How Long Does Lens Replacement Take?

August 16, 2022 | Custom Lens Replacement (CLR)

The dysfunctional natural lens of the eye is replaced during lens replacement surgery with a transparent, high-tech, intraocular lens to provide vision correction that can truly be life-changing. For most people, it can grant freedom from glasses, including reading glasses, as well as freedom from contact lenses. 43Vision specializes in lens replacement because it can provide spectacle independence, can prevent patients from developing cataracts, and is one of the safest medical procedures. Custom Lens Replacement (CLR) surgery is our top recommendation for vision correction.

Reading glasses and contact lenses are needed much less, and often, not at all when using lens replacement to treat presbyopia (age-related near vision issues), nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia), and astigmatism. Additionally, it prevents the growth of cataracts in the future, eliminating the need for cataract surgery in the years ahead. One of the most frequently asked questions from our patients is, 'how long does lens replacement surgery take?' The short answer is that the procedure is very quick, but let's cover the entire process from the beginning.

How long does it take for refractive lens replacement?

No artificial intraocular lens replacement surgery is performed without first conducting a thorough eye examination to establish the patient's baseline, assess the overall health of the eye, and to ensure ideal candidacy for the safety of completion of this procedure. During your appointment, you'll get a comprehensive eye examination and personalized advice from your doctor on the best course of action for your needs. Additionally, the eye surgeon who will conduct your lens replacement surgery will recommend the ideal artificial lens for your specific case, and will give you the chance to speak with them personally about any worries you may have regarding the procedure or the artificial lens implant to be used.

On the day of your custom lens replacement procedure, the natural dysfunctional lens of the eye is first removed during the process and then exchanged for an upgraded, customized lens. Usually, both eyes are treated on the same day, and patients often note a noticeable improvement in their vision over the next several days. Custom lens replacement aims to provide a comprehensive spectrum of high-quality vision at distance and near without glasses and prevent the need for future cataract surgery. The actual procedure typically takes just a few minutes to complete.

How long will I be at the eye surgery center for my lens replacement?

Whether you are having lens replacement surgery, cataract surgery, or laser eye surgery, 43Vision recommends that you plan to be in the office for 2 to 3 hours on the day of your eye surgery. This gives enough time for registration, surgical preparation, surgery, and time in the office right after surgery to make sure you're comfortable and are recovering properly.

The day of surgery your time in the office will look similar to this:

  • You will arrive 10 minutes before your appointment time to fill out any paperwork and answer or ask any questions before we get started.

  • 43Vision will help you relax and make sure you are comfortable and at ease before the procedure.

  • We will apply numbing drops to your eyes that will help eliminate or reduce any discomfort. A local anesthetic is used, so you typically won’t feel any pain during the procedure.

  • Once the numbing drops have had time to work, the eye surgeon will use a special eye drop that helps prepare the surface of the eye for treatment.

  • The eye surgeon will then place your new lens. Within minutes, your vision correction surgery is complete, and you are on your way to better vision. The lens replacement procedure is typically completed in a few minutes.

  • You will be asked to stay in the office for a short time after surgery is complete to address any immediate needs and ensure your eyes are on the path to healing and clear vision. Patients may experience some mild irritation as the anesthetic wears off, but this is temporary and normally resolves within the first few hours following the procedure.

  • Your doctor will dispense antibiotic eye drops, and steroid eye drops as a precaution to be used during the healing process to prevent infection and reduce inflammation.

What happens after lens replacement surgical procedures?

How long will I be off work after lens replacement surgery?

Just like with laser vision correction, we advise you to return home and rest for a few hours immediately after your surgery. You'll need a ride home since you could have blurred vision, so please plan to bring someone with you on the day of surgery. The day after surgery, you'll have a follow-up with your surgeon to see how your vision is improving. Although everyone's eyes heal at a different rate, most patients may go back to work as soon as one to three days after lens replacement surgery.

Although initial healing starts right away, be sure to allow your eyes enough time to rest during the first several hours after surgery, which will also help with any blurry vision you may be experiencing. Your surgeon will go over any restrictions that are particular to your procedure and lifestyle with you before surgery if there are any.

When can I drive after my lens replacement procedure?

You shouldn't engage in any strenuous activity during the recovery period after lens replacement, and you also shouldn’t drive the day after surgery. Several variables will affect recovery time after lens replacement surgery and how long you must wait before you may resume driving. In general, eyesight will gradually improve over the first few days after lens replacement surgery, so you can likely start driving in a few days. At your post-operative follow-up appointment, your doctor will advise you on when it is safe to drive again.

How long should I take a break from exercise after lens replacement surgery?

We advise against strenuous exercise for at least a week after lens replacement surgery. You may then start with some mild to moderate activity, such as stretching or walking. Jogging, aerobics, yoga, weightlifting, football, running, cycling, and tennis are included in what we define as strenuous activity.

How long will artificial lenses last?

Most likely a lifetime! During a lens replacement procedure, a specialized artificial lens is implanted. Later in life, problems like glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration that damage your eye health are possible and may affect your eyesight. Lens replacement surgery does not cause or prevent these age-related conditions from forming. You will maintain a good level of vision with lens replacements without needing glasses or contact lenses if you do not develop any conditions that affect your eye health. Lens replacement surgery typically provides a permanent vision correction solution.

“I wish I’d done it sooner!”

The number one thing we hear from our patients is that they wish they’d had Vision Correction sooner.

So the question for you is… why wait any longer?

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