Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE) is commonly referred to as clear lens extraction or presbyopic lens correcting intraocular surgery. RLE is an emerging type of refractive surgery very similar to cataract surgery. Like many other types of refractive surgery, including LASIK eye surgery, Refractive Lens Exchange corrects nearsightedness and farsightedness.
RLE is an increasingly popular vision correction procedure because it is familiar to all skilled cataract surgeons, and yields consistent, predictable results. Furthermore, recovery from the procedure is fast, the risk of complication is low, and there is no concern about developing cataracts later in life.
The desired refractive result is achieved with the insertion of a lens implant known as an IOL. Refractive Lens Exchange is a great option for an ophthalmologist to utilize when vision problems extend beyond the limits of lasers. For example, if a patient is too nearsighted but also has a reading issue, one of these new multifocal lenses may be a good option. Prior to the advent of the multifocal lens, refractive surgeons often performed monovision LASIK or simply just corrected the myopic disorder and then the patient just required glasses for reading. This type of refractive surgery may also be useful if a patient has extremely thin corneas not capable of handling laser surgery. Several visual situations could lead your surgeon to choose refractive lens exchange as your best option for vision correction. As reading vision problems begin to set in for many people in their 40’s and 50’s, this type of surgery starts to make a lot more sense. Due to the multifocal capabilities of these new lens implants you now see at both far and near distances. Since cataract surgery is on the horizon and your natural lens will be removed, you may consider this option ahead of time.
Some of it’s advantages are as under:
- Reduces the dependence on glasses and contact lenses
- Rapid visual recovery
- Excellent results without using a laser
- Eliminates the need for cataract surgery in the future
- Most patients report rapid visual improvement immediately after surgery
Our refractive eye surgeon, Dr. Shahid Azeem Mirza, will meet with you for an initial consultation and eye evaluation to determine if Refractive Lens Exchange is the best option for your needs.
Because Refractive Lens Exchange is a procedure using the same technique as cataract surgery the procedure is regarded as relatively safe and effective. With the advent of the new multifocal IOL, patients experience excellent vision after surgery. The main difference between these two surgical types is that one is for cataract removal and the other is to correct for refractive error.