The term “refractive lensectomy” means the surgical removal of the eye’s natural lens while it is still clear and transparent. Normally the natural lens is removed only when it has become cloudy enough to obstruct vision, for example, when a cataract has formed. The lensectomy procedure, however, can also be used to correct very high amounts of farsightedness and nearsightedness as well as astigmatism. In such cases, the eye’s natural lens is replaced by a lens implant whose optical prescription is specifically selected to provide sharp vision for the particular eye that is having the procedure. The term “clear lensectomy” is also used to describe this type of procedure.
One limitation of lensectomy is that it results in the eye losing its natural ability to focus on close-up things, for example, when reading, sewing, using a computer, etc. Hence, reading glasses would normally be required after lensectomy. The recovery from this procedure is fast and dramatic. On the day after surgery patients are usually able to perform all regular activities, with the benefit of increased visual freedom. The surgery is performed one eye at a time and approximately two to four weeks apart.