Research Review Advances Implantable Lenses over Laser Surgery
Moderately nearsighted patients may experience better vision correction with implantable lenses than with laser surgery such as LASIK, according to a British doctor's review of previous research results. Other eye surgeons advise caution, saying the more-invasive lens implant surgery is riskier than laser procedures.
Implanting a phakic intraocular lens (IOL) in front of the eye's natural lens was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2004. It is an alternative to laser modification of the corneal tissue for the extremely nearsighted, since their condition may require cutting more tissue than is often available.
Dr. Allon Barsam of the Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust in London said his team's review of previous research indicates that patients who received IOL implants experienced better overall quality of vision and a higher level of satisfaction than those who chose laser surgery.
According to Barsam, the evidence is sufficient to consider implants rather than laser surgery for those with moderate nearsightedness.
Eye surgeon Dr. Richard Duffey of Premier Medical Eye Group in Mobile, Alabama, disagreed with the conclusions of the British review.
Duffey said his surveys of colleagues for more than a decade indicate a preference for the less-invasive laser surgery. He said the risks of cutting into the eye, rather than simply using a laser to remove corneal tissue from the outside means that most American eye surgeons will reserve the use of IOLs for those patients whose corneal tissue is inadequate to achieve desired vision correction.
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