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During lens replacement surgery, your surgeon will tailor the new lens to your individual age, lifestyle and spectacle prescription. Approximately 95% of patients are satisfied with the outcome of surgery, and many describe it as life changing. Patients’ who previously declined treatment because laser eye surgery would not suit them, can now be offered vision correction lens replacement surgery with a wide and fast-growing range of intraocular lens solutions.
Toric lenses work by counteracting the effects of astigmatism. Just like the astigmatic cornea, they have a rugby ball shaped lens surface that is positioned by the surgeon inside the eye so that it cancels out the effect of the rugby ball shaped corneal surface.
Toric implants can be used for patients who have cataracts, or who need to wear glasses all the time. Toricity can be added to standard lens implants or to multifocal lens implants, allowing significant flexibility of choice for the patient.
Also known as Advanced Technology Intra Ocular Lenses – ATIOL’s, these lenses have distance and near focus built into them and are designed to allow good vision for all distances so that glasses are no longer required. They do not work in the same way as bifocal or varifocal glasses so multifocal patients do not need to tilt their head up and down to see from near to distance. If you choose multifocal lenses, it is worth noting that there is often a period of a few weeks during which the brain adjusts to multifocal lens implants, even though vision is clear almost straight away.
Multifocal lenses are a sensible choice if you want to reduce your dependence on glasses. After surgery, most patients either stop needing glasses at all, or they only need to wear them occasionally for certain activities. There are several different designs of multifocal lenses on the market, which are all subtly different from each other. Laser Vision Scotland surgeons have experience of these different lenses and will match the right lens to your eyes and lifestyle.
It should also be noted that after surgery it is normal to over-analyze your vision, and this can lead to anxiety if something is not quite right at first. This is quite normal in the early days and can require reassurance while your eyes are settling down.
Some patients are found after assessment to be unsuitable for multifocal lenses. In this situation you may wish to consider monovision lens surgery instead.
The experience of having lens replacement surgery is very similar regardless of whether you are having cataract surgery of vision correction surgery. At your initial assessment we encourage you to spend time with your surgeon and discuss your hopes and expectations, your concerns and fears. Everyone is apprehensive prior to eye surgery, so part of our job is to earn your trust and confidence in us so we can make the experience as positive as possible.
Your initial consultation will provide you and your surgeon with an in-depth understanding of your vision. Our experienced optometrist will carry out extensive eye tests to ensure your consultant has an exceptional array of the data about your eyes to make an informed decision on the treatment that would be best for you. If it is decided that lens replacement surgery is right for you, your consultant will provide with instructions for pre-treatment care and will arrange a mutually agreeable date for treatment.
When you arrive for surgery you will see your surgeon again to confirm the consent process, and complete mandatory presurgical safety checks. Patients are normally awake throughout surgery. You will see bright lights, vivid colours and swirling water but will see no detail of what is happening. Surgery normally takes 10 minutes and while you may experience moments of discomfort (usually due to pressure changes inside your eye) lens surgery is not normally painful. Your surgeon will talk to you during surgery if you wish. Afterwards you will see straight away although sight tends to be blurred for a day or two. The clear plastic shield over your eye should be removed the following day so you can start using drops. You can drive once you are able to read a car number plate at 25 paces.
On the day of treatment we ask that you avoid wearing any makeup, facial products or perfume/aftershave. The day ward upstairs is a great place to relax for a few hours and we encourage you to bring a family member of friend who will be providing your transport. Refreshments are also provided. We do prefer you to have an empty stomach at the time of treatment, so please avoid food/drink for 2-3 hours before surgery.
After surgery, a clear plastic shield is taped over your eye for one day to protect it. You can see through this straight away, though vision tends to be blurred for the first couple of days. You will be given antibiotic drops to use for one week and steroid drops to use for 4 weeks.
Both surgeons like to know that their patients can contact them directly if there are any concerns before or after treatment, so make sure you have a card with their contact details for safe keeping.