Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE)
RLE (Refractive Lens Exchange) is another excellent surgical option for presbyopic (> 40 year old) patients who want to reduce their dependence on glasses and contacts. It is often also called Clear Lens Exchange (CLE) because it is the same procedure as cataract surgery, but performed prior to the formation of a visually significant cata ract. In RLE the natural crystalline lens is removed and replaced with an acrylic or silicone IOL. The IOL’s refractive power is calculated to correct nearsightedness or farsightedness.
Recent advances in IOL technology have allowed for improved optics with aspheric IOL designs, the correction of astigmatism with Toric IOLs , and the reduction of the dependence on reading glasses with the advent of multifocal and accommodating IOLs.
RLE surgery is a brief outpatient procedure. Drops are placed in the eye to dilate the pupil and anesthetize the eye. One or two very small in cisions are made in the cornea through which the surgeon inserts instruments which remove the natural crystalline lens and replace it with the intraocular lens designed to correct your refractive error.
After The Procedure
Vision improvement with refractive lens exchange is very fast, with significant improvement in less than one day. The surgery requires no sutures and is virtually pain free. Following surgery patients are instructed to use eye drops over several weeks and are required to be closely followed by their eye doctor.
As in cataract surgery, three types of IOLs are available to replace your natural lens, depending on your vision needs and the health of your eyes. They are: