Lens replacement surgery, also known as lens exchange or lens replacement, is a surgical procedure in which the natural lens inside the eye is removed and replaced with an artificial lens. It can be a very valid option instead of wearing contact lenses or glasses.

In this blog, Gurjeet Jutley provides a quick guide to lens replacement surgery and outlines what you can expect.


Is lens replacement surgery the same as cataract surgery?

Lens replacement surgery is sometimes confused with cataract surgery, and while there are similarities there are also differences. Cataract surgery involves removing a cloudy lens to improve vision. In lens replacement surgery, the lens is fairly clear and the object of removal is to improve the refraction, i.e. the ability to see without using glasses.


What artificial lenses are available?

There are a number of different types of artificial lenses that can be used depending on the particular needs of the patient. Multifocal lenses can help you see clearly at all distances. If someone also has astigmatism as well, toric multifocal lenses can be used to correct it.

Recently, extended depth of focus implants (EDOF) has been introduced. These feature a different design from traditional multifocal lenses and can provide an enhanced depth of focus. They can also reduce a range of visual disturbances, such as starbursts, halos and glare, all of which may occur when traditional multifocal lenses are used.

The key thing is the right choice for each individual patient, i.e. an informed decision.


What does the procedure involve?

The procedure for lens replacement surgery is performed in a similar way to cataract surgery.  The patient is awake during the surgery and can be given a sedative to help them relax if required.

The procedure will usually only take around 15-30 minutes and the patient is able to return home on the same day as their surgery. Each eye is operated on separately usually with a gap of one or two weeks between each procedure. It’s easier for the brain to adjust to the new information it is receiving if the second eye is operated on as soon as the first eye has recovered.


Recovering from lens replacement surgery

After the surgery is completed your eye will be covered with a protective pad and shield that you will need to keep in place for the first 24 hours. This will limit your vision, so you will need someone to escort you home safely. You will then need to wear it at night for the following week. This is to limit the risk of your eye being rubbed while you’re sleeping which can damage the site where the cut was made.

Blurred vision for a few days after surgery is common but should gradually clear up. Vision will eventually stabilise between two to four weeks. Eye drops will usually be required for about four weeks. These reduce the risk of an infection occurring and can aid the healing process.

It’s important to avoid vigorous exercise and swimming for at least two weeks following surgery. The use of computers and other screens should also be limited or avoided. It’s possible to begin driving as soon as you are able to meet the DVLA requirement to read a licence plate number from 20 metres away.


For confidential and professional advice about your lens replacement surgery or to book a consultation contact Gurjeet Jutley today.