People often call us asking if it is possible to experience the benefits of cataract surgery before they have developed cataracts. We do offer a surgical procedure, called "Refractive Lens Exchange" or "Clear Lens Extraction," as an alternative to other refractive procedures. It is exactly the same procedure as clear cornea cataract surgery, except for the patient has not yet developed cataracts in their eyes.
Neither medical nor vision insurance cover the cost of refractive surgery, however, we do offer financing for those who wish to make payments.
Be assured that we will always provide the most current, state-of-the-art, clinical and surgical techniques available today.
What is Refractive Lens Exchange Surgery?
Just like in clear cornea cataract surgery, a micro-incision is made into the perimeter of the cornea on the side of the eye which is closest to the temple. This tiny incision (3mm or less), provides a space through which the natural lens is removed and a new intraocular lens is injected. It is the architecture of this incision which makes it self-sealing.
It can correct nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia), astigmatism, and even presbyopia, by using new technology intraocular lens implants (IOLs). Millions of eyes have received these IOLs when undergoing cataract surgery, using the same highly successful surgical techniques.
Clear cornea surgery can be performed under topical or local anesthesia on an outpatient basis at our own ambulatory surgery center.
What is Phacoemulsification ?
Clear cornea surgery utilizes an ultrasonic probe, called a phacoemulsifier, which vibrates 40,000 times per second to break up the natural lens into tiny microscopic pieces which are vacuumed out of the eye through the micro-incision.
What is an Intraocular Lens?
When the lens is removed during surgery, a replacement lens is needed to restore focus to the eye, these lenses are called intraocular lenses (IOLs). Prior to surgery, the patient's eye is measured to determine the prescription of the IOL needed for the patient to achieve the best possible vision. The IOL is then surgically implanted, through the micro-incision, in the same chamber that once housed the natural lens of the eye.
What are My Choices?
At your evaluation for refractive surgery, your eyes will be measured to determine the best power for the lens that will be implanted. However, there are still a few choices for you to consider. Please inform the doctor if you are interested in any of the upgraded lens options:
This lens provides a single focus when you are not wearing eyeglasses. Usually, your lens will be set to focus at a distance. You will still need glasses for reading or other activities that require close-up vision.
For patients with astigmatism, the best lens choice is a toric lens - a customized lens that not only corrects your vision, but can also correct the astigmatism in your eye. Toric lenses are an upgrade in cost, but they will provide quality vision with decreased dependency on eyeglasses, as they can remove all astigmatism in 99% of all cases.
Symfony Extended Range of Vision Lens
For patients experiencing the symptoms of presbyopia, Dr. Bruening may recommend this new multi-focal lens. This lens can potentially reduce your dependence on glasses for many daily tasks, such as driving, reading and using a computer. Symfony Toric lenses are an upgrade in cost, but they will provide quality vision with decreased dependency on eyeglasses for all distances.
Symfony Toric Extended Range of Vision Lens
For patients experiencing the symptoms of both astigmatism and presbyopia, Dr. Bruening may recommend this new toric multi-focal lens. This lens can potentially correct astigmatism AND reduce your dependence on glasses for many other daily tasks, such as driving, reading and using a computer. Symfony Toric lenses are an upgrade in cost, but they will provide quality vision with decreased dependency on eyeglasses.
What Happens After Surgery?
Prior to leaving the surgical facility, postoperative instructions will be discussed with you. The time at which you reach your best level of vision will depend upon the patient's lens choice and each individual's ability to heal. With clear cornea surgery, most normal activities can be resumed almost immediately.