When will I start to see lens replacement treatment results?

Following lens replacement surgery, there is a healing process, and there’s a time
during which the vision needs to adapt to the new vision. So the natural lens of
the eye has been replaced, and an artificial lens has been inserted, so it takes time
for the brain to adapt to that.

Solutions for refractive lens surgery.

There are two solutions for refractive lens surgery. One is to use a multifocal
lens, and the other is to use so-called monovision, the dominant eye is
corrected for distance and the non-dominant eye is corrected for near. Both
require a visual adaptive process, in other words, the brain getting used to it. So
patients are used to the fact that when they first wore varifocals it took them a
while to get used to them. In the same way, it takes time to get used to the new
vision, either a multifocal or varifocal lens or monovision will take.

Recovery time after surgery.

Initially after surgery, within 48 hours, patients see a significant improvement. But
it is a good six to eight weeks, in my experience, for all patients to fully achieve
the final outcome, and occasionally longer. And many patients that I see a week
after surgery will say, it’s much better, Mr. Morris, but it’s not quite there. And I
reassure them that it’s early in the healing process. They’re still using the drops.
So patients use drops for a month after surgery, and while they’re still on the
drops, one wouldn’t expect them to have made a full recovery.

Understanding eyes need to rehabilitate.

An analogy is if you’ve had a hip replacement or a knee replacement, a week
after surgery you’re not running around. It takes time for you to regain your
mobility. And patients can understand that, I think, a little bit more easily than the
fact that your eyes need to rehabilitate as well. Because the surgery is painless,
because the eyes are not uncomfortable or painful afterward, they expect the
vision to recover at the same rate. If you have a knee or a hip done, it’s painful afterward, so because there’s pain, you know it’s not functioning well. So it is important, and we try and educate
patients that it will take time for them to get the full benefits of surgery.

More about Robert Morris

Rob Morris is a Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon at The Grange Eye Consultants. His special expertise is in cataract and refractive surgery, including Refractive Lens Exchange, and adult squint. He has over 30 years experience in treating people with eye problems. Rob Morris founded Grange Eye Consultants to manage the increasing demand for more complex refractive surgery. He leads clinical trials investigating novel eye treatments. He is currently Medical Director at Optegra Eye Hospitals.