Refractive surgery with intraocular lenses

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Refractive surgery with intraocular lenses

What does it involve?

Refractive surgery with intraocular lenses involves implanting phakic or pseudophakic lenses to correct refractive errors (myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism). It is indicated for those who wish to do without an optical correction.

Phakic lenses are implanted between the cornea and the crystalline lens, without removing it; thus, they tend to be indicated for young patients (under 40/45). One of its great advantages is that it is a reversible technique. Depending on the space that is available within the eye, they can correct some 20-21 dioptres in myopia and up to 10-12 dioptres in hyperopia. They can be placed in front of the iris (iris support lenses) or between the iris and the crystalline lens (ICL lenses).

Unlike phakic lenses, pseudophakic lenses do replace the crystalline lens, either because it has lost its accommodating function or because the crystalline lens is cloudy (cataract). The prescription that can be corrected with pseudophakic lenses is up to 35-40 dioptres in myopia and up to 20 in hyperopia.

Video in Spanish - Doctor Elies - IMO Barcelona

When is it carried out?

Refractive surgery with phakic IOLs is indicated for patients with a high degree of hyperopia to correct high astigmatism and, when myopia is high or there is a contraindication for laser application in surface or inner layers of the cornea (Lasik) or for the implanting of intracorneal rings.

Usually, pseudophakic intraocular lenses, which are used in cataract surgery, are implanted in some patients with presbyopia or other refractive errors, who are generally over 45 years old.

It is necessary to have an eye examination to be able to consider the best option in each case, depending on the number of dioptres to correct and other factors.

Video in Spanish - Doctor Elies - IMO Barcelona

Prior examination

Comprehensive eye examination, measurement of the anterior chamber and endothelial count.


Patients should have three days of relative rest prior to surgery (only avoiding strenuous activities). They can lead a normal life after that, although it is important not to rub their eyes.

During surgery

Surgery is performed under topical anaesthesia and lasts for 15 to 20 minutes. It is carried out on an outpatient basis.


There are no other risks different from any surgery. After surgery, patients should have regular check-ups every 18 months or 2 years to ensure that the endothelial count (the number of cells present in the endothelium of the cornea) does not change.

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