Should a patient not be suitable for the most common laser eye surgery procedures (LASIK and ASLA), there are still other options – in fact, most people of any age will be suitable for surgical refractive correction.
A Phakic IOL (sometimes known as an implantable contact lens) is used to correct extreme refractive errors. The term Phakic refers to the fact that the lens is implanted into the eye, without removing the natural lens.
My Phakic IOL of choice is the Cachet lens, which is inserted via a small incision and is placed either just in front of the iris.
I have had many patients who are extremely happy with their visual outcomes after Phakic lens surgery.
This is a procedure that I would recommend for patients who are over 50 years of age. It involves removing the natural lens of the eye and replacing it with an intraocular lens.
A refractive lens exchange involves the same procedure as cataract surgery. I now recommend using laser technology (called laser lens surgery) for the first three stages of surgery, which I previously performed manually using a blade.
The intraocular lens (IOL) that I choose to replace the natural lens depends on the wants and needs of the patient. I discuss the differences between the visual outcomes that each specific lens will likely produce, then work with them to decide which is right for their lifestyle.
This is another procedure that produces good visual outcomes for people 45+. In fact, monovision is the outcome of the surgery, which ‘blends’ vision. One eye will be corrected for ‘presbyopia’, an age-related condition which requires people to use glasses to read items that are up close. Then the other may be corrected for long distance, if necessary.
I’m often asked when I suggest blended vision whether I would recommend it to a family member. I answer by saying I have actually had a blended vision procedure, and I consider the result to be fantastic.