The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has issued full guidance to the NHS in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland on scleral expansion surgery for presbyopia.
Presbyopia results from age-related deterioration of the lens in the eye.
This leads to difficulty with accommodation (focusing on close objects). Scleral expansion surgery involves making small incisions in the eye and inserting bands to stretch the part of the sclera (the tough fibrous layer of the eyeball) that lies beneath the muscles controlling accommodation (ciliary muscles). This is claimed to improve accommodation.
This guidance represents the view of NICE, arrived at after careful consideration of the evidence available. When exercising their judgement, healthcare professionals are expected to take this guidance fully into account. However, the guidance does not override the individual responsibility of healthcare professionals to make decisions appropriate to the circumstances of the individual patient, in consultation with the patient and/or guardian or carer.
Commissioners and/or providers have a responsibility to implement the guidance, in their local context, in light of their duties to have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, advance equality of opportunity, and foster good relations. Nothing in this guidance should be interpreted in a way that would be inconsistent with compliance with those duties.