LASIK and PRK are well-known surgeries to improve vision, but these can’t correct all patients’ vision issues. For patients who have presbyopia, which typically begins around age 40, a clear lens extraction is an alternative option. Before you schedule an appointment to see if you’re a good fit for this procedure, learn more about clear lens extraction.
What is Clear Lens Extraction?
Clear lens extraction (CLE) is also known as refractive lens exchange (RLE). This procedure corrects vision by replacing the natural lens of the eye with an intraocular lens, or IOL, using the same techniques that are utilized in cataract surgery. During this procedure, the natural lens of the eye is removed and replaced with the intraocular lens (IOL) to improve the eye’s ability to focus. This surgery is an alternative to LASIK or other corrective surgeries and does not modify the cornea. It can be used for patients who face any kind of vision disorder, including farsightedness, nearsightedness, astigmatism, and presbyopia. This implant is good for life.
Candidates for Clear Lens Extraction
Candidates for clear lens extraction include most patients who wish to correct their vision without relying on glasses or contact lenses. Generally, the best candidates for the procedure are between the ages of 45 and 75 and have no significant cataracts or other eye health issues. Clear lens extraction is recommended for patients who are poor candidates for LASIK or PRK due to a variety of issues.
Benefits of Clear Lens Extraction
There are many benefits of a clear lens extraction procedure. The primary benefit is that patients will heal quickly and recover their vision. The cornea is not significantly affected by the procedure. Clear lens extraction also removes the need for any future cataract surgery and the procedure yields stable results over time. Finally, unlike other laser eye surgeries, clear lens extraction is effective in correcting presbyopia, or farsightedness as a result of aging.
The Clear Lens Extraction Procedure
Before clear lens extraction surgery begins, numbing drops are placed in the eye. When these have taken effect, a tiny incision is made through which the natural lens of the eye can be removed. Then, an IOL is inserted in the natural lens’ place. No stitches are required, as this small incision heals easily and naturally. This procedure can be completed in as little as 15 minutes.
After the Clear Lens Extraction Procedure
Patients generally require rest for only a day or two after their clear lens extraction procedure before they are ready to return to work or other routine activities. Most patients will report immediate improvement to their vision, which continues to improve over time as they become accustomed to the new lens. Once vision is stable, it will remain so over time. However, a small number of clear lens extraction patients will require reading glasses after their surgery.
Risks and Complications of a Clear Lens Extraction
Clear lens extraction is generally safe, but there are some risks involved. These include potential complications such as retinal detachment, infection, bleeding, drooping of the eyelids, dry eyes, light sensitivity, pressure in the eye, glaucoma, or distorted vision.
Schedule an Appointment
To learn if you are a good candidate for clear lens extraction, schedule an appointment at Boston Laser – Boston Eye Group. Call our office at (615) 556-0062 or request an appointment online.