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Question:
I just had a cataract removed in my dominant eye and had a toric lens implanted. The good news is the operation was a success. The bad news is my ophthalmologist said the lens is not the correct power and that is why I'm still seeing everything blurry. She wants to wait two weeks and then remove the lens and implant a new one with the correct power which should allow me to see 20/20 without glasses (just perhaps for reading fine print). Supposedly, she said the reason the mistake was made in the first place was that I have a very weird-shaped cornea (almost flat at 39) that is way off the bell-curve of "normal" shaped corneas, which quite frankly, I don't buy.

My question is two-fold: 1) Is it safe to remove a toric lens two weeks after it was implanted to implant another one through the same incision; and 2) what guarantees do I have that the second lens would work? Maybe my weirdly shaped cornea is not conducive for the toric lens? At this point, I'm petrified and am thinking just to leave the lens in there as is and get glasses. Any suggestions?

Answer:
First of all, it is safe to remove a toric lens from the eye but certainly with any surgery, risks are present. Your doctor should be able to outline the pros and cons of surgery. Measurements made on an eye prior to cataract surgery are dependent on a number of factors within your eye such as corneal curvature and eyeball length as well as the lens position of the cataract and your new toric lens. All surgeons have to explant lens implants at some point due to improper lens power or complications from the lens implant. While this is not common, it definitely occurs and if your surgeon feels the power is wrong and it is safe to exchange, you should consider the options or consider a second opinion. A particularly useful device your surgeon may use is astigmatismfix.com. This website allows surgeons to figure out how best to approach exchanging a toric lens if needed.

Answered by: W. Barry Lee, MD Dr. W. Barry Lee

Categories: CataractsEye Surgery

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Answered: May 30, 2013

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