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What is Lensectomy?

As we approach the age of 40, we usually begin to have trouble with near vision.  This condition is referred to as presbyopia.  The lens of our eye is not as soft and flexible as during our youth, and due to these changes we begin having difficulty focusing from distance to near objects.  These early changes in the lens are referred to as nuclear sclerosis. 

Typically over the next 20-30 years, the lens will continue to harden and turn yellow.  The lens has now progressed to the stage of a cataract, and our vision will gradually decrease.  The only way to get rid of a cataract is to have it surgically removed and replaced with an intraocular lens.  This procedure is usually also covered by insurance if vision requirements are met, which state vision must be 20/50 or worse with or without glare.

However, what if we are struggling with presbyopia but do not yet have a cataract?  There is a procedure that removes the natural lens of the eye and replaces it with an intraocular implant.  It is called a lensectomy.  A tiny incision is made into the perimeter of the cornea.  This incision provides a corneal tunnel through which the lens is removed.  An ultrasonic probe breaks up the lens into tiny microscopic pieces which are gently aspirated out of the eye.(1)   Then, a specially designed injector, much like a syringe, is used to implant the foldable intraocular lens.  The injector is inserted through the clear corneal incision, over the iris, and into the center of the pupil.  There, the  lens is slowly ejected where it expands and unfolds into position.(2) Situated in the same capsule that once housed the natural lens of the eye, the unfolded intraocular lens restores focus after surgery.(3)


Insurance does not cover this procedure, as vision requirements generally are not met at this stage.  However, once the natural lens of the eye is removed, cataract formation will not occur again. Therefore, cataract surgery will not be a concern down the road.  The lens implant is put in on a permanent basis, and it has prescription already built into it that is specifically tailored to fit your needs. Recovery is quick and painless, and you can begin enjoying your new vision immediately! 



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