The Doctor's Doctor - Dr. Mandel

What’s the Difference Between CLR and Cataract Surgery?

CLR, Cataracts in San Jose When it comes to vision correction procedures, patients often encounter a range of options, each designed to address specific issues related to eye health and vision quality. Two popular procedures that often cause confusion due to their similarities are custom lens replacement (CLR) and cataract surgery. Although both procedures involve replacing the eye’s natural lens with an artificial one, some differences are important to note. Mark Mandel, MD, a leading ophthalmologist in the Bay Area, sheds light on these differences to help patients make informed decisions about their vision correction options.

Purpose and Ideal Candidates

CLR, sometimes known as refractive lens exchange (RLE), or clear lens extraction ( CLE ), is primarily a refractive surgery aimed at correcting vision issues such as hyperopia (farsightedness), and astigmatism. CLR is most beneficial to individuals who are not ideal candidates for laser vision correction procedures such as LASIK. It’s an elective procedure for people seeking to reduce or eliminate the need for glasses or contact lenses. It is particularly useful to those over 45 who are also experiencing problems with near vision.

Cataract surgery, on the other hand, is a restorative procedure performed to remove a cloudy lens caused by cataracts and replace it with a clear artificial lens. Cataracts are a natural part of the aging process and lead to a gradual decline in vision. This surgery is recommended for patients whose daily lives are significantly impacted by vision loss due to cataracts.

The Procedure

Both CLR and cataract surgery share a similar surgical approach. Mark Mandel, MD, uses advanced technology to gently remove the eye’s natural lens and replace it with an intraocular lens (IOL) tailored to the patient’s vision needs. However, the choice of the IOL can differ significantly between the two procedures. In CLR, the focus is on providing the broadest range of vision correction, usually using multifocal lenses. In contrast, cataract surgery may use a standard monofocal lens or a more advanced lens such as the multifocal lens, the toric (astigmatic lens) or the light adjustable lens, depending on the patient’s preferences and budget.

Recovery and Outcomes

Recovery from both CLR and cataract surgery is relatively quick and straightforward, with most patients noticing an improvement in their vision within a few days. CLR patients often experience a dramatic improvement in their vision at various distances, significantly reducing their reliance on corrective eyewear. Cataract surgery patients, while also enjoying clear vision, primarily notice the absence of the cloudy, blurred effect caused by cataracts, with the added benefit of vision correction.

CLR Negates the Need for Cataract Surgery Later

Cataracts can only develop on an eye’s natural lens. Therefore, an eye that has an artificial lens after CLR cannot develop cataracts. Considering that nearly half of American adults over 75 develop cataracts, it is an added benefit for the patient to know that they will not need to have cataract surgery when they are older.

Book Your Appointment Now

With years of experience delivering outstanding patient care, Mark Mandel, MD, is dedicated to helping patients achieve the most desirable vision outcomes with CLR. If you are ready for improved vision and quality of life, schedule your CLR consultation at one of our convenient locations in Hayward, Castro Valley, San Jose, and Concord. Call us now at 877-210-2020 ext. 3 or book an appointment online using our convenient form.