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Laser Vision Correction

Frequently Asked Questions About Lens Implant Surgery

Below is a list of questions commonly asked by people considering lens implant surgery. Click on the question below to link directly to the answer. Use your browser's "Back" button to return to the list of questions. If you are unable to find an answer to your specific question here or elsewhere on the site, please email us. We will be happy to respond directly to you.

What Do I Need to Know Before Lens Implant Surgery?

What Will Happen During the Surgical Implant Procedure?

What Can I Expect After Lens Surgery?


What Do I Need to Know Before Lens Implant Surgery?

What is lens implant surgery and how does it work?
Lens implant surgery is a non-laser refractive procedure to correct moderate to severe nearsightedness or myopia. A contact lens-like material, also known as a phakic intraocular lens, is implanted inside the eye and acts like an internal contact lens. The lens implant is placed near the iris where it works with your natural lens to provide clear vision at a full range of distances.

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Who can benefit from surgical implants?
This type of procedure is ideal for patients older than 21 and less than 45 years old. Patients 45 and older who are already presbyopic or in the early stages of presbyopia should consider other vision correction procedures. Lens implants are appropriate for patients with larger degrees of nearsightedness (-6.00 to -20.00 diopters) and either no or very little astigmatism and patients who are not LASIK candidates because their corneas are too thin.

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What are the risks with lens implant surgery?
As with any surgery, there are certain risks to lens implant surgery. It is important to understand the risks and weigh them against the benefits to determine if this surgery is right for you. Although complications after phakic IOL implant surgery are rare, the following conditions may have an increased chance of occurring: infection, retinal detachment, increased intraocular pressure, cataracts, loss of corneal endothelial cells, and inflammation.

Since this is a relatively new technology, long-term effects and risks more than 10 years out are currently unknown.

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What are the side effects?
Side effects are minimal. Most patients experience some temporary blurring for a few days and can also expect increased light sensitivity for a few weeks. Some patients may experience halos or rings around lights and glare at night. These side effects may make it difficult to see while driving at night or to complete tasks in a room with low lighting.

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Does insurance pay for an implant lens?
Most insurance plans consider lens implant surgery to be elective, but some may offer a partial benefit that can save you money on the cost of the procedure. Your employer's flexible spending or cafeteria plan may also offer tax advantages for this type of vision correction procedure. We can help you understand your options and what questions to ask your benefits administrator. In addition, Furlong Vision Correction offers several different payment options, some starting as low as $74/month, to help make vision improvement fit your budget.

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Can it correct astigmatism?
Lens implants do not directly correct astigmatism, but the process of surgery may reduce it. If you have moderate to high degree of astigmatism, you could correct your astigmatism with a laser correction procedure (LASIK or PRK) following the implant of the lens.

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What Will Happen During the Surgical Implant Procedure?

How long does it take?
The surgical implant procedure is done an outpatient basis and takes about 20 minutes. You'll need to plan to be at the surgery center for approximately 2-3 hours, however, to accommodate the pre-op preparation and post-op recovery. You will need to arrange to have someone drive you home after the procedure.

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What will I feel during the procedure?
Patients experience virtually no discomfort during the surgical implant procedure. It's performed using a local or topical anesthesia (eye drop) to numb the eye, and you are given a sedative intravenously to relax you. Mild discomfort for the first 24 hours is typical. If you experience post-operative discomfort, you may use Tylenol or ibuprofen during the first day or two after the procedure.

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Can both eyes be treated at the same time?
No, only one eye will be treated at a time. The second eye can be treated approximately 1-2 weeks after the first eye has stabilized.

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What Can I Expect After Lens Surgery?

What precautions do I have to take after surgery?
You will be given a plastic shield to wear immediately after surgery and for the next five nights to protect your eyes while sleeping. For the first month, you should be careful to not touch your eyes for any reason, and patients should avoid getting sweat, dust, or smoke in their eyes. It is also better to avoid swimming for two weeks, but with care, there is usually no problem with showers.

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Will I still have to wear glasses?
Whether you will need to wear glasses or contacts after your procedure depends upon the severity of your nearsightedness. Phakic IOLs have been approved by the FDA to fully correct up to 15.00 diopters of nearsightedness. If you have larger degrees of myopia, you can have this procedure to reduce the amount of refractive error distorting your vision. Then you can either use lighter prescriptions of glasses or contacts or have LASIK or PRK surgery to correct the rest.

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If my vision is still not corrected, can I have a re-treatment?
It is possible that some nearsightedness will remain after surgery, especially for those patients with severe degrees of myopia. An additional laser vision correction surgery may be performed to further improve your vision once your eyesight has stabilized for several months following the lens implant.

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