• Dr Alison ChiuA highly experienced ophthalmologist and specialist refractive surgeon

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PRELEX (Presbyopic Lens Exchange)

The natural lenses of your eyes are curved flexible structures that change shape to accurately focus an image on the retina, a photosensitive layer in the back of the eye. Aging is usually associated by stiffness (presbyopia) or clouding (cataract) of the lens, which affects clarity of vision. Though presbyopia may be corrected by glasses or contact lenses, a more permanent and precise solution is offered through a procedure called PRELEX (presbyopic lens exchange), which involves the removal of the natural lens and replacement with an artificial one to correct presbyopia as well as cataract.

What are the indications for PRELEX?

PRELEX is indicated if:

  • You do not wish to wear glasses or contact lens
  • You have severe farsightedness or near-sightedness
  • Your cornea (outer curved layer in front of the eye) is too thin for your surgeon to perform laser-assisted corrective surgery
  • You have co-existing or early signs of cataract (cloudiness of the lens)

How is it performed?

The operation is performed under local anaesthesia and takes about 15 minutes. Your doctor makes a tiny incision at the side of your cornea and inserts a probe connected to a phacoemulsifier. The device emits ultrasound waves to disintegrate your lens, which is then suctioned out through the probe. The new lens implant is folded and inserted through the tiny incision in place of the diseased lens, where it unfolds into the correct position.

You are monitored for about 3 hours after the procedure and can then go home. No sutures are required so pain is minimal and recovery is fast, allowing you to return to your regular activities in a day or two. It may take about 2 to 3 months for you to adjust to your new lens.

What are the risks associated with the procedure?

As with all surgical procedures, the implantation of PRELEX may involve the development of glares and halos.

Affiliations

  • The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Opthalmologists
  • Australian Society of Opthalmologists
  • Perfect vision
  • The University of Sydney
  • UNSW
  • ESPH
  • BJPH
  • NSW Health
  • University of Cambridge
  • UCL
  • Sydney Eye Hospital
  • AMA
  • AHPRA