Refractive Lens Exchange

Refractive lens exchange, also sometimes called RLE, is a vision correction procedure that replaces the eye’s natural lens with an artificial lens to allow you to have greater visual freedom. RLE can correct refractive errors like nearsightedness, farsightedness, presbyopia, and astigmatism.

RLE can be an excellent option for those who want to have less dependence on visual aids such as glasses or contact lenses. At Texas Eye Surgeons, we are proud to offer refractive lens exchange to eligible candidates seeking to gain visual freedom.

What is Refractive Lens Exchange?

Refractive lens exchange is a procedure that replaces the eye’s natural lens with an artificial lens implant in order to improve vision. The procedure is technically the same procedure as cataract surgery, where the natural lens is removed and replaced with an intraocular lens, also known as an IOL.

Unlike cataracts, the natural lens removed during RLE does not yet show significant clouding. Instead, it is replaced to correct refractive errors like nearsightedness, farsightedness, presbyopia, or astigmatism, allowing you to have less dependence on visual aids.

Those who choose to have RLE will also choose the artificial lens that will replace their natural lens. Advanced intraocular lenses, such as trifocal or extended depth of focus (EDOF) IOLs, can allow you to see clearly at varying distances. 

Depending on which lens you choose, you’ll likely be able to significantly decrease your dependence on visual aids. RLE can be a good option for those who do not qualify for LASIK or other similar types of refractive surgery because their cornea is too thin, flat, or steep to safely have a laser vision correction procedure. 

However, RLE is not the best vision correction procedure for everyone. The best way to know if RLE is right for you is to schedule a consultation with your eye doctor at Texas Eye Surgeons.

What Happens During Refractive Lens Exchange?

Refractive lens exchange surgery takes less than thirty minutes per eye. It is an outpatient procedure, and you will go home the same day. 

Refractive lens exchange involves your surgeons making tiny incisions in the front of the eye, known as the cornea. This is done to access your natural lens, so a new, artificial intraocular lens is inserted and positioned in place. The incision on the cornea is so small that stitches are rarely needed. 

After the new intraocular lens is in place, the procedure will be complete. Healing time may vary from patient to patient, but many enjoy clearer vision as soon as the next day, without glasses or contact lenses!

What Are My IOL Options for Refractive Lens Exchange?

If you are considering refractive lens exchange surgery to correct your vision and reduce your dependency on glasses or contacts, you will need to choose an IOL to replace your natural lens during the procedure. At Texas Eye Surgeons, we offer the PanOptix and Vivity IOLs, both excellent options that can allow you to experience greater visual freedom.

PanOptix IOL

The PanOptix IOL is a trifocal lens designed to help vision focus clearly at all distances after the procedure. This lens allows crisp, sharp vision from reading a book at arm’s length to viewing your smartphone and dashboard while driving to seeing street signs and landscapes in the distance. 

Those who choose the PanOptix IOL will experience seamless vision transitions between near, middle, and long ranges without glare, haziness, or eye strain. The PanOptix IOL delivers freedom and flexibility to live active lifestyles. 

Whether you’re viewing labels up close, working on crafts, or driving to meet friends, PanOptix lenses provide effortless focus for your eyes at any viewing distance.

Vivity IOL

The Vivity is an extended depth of focus (EDOF) IOL that is designed to provide a range of vision by using non-diffractive technology for exceptional clarity. This allows you to see both nearby and far away without compromising image quality or having visual side effects like glare.

The Vivity lens aims to reduce the need for glasses and provides monofocal-quality distance with excellent intermediate and functional near vision. Your eye doctor at Texas Eye Surgeons will help you determine which IOL may be best for you.

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How Do I Know if Refractive Lens Exchange is Right For Me?

The best way to determine if refractive lens exchange surgery is right for you is to schedule an evaluation with your eye doctor at Texas Eye Surgeons. The experienced refractive surgeons at Texas Eye Surgeons specialize in RLE and can thoroughly evaluate your vision needs and goals to see if you’re a good candidate.

During this appointment, your eye doctor will assess the health of your eyes, review your prescription history, evaluate your lifestyle needs, and check that your eyes are healthy enough for lens implants. Based on advanced diagnostic tests and discussion of your vision goals, your eye doctor can determine if RLE is your best vision correction option.

Do you want to learn if you might be a good candidate for refractive lens exchange? Schedule an appointment at Texas Eye Surgeons in Plano, TX, today!

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