Laser Eye Surgery is an incredible treatment that has come a long way in recent years. However, in a very few cases, Laser Eye Surgery will not be able to produce the best results.
As we are only interested in the best results, for some patients with extremely high prescriptions, this means we may need to turn to intraocular lenses.
These little artificial lenses are often referred to by the names of the various types they come in, including IOLs, phakic IOLs, implantable lenses, clear lens extraction or exchange (CLE), intra-corneal lens implants, Artisan® lenses, Prelex® lenses, RLR or lens replacement surgery.
This enormous range makes intra-ocular lenses an excellent — albeit sometimes the only — option for those with unusually high prescriptions.
What exactly are intraocular lenses?
Intraocular lenses are small, transparent medical devices that are implanted inside the eye.
In this form of treatment, the intraocular lens is surgically implanted just behind the pupil. The lens is permanent (although it can be surgically removed), and needs no maintenance or updating while you have it. Intra-ocular lenses thus usually remain in the eye for the patient’s entire life.
The intraocular lens doesn’t replace the patient’s natural lens. Instead, to preserve the focusing ability needed for reading, the surgeon implants the new lens in front of the natural lens. In this way, it works much as a conventional contact lens would (intraocular lenses are sometimes called ‘implantable contact lenses’).
To perform the procedure, the surgeon makes a small incision in the cornea and inserts the lens through this opening. The lens is positioned exactly in front of the pupil and fixed to the iris with two surgical clips. The surgeon then closes the incision.
Recovery after intraocular lens treatment
In this form of surgery, unlike LASIK, the eyes are usually treated one at a time, with the second treated only once the first eye has healed. This means there can be a delay of two to three weeks between each procedure.
However, once an intraocular lens has been implanted, it restores your vision almost immediately. It’s not at its best until around three weeks after surgery, but at least you won’t only have the use of one eye until the date of the second procedure comes.
Intraocular lenses are not offered to every patient instead of Laser Eye Surgery for a reason. The procedure does come with slightly higher risks, and so if you are considering IOLs, it is worth your time to do thorough research on your clinic and surgeon.
To find out more about intraocular lenses, and discover whether or not you may need them, get in touch with one of our clinic coordinators today.