Clear Lens Extraction
Clear lens extraction (CLE) is a procedure in which the eye's
natural internal lens is removed and replaced with an intraocular
sometimes referred to as an "IOL". In the past five years,
it has become an acceptable alternative to other refractive procedures.
This refractive procedure has been around for nearly a century,
and is occasionally used for patients with very high degrees of myopia
(greater than 9 diopters), not easily managed by other refractive procedures,
such as LASIK or PRK. However, it may be an even better choice for
patients with high hyperopia (greater than 4 diopters) than for myopes,
because of the smaller risk of postoperative retinal detachment and
the availability of fewer alternative choices.
Modern cataract surgery is a technically sophisticated procedure
with an extremely high success rate. Since clear lens extraction is
nearly identical to cataract surgery, it shares the same success rate
and FDA approval.
Because the presently available lens implants are made of a material
that cannot flex or focus like the natural human lens, they are usually
implanted in patients who have already lost their ability to focus,
as in those over the age of forty, or in younger patients with specific
needs where the benefits outweigh the compromise.
See: Lens Implants and Cataract Surgery for more information.