What are the advantages and disadvantages of lens replacement?

Video transcription:

Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon, Mr James Ball, talks us through the advantages and disadvantages of lens replacement, and their dependent factors.

Well, for me, the advantages and disadvantages of lens replacement surgery were highlighted in a debate that took place at the British Society of Refractive Surgeons.

During the event, I was asked to speak in favour of corneal laser refractive surgery as the treatment option of choice for addressing the need for spectacles for distance and near vision. I was speaking against a colleague who was arguing in favour of lens replacement surgery as a solution to spectacles. As with all debates, it’s contrived and the point I wanted to make most strongly was that I was against clear lens exchange.

Clear lens patients

What it comes down to is the condition of the lens inside that patient’s eye. If we have a patient who has a crystal clear lens, beautiful optics and they’re just a bit older and need spectacles for distance and near, it’s very likely that we’re going to be able to address that with cornea laser refractive surgery and PRESBYOND blended vision. In Custom Vision Clinic, we have access to the ZEISS platform which provides us with the appropriate technology. This gives us the advantages of surgery that’s a little bit safer, has a slightly quicker visual recovery and gives slightly better quality vision.

Patients with eye conditions

Conversely, if we’re talking about a patient who has cataract change, then we want to be undertaking early cataract surgery. Our lens replacement is an integral part of that and really makes the most of the opportunity that the cataract surgery represents. The advantages of this are that we’re treating cataract, the patient will no longer experience that frustrating deterioration of vision, and they can’t get a cataract again in the future. We are going to ensure a really stable refractive outcome for them, so they will maintain excellent unaided distance and near vision after their cataract surgery with multifocal lens technology providing their eyes remain healthy and they don’t develop macular degeneration, glaucoma, or some other age-related eye condition.

Depending factors

When we’re considering the advantages and disadvantage of lens replacement surgery, it really depends on what we’re comparing it to. In that particular debate, I was being asked to compare it to laser eye surgery. As with all debates, what I did was I reframed it and said, if they’ve got a clear lens, we should try and leave our patient with their clean lens and explore laser eye surgery as our first option. Conversely, if their lens isn’t clear, let’s avoid laser eye surgery to the cornea in front of that deteriorating lens and let’s treat their cataract as elegantly as possible using the very best techniques and technology to get them the best range of focus and quality of vision.

Please give us a call on 0333 455 3650 or arrange a callback here and one of my team will be delighted to call you. We can then walk you through the next steps and book you in for a consultation at a Custom Vision Clinic so that we can assess your lifestyle visual needs and show you how we can help.



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About the author

Mr James Ball | Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

MA (Cantab) MB BChir FRCOphth CertLRS

I am a Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon at Custom Vision Clinic, St James’s University Hospital, and Nuffield Hospital. My major interest is in refractive surgery and finding the best treatment suitable for each patient.


Read more about lens replacement

The Royal College of Ophthalmologists’ booklet containing information helpful to patients considering Phakic Intraocular Lens Implantation. Click here for more information

The Royal College of Ophthalmologists’ booklet containing information helpful to patients considering Refractive Lens Exchange. Click here for more information
The Daily Mail’s good doctors guide: Meet the best cataract surgeons in Britain (featuring James Ball) and learn the cutting-edge treatments used to improve sightClick here for more information

Custom Vision Clinic’s YouTube Channel features James Ball answering hundreds of eye-related questions on video – ranging from laser refractive surgery, lens exchange and keratoconus treatment. Click here for more information

Laser eye surgery reviews of Custom Vision Clinic on Trustpilot. Click here for more information