Recent reports by the The Observer and The Daily Mail claim that a type of intraocular lens has left patients with defective vision.
More than 6,500 UK patients are thought to have received the Mplus X lens, manufactured by German company Oculentis, which went on sale just over a year ago. Patients have complained that the lens has left them with poor distance vision but is there cause for concern?
The Mplus X is a sophisticated type of lens called a multifocal intraocular lens which is implanted during cataract surgery or refractive lens exchange, a preventative form of lens surgery performed before a cataract develops to improve vision.
Just as some patients may not tolerate a new pair of glasses, some don’t get on well with a multifocal lens. Around 0.5% of patients (1 in 200) will not tolerate a multifocal lens (or other types of lenses) well and may need to have the lens exchanged.
Consultant Eye Surgeon Mr Romesh Angunawela a specialist in laser and lens surgery said “The problem reported with the Mplus X Lens seems to be that a greater number of patients did not tolerate the lens well. Not every patient who had an MPlus X lens will have a problem and hence patients do not need to be alarmed if they do in fact have good vision after their surgery.”
Patients should not panic over claims of blindness reported by some media outlets.
Mr Angunawela adds, “I am not aware of a lens causing blindness. The patients who had problems with this lens could still see, but the quality of their vision and problems with glare and haloes were significant and didn’t resolve.”
Lens replacement is a complex but safe surgery when carried out by a skilled eye surgeon. It takes the NHS 7 years to train an eye surgeon to become an experienced lens surgeon and these surgeries sophisticated surgeries are performed through keyholes of just 1-2mm diameter.
Mr Bruce Allan Mr Bruce Allan, a Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon at Moorfields Eye Hospital says “The reality is that no lens implant is completely free of optical side effects, but most patients are extremely happy with their vision after surgery and the spectacle freedom multifocal lens implants provide.”
Mr Allan goes on to advise “do not agree to have ‘the latest’ implant unless your doctor can show you good clinical trials evidence or is being clear about the risks and benefits as part of a well conducted clinical trial.”
Our advice to patients would be similar to that issued by the MHRA – if you are concerned, visit your eye surgeon and discuss any issues with them. It is important that you have direct one-to-one care from your surgeon from your first consultation to your last. If concerned it is reasonable to ask your surgeon about which lens they hope to implant.
Watch the video below to find out more about Lens Replacement Surgery