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Clear Lens Exchange (Refractive Lens Exchange)

Refractive Lens Exchange, or RLE, is identical to cataract surgery, the only difference being that the eyes natural lens is not cloudy yet. It is a surgical procedure that can reduce or eliminate the need for glasses or contact lenses. Usually this procedure is performed in patients 50 yrs or older and can potentially correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism and even presbyopia. Unlike other refractive procedures that change the shape of the cornea, RLE corrects vision by replacing the eye's natural crystalline lens with an intraocular lens (IOL) that has been designed with the optical power to give clear vision, thus eliminating the need for glasses or contact lenses.

Refractive Lens Exchange is for those who:

  • Are over 50
  • Want to reduce or eliminate their dependence on glasses or contact lenses
  • Are both very nearsighted or farsighted with early cataract formation
  • Very nearsighted or farsighted
  • Want to treat presbyopia with a multifocal implant
  • Are looking for an alternative to LASIK

What to Expect on RLE Surgery Day

Refractive Lens Exchange is performed at the Riverside Park Surgicenter, which is located on the second floor of our building. This marvelous procedure is done on an outpatient basis, meaning the patient goes home on the same day. Upon arrival for your surgery, you will meet the anesthesiologist and be given IV relaxing medication and a local anesthetic to numb your eye during the procedure. You should not feel any pain or discomfort during this surgery. Similar to cataract surgery, your surgeon will replace your natural crystalline lens with a premium intraocular lens. This new lens will give you clear vision at both far and near. Also, after the RLE procedure, patients never develop cataracts and will never need cataract surgery.