need Glasses after the Refractive Lens Exchange Procedure?
In the majority of cases patients gain full spectacle independence following having refractive lens exchange. Some patients notice that computer distance may not be as clear as they would like and, rather than sitting closer to the monitor, they choose to use a pair of light magnifying glasses. Laser eye surgery may also be used postoperatively to correct any residual refractive error to perfect the vision for you. This can only be done about 6 weeks post operatively allowing the eyes to settle completely.