Refractive lens exchange is a surgery that is typically carried out using a local anaesthetic (injection) and can be completed in as little as 15 minutes. It is only ever performed on one eye at a time and most surgeons like to wait at least 2 weeks until they will consider treating the other eye. The refractive lens exchange procedure is basically the same operation as removing a cataract in that your own natural lens is replaced with a new artificial lens (lens implant). The only difference with cataract surgery is that during this operation your own natural lens that is being removed is cloudy. A cataract is simply a clouding of your normally transparent natural lens.
There are a few different ways of carrying out this operation but by far the most commonly used is phacoemulsification. Breaking down this word helps explain exactly what it means:
Phaco simply means lens.
Emulsification means to turn from a solid in to a liquid.
Phacoemulsification refers to the breaking down of your hard natural lens in to liquid substance which can be easily sucked out.
You can read more information about refractive lens exchange by reading this guide.
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