What is Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE)?
Refractive lens exchange, also referred to as clear lens exchange or refractive lensectomy. Refractive lens exchange (RLE) is a highly precise surgical procedure in which the natural lens of the eye is removed and replaced with an artificial intraocular lens implant (IOL) to correct the refractive error. RLE surgery is essentially the same as cataract surgery; however, in RLE, the procedure is performed primarily to change the refractive properties of the eye rather than to remove a cataract that has developed in the lens of the eye.
It is important to understand that not everyone is a qualified candidate. Dr. Auker will only recommend Refractive Lens Exchange for the very best candidates.
Who is a Candidate for Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE) Surgery?
For older adults who have presbyopia or both presbyopia and hyperopia, RLE may be an ideal solution. Presbyopia is a common type of vision disorder that affects most people as they age, affecting the ability to focus close up.
RLE may also be an option for patients who have developing cataracts, desire better vision, but don’t yet meet the requirements for insurance coverage of their cataract surgery
Lens Implant Options
What is Lens Implant?
During cataract surgery, the eye’s natural lens is removed and replaced with an Intraocular lens, or IOL. Since being approved by the FDA in 1981, IOLs have offered an effective alternative for cataract patients. Prior to the use of IOLs, cataract patients had to wear very thick eyeglasses or special contact lenses in order to see after the natural lenses were removed during surgery.
Types of Lens Implant:
TECNIS® Monofocal IOL
Tenics monofocal This is the First and Only wavefront designed IOL approved by FDA for:
- Reduced spherical aberration
- Improved functional vision
- Improved night driving simulator performance
This type of monofocal IOL is offering patients vision at only one distance (far, intermediate or near), and still requiring them to use corrective lenses to compensate for other distances. Most people who choose monofocal lenses have their IOLs set for distance vision and use reading glasses for near activities. On the other hand, a person whose IOLs were set to correct near vision would need glasses to see distant objects.
Multifocal IOLs for Presbyopia
Presbyopia correcting IOLs are advanced lenses designed to improve vision at all distances. Since they can correct near, intermediate, and distance vision, these lenses offer patients the greatest chance of reducing or eliminating their need for glasses. There are several varieties of presbyopia correcting IOLs:
Tecnis® Multifocal IOLs have varying magnification powers at different places within the lens, allowing patients to see clearly at a full spectrum of distance ranges.
Accommodating IOLs are designed to move with your eye in a way that mimics a natural lens and can correct distance vision as well as reduce the need for reading glasses.
Extended Depth IOLs are innovative lenses designed to enhance the depth of focus, meaning that patients can focus easily between close, intermediate, and distance vision.
Toric IOLs for Astigmatism
Toric IOLs are lenses that can correct astigmatism, which is a common vision error that causes blurry or distorted vision. Several types of toric IOLs are available. Monofocal toric lenses treat astigmatism, but correct vision at just one distance. Advanced, multifocal toric IOLs can correct astigmatism, as well as allow patients to see clearly at a range of distances which may reduce or eliminate the need for glasses.
Astigmatism: This eye condition distorts or blurs the ability to see both near and distant objects. With astigmatism the cornea (the clear front window of the eye) is not round and smooth (like a basketball), but instead is curved like a football. People with significant degrees of astigmatism are usually most satisfied with toric IOLs.
Dr. Auker has extensive training in Refractive Lens Exchange. He will be the best eye doctor to help you with your Refractive Lens Exchange decision. He will choose the best implant lens for you based on your individual needs and lifestyle. Each patient at Auker Eye Institute is a V.I.P.!”
You can learn more about Lens Implant Options here.