Laser Refractive Lens Exchange with a femtosecond laser
The refractive error is corrected by removing the eye's natural lens and replacing it with a synthetic lens of adjusted refractive power. The refractive lens exchange is known for the high potential of exact predictability, the reproducibility of the surgical success and the reversibility of the procedure.
The lens exchange always results in a loss of accommodation so that reading glasses are usually needed. Therefore it is a good solution for patients who already have a loss of accommodation and need reading glasses, especially when an onset of cataract is present.
Some patients may benefit from the implantation of a multifocal lens which has several points of refraction and therefore allows focused vision at all distances. In this case, the procedure is also called presbyopic lens exchange or PRELEX.
How does the surgery work?
At FreeVis, we use the femtosecond laser for the first four steps of the procedure: First, the laser liquifies the natural lens. Next, the laser is used to cut a circular opening into the lens capsule and a small incision in the periphery of the cornea. Finally, the femtosecond laser can also be used to correct an accompanying astigmatism.
After the aspiration of the lens material, the multifocal lens is folded and injected into the eye. Once in the eye, it unfolds and takes the place of the eye’s normal lens. This surgery is also performed routinely for the removal of opaque lenses, the so-called cataract. Hence, this surgery technique is very reliable and proven. The use of the femtosecond laser further increases its precision and safety.
The video demonstrates how the use of the LensX femtosecond laser can improve the outcome of cataract surgery.
Typical course of surgery and postoperative recovery
The implant of a synthetic lens is an outpatient procedure. Usually, it is only necessary to anesthetize the eye with eye drops. Surgery is performed on each eye individually, with 2 or 3 days between procedures. On the day of surgery, a bandage is provided for your eye. One day after surgery, your vision is already improved, however final stability is only obtained approximately 8 to 12 weeks after surgery.
Which problems can occur during or after surgery?
Please note that the procedure involves a surgery in the inner eye, meaning that in extremely rare cases, severe side effects (such as infections) are possible. Sometimes, a secondary cataract may occur behind the new synthetic lens within months to years. It can easily be treated with a laser without the need to open up the eye.