Question: I have a question about congenital cataracts and lens implants. I was born with cataracts in 1978. The protocol for cataract surgery at that time was to remove the lens as well as the capsule. I am currently wearing aphakic contact lenses bringing corrected vision to 20/30. Is there any lens implant surgery available for me? And if so what is the risk?
Answer: Indeed in 1978 you would have most likely had an "intracapsular" Cataract extraction which would have removed the entire lens capsule as well as the cloudy lens material-the Cataract. Today, the typically the lens capsule is left in place in order to support the placement of a Lens Implant. However, the lack of a lens capsule does not preclude you from having secondary Lens Implant IF your eyes are otherwise healthy and in "good anatomical" shape. Depending on the condition of the Vitreous, Iris and other structures it is often possible to have a "secondary lens implant", either an the Anterior Chamber Lens Implant (IOL) in front of the Iris or a Posterior Chamber Lens Implant (IOL) sutured in place in the posterior chamber. The choice and the position of the lens will depend on the anatomy and the condition of the eye as stated previously. As with any intraocular surgery there is always risk, however most likely less risk than the Cataract Surgery itself. The complications of Cataract Surgery and Lens Implants are pretty infrequent. That said, you should consider taking the next step and schedule a consultation with the best Cataract Surgeon you can find and after a thorough examination and consultation, they will be able to advise you of the most appropriate course of action to consider.
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