Clear lens extraction (CLE or CLEAR) is the process of removing a non cataractous natural lens of the eye with intraocular lens placement as a refractive procedure; and is also known as RLE (refractive lens exchange).
CLE has been around for decades and is the same procedure used to remove cataracts except there is no cataract present therefore the lens is clear versus cloudy. CLE is usually performed on those who no longer wish to wear glasses or contact lenses; and patients over 40 years of age that are considered less than ideal candidates for LASIK. Other indications for clear lens extraction include correction of vision loss due to mild cataracts, hyperopia (farsightedness), and patients with high myopia that is not easily managed by other refractive procedures. Your ophthalmologist will be able to tell you whether or not CLE is the best procedure for your particular situation.
Clear Lens Extraction involves completely removing and replacing the natural lens of the eye and replacing it with a lens made from synthetic material. The lenses used may be monofocal (fixed focal length), multifocal (variable focal length), or accommodating IOL’s (enabling focus at multiple distances by shifting its position in the eye). Monofocal lenses will improve your vision, however within a limited predetermined range. If you prefer not to wear or use any additional corrective eyewear, you will need a multifocal or accommodating intraocular lens. However, even with a premium IOL, perfect vision is not guaranteed.
Most patients who have clear lens extraction get the added benefit of not being dependent on glasses or contact lenses follow surgery. In addition, they never have to worry about getting cataracts again as the lens that was cloudy has now been replaced with an artificial lens.
Clear Lens Extraction Procedure
CLE is typically performed with topical anesthesia (numbing drops), which means you will be awake during the procedure, and typically takes about 15 minutes to perform. If surgery is being performed on both eyes, it will be performed on separate dates, around 1-2 weeks in between each procedure.
Most people report immediate vision improvement after surgery. You will be able to resume normal everyday activities within about a week, providing there are no complications. However, you may notice some visual disturbances as your eyes continue to heal including a “scratchy” sensation, halos and glare, or blurry vision – these visual disturbances, if any, will soon subside.
Clear lens extraction has been proven safe and effective, and complications are rare. Some risks include, retinal detachment, infection, and swelling. Your doctor will discuss any associated risk or complications with you.
Our experienced staff of ophthalmologists have performed thousands of successful lens extraction procedures. If you believe you may be a candidate for CLE, contact us to set up an appointment today (954) 741-5555