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Eye Lens Replacement or Clear Lens Exchange

woman getting an eye exam

Eye lens replacement is also known as refractive lens exchange and refers to replacing the eye’s lens with an artificial one. At the Holtebeck Eye Center in Brookfield, we most commonly use lens replacement to improve reading vision, astigmatism, farsightedness, nearsightedness, and cataracts. 

The need for lens replacement arises as the lens ages and becomes more hard, losing its ability to change shape. Inability to change shape makes seeing near objects more difficult, hence the need for reading glasses in older adults. Eventually, the hardening and lack of flexibility tend to lead to the formation of cataracts that cause clouding of the vision.

Surgery Options   

There are two options for lens replacement surgery: manual or laser. The laser option involves a high precision femtosecond laser to remove the natural lens. Prior to the surgery, numbing eye drops are applied to the eyes to block discomfort during the process. These drops are used in both types of surgery, and the length of the surgery is generally about 10-15 minutes per eye. Conveniently, eye lens replacement is considered an outpatient operation as you are able to return home on the same day of the surgery and do not need to be held back for observation. 

Since lenses that need to be replaced have often formed cataracts, this surgery can be conducted alongside cataract surgery. In these cases, the cataracts will be extracted prior to setting the lens replacement in place. However, you may still be a candidate for eye lens replacement surgery even if you do not have any cataracts yet formed. 

Lens Replacement Types

In addition to different approaches to the surgery, there are also several different types of lenses used for the correction of different vision issues. These lens types include: 


  • Extended Depth of Focus Lens: An upgraded version of the monofocal lens (see below). 
  • Increased Range of Focus Lens: Corrects both far and intermediate sight. 
  • Monofocal Lens: Used in cataract surgery to provide near and far vision correction. 
  • Trifocal Multifocal Lens: This lens is the most commonly used and works to correct all levels of vision, including near, far, and intermediate. 
  • Trifocal – PiggyBack Lens: These can be added to already-in-place replacement lenses that did not previously have the option for a trifocal lens. 
  • Trifocal Toric Lens: For addressing extensive astigmatism. 

Contact The Holtebeck Eye Center For An Eye Lens Replacement Consultation

If you are over the age of 50 and/or have been experiencing issues with your eyes and vision, such as difficulty reading, book a comprehensive eye care appointment. Dr. Holtebeck will analyze the state of your eyes, conduct any necessary tests, and answer your questions. If eye lens replacement is an appropriate option for you, he will make that recommendation and discuss options with you. If you have questions about eye lens replacement surgery or are ready to make an appointment, contact the Holtebeck Eye Center today