There are increasingly more techniques to correct refractive eye errors (myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism) and reduce dependence on glasses or contact lenses. One of the most common techniques is laser surgery, although it is not always possible to treat all patients with this option. As an alternative, there are phakic intraocular lenses, a device that can offer significant results. This treatment raises a wide range of questions:
- What are intraocular lenses, and what are phakic lenses?
- What are phakic intraocular lenses like?
- How are the lenses classified, and how do you choose the most suitable one for each patient?
- In which cases are phakic intraocular lenses recommended?
- Do they also work for presbyopia (commonly known as "tired eyes")?
- How are these types of lenses implanted?
- Is the technique permanent, or can it be reversed?
- Why should we consider the option of phakic lenses?
- Are there any risks or complications associated with this treatment?
- Are phakic lenses suitable for all patients?
- Is any special care required after implanting these lenses?
- How long does the recovery take after the implantation of phakic lenses?
In episode #9 Phakic Intraocular Lenses: An Alternative to Laser Refractive Surgery of our podcast "Descansa la vista" (Rest Your Eyes), we talk to Dr. Jose Lamarca, an ophthalmologist from the Barraquer Ophthalmology Centre, about the characteristics of this device and the advantages of its implementation.
How are phakic intraocular lenses like?
Phakic intraocular lenses are rectangular devices, approximately 13 mm long and 7 mm wide, with an elastic and mouldable texture. Their characteristics allow for easy placement through a very small incision between the iris and the crystalline lens.
The choice of different types of phakic lenses is essential for an effective treatment for each patient. Generally, there are lenses that work for distant vision, and there are lenses available that allow for seeing at various distances. To make the most appropriate choice in each case, a thorough diagnosis is crucial.
Why choose a phakic intraocular lens?
Phakic lenses are suitable for patients with myopia, hyperopia, or astigmatism. They can also be valid for people aged between 40 and 50 years who experience presbyopia.
Not all patients with refractive errors are suitable candidates for laser surgery, and phakic lenses can be a very good alternative. It is also worth noting that for patients with more than 5 dioptres, this type of lenses can help improve visual quality. Additionally, when laser surgery is performed, the corneal curvature of the eye is altered and cannot be reversed. In contrast, the procedure with phakic lenses keeps the eye's anatomy unchanged.
How is the surgery performed?
The surgeon makes a very small incision, approximately 3 mm, and injects the lens between the iris and the crystalline lens. It is a surgery performed separately on each eye, with an interval of 2 or 3 days. The treatment can be reversible, and if necessary, the phakic lens can be removed.
In the days following the surgery, various postoperative checks are performed to ensure that the results are optimal. The recovery is quite rapid as the specialist minimally manipulates the eye's structures.
Listen to the podcast episode to learn all the information about phakic intraocular lenses. Remember, you can send us your questions about eye health on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook using the hashtag #DescansaLaVista, and we'll address them in upcoming episodes.