Clear Lens Extraction
LASIK Alternative Surgery
Clear Lens Extraction (Clear Lens Exchange or Refractive Lens Exchange) is a surgery that is typically offered to patients with high levels of refractive error (nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism) who are not good candidates for LASIK or PRK. This LASIK alternative is an excellent option for patients over the age of 50, as it can improve both distance and near vision along with reducing if not eliminating the dependence on glasses. Additionally, once performed, the patient will never develop a cataract as they age.
Clear Lens Extraction (CLE) is considered a viable alternative to LASIK
A good candidate for CLE is usually someone who is looking for a LASIK eye surgery alternative. Unlike LASIK, which re-works the natural material of the eye, CLE completely replaces the natural lens with an artificial intraocular lens. This is essentially the same procedure one would go through for cataract surgery, and the end result is very similar to LASIK both in quality of vision and recovery time.
Understanding the Distinction between Clear Lens Extraction and Cataract Surgery
Both surgeries are similar, however here is what’s different. CLE is a preventative procedure performed to decrease the need for glasses; whereas removing the cataract in Cataract surgery is performed for medical reasons. CLE is typically performed on patients between the ages of 40-65, prior to the development of cataracts. It can correct all types of refractive error, including nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia), astigmatism, and presbyopia (the inability to see up close around the age of 40).
Clear Lens Exchange (CLE) Recovery: What to Anticipate
Most patients recover quickly with minimal issues, with full recovery between a week to several months. In general, you will experience significant improvement in vision within a few days to a week after the procedure. Some patients may continue to experience a gradual improvement in their vision over several weeks or even months after CLE surgery, as their eyes continue to heal and adjust to the new lens.
Clear Lens Exchange: Achieving Remarkable Success Rates
Most (CLE) patients experience significant improvement in their vision and quality of life. According to a study published in the Journal of Cataract and Refractive Surgery, more than 95% of patients who undergo CLE achieve 20/40 vision or better, which is the legal requirement for driving in most states. Additionally, the same study found that over 80% of patients achieve 20/20 vision or better.
Understanding the Side Effects of CLE Surgery
During the first few days after surgery, it is common to experience mild to moderate discomfort, blurry vision, and sensitivity to light. There also may be some dryness or itchiness, that can be relieved with eye drops. Any discomfort should subside quickly following your home care plan instructions.