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.