Lens implants function to improve vision over a range of distances. These surgical procedures involve the implantation of a new lens, in addition to one’s natural lens (Implantable Contact Lens), or the replacements of the patient’s natural lens with a new lens (Refractive Lens Exchange). Such procedure can help patients with nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, or presbyopia, or patients who are not candidates for laser vision correction, regain their vision.
Implantable Contact Lens (ICL)
Implantable lenses (ICL) are a surgical alternative to LASIK because ICL’s do not require tissue to be removed from the eye, as with LASIK and other laser procedures. Implantable Contact Lenses are the perfect treatment for extreme nearsightedness or farsightedness, in which laser vision correction is not recommended. It is a FDA approved procedure in which a unique lens, similar to a contact lens, is permanently placed in the posterior chamber of the eye, without altering the interior structure. The lens can easily be removed or replaced if required.
What to expect immediately after lens implantation
Vision is instantly improved, though there may be a sensation of mild scratchiness. Most patients are able to resume driving and return to work within a day. You will not feel the lenses inside the eye.
Risks of Lens Implantation
As with any surgical procedure, complications are rare but can occur following implantation of IOL’s. These risks include an increased chance of retinal detachment, loss of cells in the thin layer inside the cornea (endothelium), inflammation, infection, and development of cataracts.
Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE)
This surgical procedure is an option for patients with cataracts or those who are not suitable for LASIK – Laser Vision Correction. Refractive Lens Exchange is similar to the standard micro-incision cataract surgery in which an artificial lens is used. Intraocular lens implants (IOLs) are designed to reside in the eye and replace the natural lens to provide freedom from spectacles. In the past, reading glasses were still required after surgery, but new multifocal and accommodative IOLs have been developed which enable patients to see at a range of distances, thus potentially eliminating the need for glasses entirely.