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What is Refractive Lens Exchange?

As we get older, a natural aging process occurs in our eyes called presbyopia, and occurs as the lens in the eye loses its flexibility. This causes the loss of the ability to see or read things up close. While this loss of ability can be temporarily fixed with glasses or contacts, there is another alternative. Refractive Lens Exchange allows patients to reduce or completely eliminate the need for contacts or glasses.

Is Refractive Lens Exchange right for me?

  • Want to remove the need of glasses or contacts?
  • Having trouble seeing objects in the distance?
  • Don’t want, or ineligible for LASIK surgery?
  • Have astigmatism?

If you are not a candidate for LASIK and answered yes to one or more of these questions, contact us today to setup a consultation!

What happens during refractive lens exchange surgery?

While LASIK concentrates on correcting the shape of the cornea of the eye, a Refractive Lens Exchange replaces the natural lens of your eye with an advanced multifocal or accommodating intraocular lens. The goal of this is to achieve corrected vision, and to reduce the need for glasses or contacts.

The surgery itself has added benefits as well. Because the replacement of the lens in the eye, it therefore prevents the development of cataracts later in life.

A small incision in the edge of the cornea is made during a Refractive Lens Exchange. A very small probe is then inserted through the incision to remove the natural lens in the eye, and replace it with the intraocular lens.

Advantages of Refractive Lens Exchange

  • Quick recovery
  • Excellent results without the use of a laser
  • Prevents the need for cataract surgery in the future
  • Reduces the dependence on glasses and contact lenses

Reflective Lens Exchange FAQ

How long does the procedure take?
Refractive Lens Exchange takes about 10-15 minutes per eye. Numbing drops are placed in the eye, as well as a mild sedative help to prepare you for the procedure, which is also completely painless.
How long will it take to recover from Refractive Lens Exchange surgery?
Most patients will notice visual recover within a few days.
How is RLE surgery different than Cataract surgery?
RLE and Cataract surgery are essentially the same procedure. The only difference between the two is that RLE is an elective surgery done to decrease the need for classes, while Cataract surgery is done for medical reasons.
Are there potential risks?
Complications are very infrequent, but they do occur. Retinal detachment can occur, and very rarely, fragments of crystalline lens material can fall into the back of the eye and require additional surgery. Fortunately, these complications are rare.