Clear Lens Extraction: An Overview

Clean lens extraction is a wonder of today. It is a newer and safer methodology that has come out of advances in surgery to remove cataracts. Our eyes begin to lose the ability to focus clearly on near objects, especially so at the age of 40 and onward. This natural occurrence continues to worsen until age 60, and treatment options include reading glasses, bifocals, progressive lenses, and trifocals. Clean lens extraction offers an opportunity to safely intervene in what would otherwise be a lifelong commitment to reading glasses.

What is Clear Lens Extraction?

Clear lens extraction, also known as refractive lens exchange, is the removal of a non-cataractous natural lens of the eye with or without intraocular lens placement as a refractive procedure. In most cases, the synthetic lens corrects distance vision. This procedure can be used for patients who have farsightedness or nearsightedness combined with astigmatism.

The procedure is well-suited to patients over the age of 40 who are dependent on optimal accessories for clear vision.


Benefits of clear lens extraction include:

  • An alternative for patients who are not eligible for laser surgery.
  • Corrects high myopia (nearsightedness) and hyperopia (farsightedness) that is out of range of laser surgery.
  • You will no longer develop a cataract as the lenses have been removed and replaced by a clear implant.
  • You will experience minimal postoperative discomfort and recovery.

What is the Procedure?

Dress casually and comfortably, and do not wear any makeup or skin creams prior to your procedure. You will need to arrange for someone to drive you home following the procedure.

As the procedure begins, you will be given a light sedative to help you relax, followed by a series of eye drops to numb the eye. Allergic reactions to these medications are rare, but please advise your surgeon about any allergies you may have.

The procedure is performed under topical anesthetic, so you will be awake and aware for the duration of the surgery. A surgical instrument called an eyelid speculum will be placed between your upper and lower lids to prevent you from blinking during the procedure. A small incision is then made in the sclera (the white of the eye) and near the edge of the cornea. The natural lens will be broken into tiny pieces with an ultrasonic tool.

Once the lens has been broken apart, it will be removed from its capsule by a suction device. The capsule is then polished and left in place to help position and support the implant lens when it is inserted into the eye using a specialized instrument. Lastly, the incision is then closed.

The procedure is typically completed within 15 minutes.

Recovery and Post-Operative Care

After the procedure, use the eye drops as instructed. Your surgeon will provide you a kit containing all of the required eye drops and oral medication for pain as needed.

You may experience some light sensitivity or mild irritation, and your vision may be blurry. This is normal and your vision may fluctuate during the first month or so.

You may need to wear an eye patch while sleeping to protect your eye from accidental injuries. Follow up appointments will be scheduled to ensure that the healing process is progressing normally. Avoid getting water or soap in your eye, and avoid swimming, hot tubs and saunas for at least two weeks after your procedure. Also avoid rubbing your eyes for at least a month. It is best to leave your makeup off for at least two weeks.

You can return to work after the one-day post-operative check up, but some choose to wait an extra day or two.

If you think clear lens extraction may be the right procedure for you, contact Dr. Ghosheh to schedule an appointment so you can discuss your options and what needs to be done moving forward.

Lasik vs. Clear Lens Replacement

There are lots of people who do not like wearing glasses or the feeling of contact lenses. They may seek treatment through Lasik, but not everyone is a suitable candidate for Lasik eye surgery. However, those people have another choice in vision correction through Clear Lens Replacement. Lasik is usually for patients suffering from nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism, while clear lens replacement cures farsightedness, loss of color contrast, or color sensitivity due to aging eyes. Lens replacement can also be utilized to replace the natural lens before cataracts develops.

Clear lens replacement is a procedure that removes a patient’s natural lens of the eye and replaces it with an intraocular lens implant. Similar to the nature of a cataracts operation, but this surgery is administered before cataract development. This surgery also benefits those who do not wish to wear reading glasses after surgery with monovision.

Monovision will insert lenses bilaterally with an intraocular lens in the dominant eye to correct distance and the non-dominant to correct the near.

Knowing the Lenses

Everyone has two eye lenses in each eye that allows the individual to focus on objects to look at. The outer lens, the cornea, achieves its permanent shape by the late teens and early 20s.

The inner lens, crystalline lens, is flexible and allows to focus on objects at various distances. Aging causes the inner lens to lose flexibility and the skill to look at objects at different distances, especially those nearby.

Clear Lens Replacement for Farsightedness

This procedure is typically for those suffering from farsightedness and cannot gain any advantages from other procedures, such as Lasik. The surgery procedure is similar to cataract surgery, but the natural lens is not cloudy as it is in a patient with cataracts. Everyone who lives long enough has a possibility of developing cataracts, clear lens replacement, prevents the need for cataract surgery.

What Lasik Treats:

Lasik continues to gain popularity, but only treats cases of abnormal cornea or refractive errors. Lasik is a procedure that reshapes the cornea to correct vision problems for young adults, problems including:

  • Nearsightedness

  • Farsightedness

  • Astigmatism

Surgeons prefer to administer this procedure after a patient’s vision has stabilized and can achieve better results for decades of better vision.

Candidates for Clear Lens Replacement

Clear lens replacement is for those who cannot benefit from Lasik procedures. It treats patients suffering from presbyopia or extreme farsightedness (hyperobia). Patients who have a combination of both, may find this the only possible option for clear vision and reduce dependence on glasses.

According to WebMD, clear lens replacement may be appropriate for people with thin corneas, dry eyes or other problems with the cornea. It is a procedure that replaces the natural lens with an artificial lens. Clear lens replacement is also a procedure that can prevent cataracts from developing later in life.

Recovery from Surgery

After surgery is complete, patients will have drops placed to prevent infection, decrease inflammation and keep the pupil dilated. An eye patch is placed over to prevent from direct contact, but removed the next day of surgery.

Some limitations are involved to ensure proper healing. The treatment may make the eye(s) sensitive to touch and brightness, but driving and less strenuous activities can resume after three days.

Clear lens replacement surgery is best for patients with monovision, treatment prior to cataract development or for patients over 40.

Advanced Eye Medical Group will evaluate your vision and determine the true cause of vision loss. They will rightfully choose the best option that is suitable to your needs. If you find it tiresome having to wear glasses and you are not considered a candidate for Lasik, clear lens replacement may be the right choice for you. Call now to book your appointment for clear vision.