What is the crystalline lens?
The crystalline lens is a natural “lens” that acts to focus the eye on objects. It is made up of certain proteins that give it transparency and elasticity.
Its function is to focus light on the retina, a thin layer at the back of the eye. This allows visual stimuli to be generated in the form of electrical impulses and transmitted via the optic nerve to the brain, where they are decoded and translated.
Lensectomy is a surgical procedure to remove the natural crystalline lens and implant an artificial one that is foldable, transparent, and made of biocompatible materials.
In the process of eliminating cataracts, refractive lensectomy nowadays can also correct visual defects such as myopia, hyperopia, astigmatism, and even presbyopia. As well as eliminating the problem of clouded vision, artificial lenses allow patients to discard corrective eyewear. With refractive lensectomy it is possible to correct high refractive defects and to restore vision almost immediately. Cataracts may also be removed in patients affected by high myopia, for whom this problem occurs relatively early in life (between 50 and 60). Multifocal intra-ocular lenses (IOL) may be used to correct a range of visual defects (for example myopia and presbyopia) in a single operation, thereby ensuring optimal 360° vision both close up and at a distance.
Correcting acute visual defects
Lensectomy for purely refractive purposes can correct even very acute visual defects in myopia, hyperopia, astigmatism and presbyopia. As it is performed on patients not affected by cataracts, the patients may also be relatively young.