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Lens replacement is the only permanent vision correction procedure that corrects near and distance vision issues. If your vision is impaired to the point where it is hard for you to go about your daily activities (such as driving), Dr. Leonard will likely discuss cataract surgery with you as your best option.

If you do not have cataracts but would like to reduce or eliminate your dependence on glasses, you may be a candidate for this surgery.  However, in that case it would not be covered by insurance.  For many people, this is a much better option than LASIK, and has the advantage of never needing cataract surgery in the future.

Your lens replacement procedure will be performed in an outpatient surgery center. You will not be asleep for the procedure. You will be given medication to numb your eye, and a local anesthetic will make the operation virtually painless. You will also be given medication to make you relaxed and comfortable throughout the surgery.

The entire procedure takes about 15 minutes but you can expect to be at the surgery center for about 3 hours.

Normally, only one eye is treated at a time. You will need to schedule another surgery at a later time for your other eye. Because the surgery is an outpatient procedure, you won’t have to stay overnight in a hospital or surgery center. Most people are able to return to normal activities the following day.

Though cataract surgery is one of the safest and most successful surgeries performed in the United States, as with any surgical procedure, there are risks involved. These risks may include: infection, retinal detachment, an increase in eye pressure, reactions to medicines, and vision changes. There is a small chance that your vision could be made worse by the operation, especially if bleeding or infection occur. These risks are rare and should be weighed against the potential benefits of restoring your vision. Dr. Leonard will discuss all risks and benefits with you before your surgery.

When the operation is over, a plastic shield is placed over your eye. After a short stay in the outpatient recovery area, you will return home a few hours after the procedure with little or no need for pain medication. You will return to the office for a post-operative visit the next day.

Once you and Dr. Leonard have decided that you will have your lens removed, she will perform a complete eye health exam. During this process, she will assess your vision and measure your eye to determine the proper power of the IOL best suited for your eye.

Common side effects include redness, scratchiness to the eye, and light sensitivity. In addition, you may have glare, rings around lights, and blurred vision. These side effects may make it more difficult to see while driving at night or working in low light for a period of time after your surgery. These side effects generally resolve over time.

Most people notice improvement in their vision by the next day. Your vision will then continue to sharpen over the next 30 days, as you adapt to your new IOL.

Once your cataract is removed, it can’t grow back or form again. Once implanted, changing out an intraocular lens is rare and a significant surgical procedure, which is why Dr. Leonard will help you choose the best option for you.