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Refractive Surgery: Phakic IOLs

Phakic intraocular lenses (PIOLs) are artificial lenses that are placed inside the eye. They help change your eye’s ability to focus. This helps you see better without glasses or corrective lenses. Some types of PIOLs go in front of the colored part of your eye (iris). Some PIOLs go behind your iris. The natural lens is not removed. This procedure may be combined with excimer laser surgery to reshape your cornea. PIOLs may be used to treat severe nearsightedness or farsightedness.



What to expect during your procedure

  • Before treatment, you'll be given local anesthesia. You may also be given medicine to help you relax.

  • A drainage hole (peripheral iridotomy) may be made in your iris to prevent fluid buildup.

  • A cut (incision) is then made at the edge of your cornea. The lens is put in through the incision. It is placed either in front of or behind your iris.

  • After treatment, your eye may be bandaged. Your vision should start to improve the next day. It should be stable in 1 to 3 weeks.


Pros of PIOLs

  • They can be removed or replaced if they don't work the way you want

  • They can correct some extreme refractive problems

  • They still allow your eye's lens to change shape to focus light (accommodation), since your natural lens remains in place

  • They don't cause thinning of your cornea

  • They have a reduced risk of causing vision problems such as halos, glare, or starbursts


Cons of PIOLs

  • Long-term effects are still unknown

  • May increase your risk of getting cataracts

  • May cause serious vision problems if there is infection or redness and swelling (inflammation)

  • Risk of losing your vision

  • Risk of undercorrecting or overcorrecting your vision

  • Risk of losing your best corrected vision

  • Risk of having a detached retina


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