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Refractive Surgery: Phakic IOLs

Phakic intraocular lenses (PIOLs) are artificial lenses that are placed inside the eye. They help change the eyes focusing ability to help you see better without glasses or corrective lenses. Some types of PIOLs are designed to go in front of the iris, some behind. The natural lens is not removed. This procedure may be combined with excimer laser surgery to reshape the cornea. PIOLs may be used to treat severe myopia or hyperopia.

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What to Expect During the Procedure

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

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

  • An incision is then made at the edge of the cornea. The lens is inserted through the incision either in front of or behind the iris.

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

Pros of PIOLs

  • Implant can be removed or replaced if the desired result is not achieved

  • Can correct some extreme refractive problems

  • No loss of accommodation, since natural lens remains in place

  • No thinning of the cornea

  • Reduced risk of halos, glare, or starbursts

Cons of PIOLs

  • Long-term effects are still unknown

  • May increase risk of developing cataracts

  • If infection or inflammation occurs, serious vision problems may result

  • Risk of vision loss

  • Risk of undercorrection or overcorrection

  • Risk loss of best corrected vision

 

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