Doing without glasses: laser surgery or intraocular lens implants?

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Four basic parameters to discover which type of surgery is the most suitable for a patient wishing to correct refractive errors. Laser surgery or intraocular lens implants?

Significant progress has been made over recent years regarding the surgical correction of refractive errors. One of the techniques in which most progress has been made involves intraocular lens implants, particularly thanks to improvements in precision and safety.
According to Dr Josep Lluís Güell, coordinator of IMO Cornea, Cataract and Refractive Surgery Department, laser surgery and intraocular lens implants to solve refractive errors are two different solutions. Whereas laser surgery is generally used to cut or mould the cornea, implant surgery involves inserting a lens inside the cornea, either replacing the crystalline lens or not. Furthermore, surgeries using laser to correct an error are irreversible, whereas implant surgery is often reversible. On all accounts, as Dr Güell indicates, the risks associated with implant and laser surgery are normally the same or less than those associated with the use of contact lenses, provided the patient is correctly selected and is in the hands of an expert surgeon.

Which procedure is best for each patient?

Dr Güell points out the following factors to be considered when deciding whether to solve a vision defect through laser surgery or implant surgery:

  1.  Age.
  2.  The thickness and characteristics of the cornea, which is the part of the eye upon which the laser is used.
  3. The size of the spaces of the anterior segment of the eye.
  4. The characteristics of the refractive error to be solved.

These four parameters determine the best procedure for each patient. In short, it is a case of selecting the candidate correctly, because the most suitable technique for one person may not be the same as for another, for different reasons. To this end, IMO specialist indicates that “not everyone is a good candidate for refractive surgery. As he explains, “the eye must be examined with suitable instruments to determine whether it is possible to operate on it.”

Over 25 years of experience in refractive surgery

IMO is one of the international forerunners in this type of surgery, and the first laser operations were performed at the Institute in the late 80s. As Dr Güell explains, “IMO cornea and refractive surgery specialists have evolved in our practice alongside the introduction of new developments in lenses and in laser designs for this type of surgery.” As a result of this development, which has taken place over three decades, “we can now make sure that a truly high percentage of patients can forget about their glasses completely or at least can do without them in 90-95% of their activities,” concludes the ophthalmologist.

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