Lens Exchange or Sutured Intraocular Lens
During cataract surgery, the natural lens is removed and replaced with a new plastic lens. A small minority of people can experience visual aberrations or dysphotopsias afterward. This can be perceived as seeing halos around bright objects or worsening glare, but can also appear as darker objects in the field of vision. In some cases, the implant is not able to be placed at the time of surgery due to lack of support or may dislocate many years later.
Fortunately, with modern techniques, it is possible to remove the old lens implant and replace it with a new one. In cases where the old implant has dislocated, it may be possible to suture it back in position.
What is the goal of the surgery?
The goal of the lens exchange is to restore vision lost due to glare or lens dislocation. It cannot fix problems and restore vision lost due to glaucoma, macular degeneration, or irregular astigmatism.
How is the procedure performed?
The surgery is performed on an outpatient basis with local anesthesia. The entire eye is anesthetized to keep it from moving, and there is no longer a need in putting patients to sleep. The procedure is typically performed in 45-90 minutes where the old lens is removed and a new lens implant is sutured in place. In order to minimize risks associated with the surgery, blood thinner medications are typically stopped prior to the operation. These surgeries are more complex compared to traditional cataract surgery and carry more risk. Therefore, it is always important to weight the risks and benefits before electing to proceed with a lens exchange.