Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE)
Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE) is a surgery to improve vision by replacing the natural lens of the eye with a permanent man-made lens. RLE may be a vision correction option for patients who are not candidates for LASIK or PRK surgery for vision correction. RLE is usually considered for patients forty years of age or older with some degree of natural lens change or Dysfunctional Lens Syndrome. RLE is considered in people with severe farsightedness, nearsightedness or astigmatism. Many post-LASIK patients consider RLE surgery when Dysfunctional Lens Syndrome diminishes the clarity of their prior LASIK.
Dysfunctional Lens Syndrome is a condition our doctors will educate you about. DLS presents initially as the aging loss of reading vision and develops into a slow loss of vision quality and in some patients, difficulty with night vision. Eventually DLS becomes the condition known as a cataract. DLS is diagnosed by the doctor on the exam and with advanced ray tracing iTRACE technology.
Because Refractive Lens Exchange is surgery to remove and replace the dysfunctional natural lens in patients who seek vision improvement before they fully develop a cataract, once RLE is performed cataract surgery is not needed later in life.
Many RLE patients opt for multifocal lens replacement to gain improved unaided near and distant vision and diminish the need for reading glasses or bifocals.
Younger patients who are too nearsighted for LASIK may be candidates for the Implantable Contact Lens (ICL). ICL surgery places a permanent corrective lens in the eye without removing the natural crystalline lens.