Refractive Lens Exchange Risks

As with Lasik and Lasek, there are certain risks assocoated with refractive lens exchange surgery.
The risks are however very small and the chance of ending up with vision that is worse than you started with is less than 1%.

The following lists the main risks of refractive lens exchange:

  • Infection within the eye (endophthalmitis): This is one of the most serious risks of refractive lens exchange but due to the sterile conditions in which the surgery is carried out the risk is extremely low.
  • Cloudy Lens capsule: The lens capsule where the lens implant is placed within your eye can become cloudy over time. This is a common risk of refractive lens exchange and is easily treatable by your surgeon. When the natural lens is removed during the procedure occasionally some of the lens is left behind in the lens capsule. Over time these lens cells can thicken and become cloudy affecting your vision. This is very easily treated using a special type of laser (not the same laser used in laser eye surgery).
  • Displaced Lens: Part of the natural lens that is removed during the procedure can be displaced to the back of the eye which would require an operation to rectify it.
  • Lens Implant relocates: The new artificial lens can relocate to the wrong position which would require surgery to put it back to the correct position.
  • Over/under correction: This occurs when the lens implant is not the exact power that is required to eliminate the prescription in your glasses/contact lenses. This may require further laser eye surgery on top of your treatment or it may mean you need to wear glasses in certain situations.
  • Night Vision problems: Haloes, glare and starbursts are all common risks of refractive lens exchange. As the lens technology improves however, the risk of these night vision problems reduces.
  • Other Risks: Bleeding within your eye, clouding of the cornea and Retinal damage are all rare complications.

A skilled surgeon and comprehensive pre-surgical assessment means the refractive lens exchange risks are kept to a minimum.

For more detailed information please read this guide to refractive lens exchange.

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