Refractive Lens Exchange

Refractive Lens Exchange corrects nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism using an intraocular lens implant. RLE may be the procedure of choice for patients who are too nearsighted, too farsighted, or have corneas that are too thin for laser vision correction. It is also a viable alternative for those over the age of 40 and for those individuals who may be showing signs of developing cataracts.

How is the treatment done?

Performed as an outpatient procedure, the natural lens is removed using a laser assisted process followed by ultrasonic removal of the lens. This is done through a very small microincision and replaced through that same incision with an intraocular lens.

Is it a common procedure?

Millions of eyes have received intraocular lens implants when undergoing cataract surgery, using the same highly successful surgical techniques used in RLE. The primary difference between cataract surgery and RLE is that cataract surgery is performed to remove a patient’s cloudy lens, and Refractive Lens Exchange is performed to reduce one’s dependence on glasses or contact lenses.

Does it take long to recover?

You will remain comfortable as the eye is completely anesthetized. Everyone heals differently, but many patients report improvement in their vision almost immediately, and most resume their normal activities within a day or two. One eye is done at a time, and the second eye is usually done in a week or two.