Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE)
What is Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE)?
Refractive Lens Exchange or Refractive Lens Replacement is a newly-adopted type of vision correction surgery for some patients suffering from presbyopia or hyperopia (farsightedness). LASIK and PRK are also very successful solutions for these conditions, however, RLE may better suits some patients.
The refractive lens exchange vision correction procedure is when the eye’s lens is removed and replaced with a new multi-focal intraocular artificial lens. The procedure is also sometimes referred to as “Clear Lens Extraction or CLE” or “Clear Lens Exchange”. RLE surgery is basically the same as cataract surgery. But, in these patients’ cases, the lens are replaced to change the refractive properties of the eyes rather than to remove clouded lens, which is what cataracts are.
RLE is generally reserved for people who are not good candidates for laser procedures such as LASIK and PRK surgery. Typically, the RLE procedure is a better fit for patients that suffer from extreme amounts of farsightedness and nearsightedness which may not be adequately corrected by the traditional LASIK and PRK procedures.
The newest interocular lens that are available today allows Dr. Roberts to correct a patient’s vision in varying ways depending on each patient’s unique vision needs.
Mono-focal IOL – A mono-focal IOL is an intraocular lens with a fixed focus for one distance. Dr. Roberts may select mono-focal IOL that are for near focus, for mid-distance focus, or for distant focus. Only one of these options can be selected and the focus will not change.
Multi-focal IOL – Multi-focal IOL are designed to allow patients to see up close, far away, and all distance in between. Many patients who are candidates for these types of IOL will find they can be contact lens and glasses-free. In some cases, some patients may only need reading glasses occasionally for reading fine print in low lighting.
It is important to know that all of the IOLs are of the same quality. Dr. Roberts will perform all the necessary eye examinations and tests to determine which IOL lens is best for you to achieve your vision goals.
Who is a candidate for Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE)?
Typically, patients that are over the age of 40 years of age and suffer from hyperopia, presbyopia and are not recommended candidates for LASIK or PRK laser surgery. Many patients that are very unhappy with wearing contact lenses or glasses to achieve clear vision will choose RLE instead. Generally, RLE patients are in good health and have otherwise healthy eyes. It is very important that RLE candidates understand that in some cases glasses or contacts are occasionally needed for some activities following the RLE procedure.
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The RLE Procedure
The refractive lens exchange is performed on one eye at a time typically, a week or two apart. The replacement surgery takes about 10 – 15 mins and is performed as an outpatient. Anesthetic is used to numb the eye and patients feel no discomfort during the procedure. It is typical for patients to experience vision improvement several hours after surgery. Recovery takes about a week, at which time patients can resume normal activities. The IOL that is implanted in your eye will not be felt or even noticed to others. The new IOLs are a permanent replacement for your eyes lenses.
Refractive lens exchange is a very advanced-technology vision correction procedure. Dr. Roberts uses the most advanced instruments available in the field, using precise calculations which allows for an exact refractive correction measurement for each patient’s eye. Typically, Dr. Roberts patients that undergo the RLE procedure are very pleased with their results and many achieve 20/20 vision or better.
It is very important that each patient fully understand that with any medical procedure come risks. Though the risks from RLE surgery are very small, there are risks. Dr. Roberts will discuss any concerns you may have and will explain exactly what your risks are prior to your procedure. Refractive lens exchange is an invasive surgery and has higher risks and possible complications when compared with the other vision correction procedures available today.
At Shady Grove Ophthalmology, we understand the importance of your vision. Dr. Anthony O. Roberts is committed to using some of the most advanced technology available for vision correction, cataract removal, and treatment of eye disease. With innovative laser systems, multi-focal intraocular lens implants, and state-of-the-art techniques for cataract surgery, Dr. Roberts aims to give all of our patients the safest, most effective eye treatments. Our entire office staff prides itself on delivering personalized premium quality eye care to all our patients.
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We speak English, and Español (Spanish)
Shady Grove Ophthalmology
9715 Medical Center Drive
Rockville, MD 20850
Monday: 8:30 am – 4:30pm
Tuesday: 10:00 am – 5:30pm
Wed & Thurs: 8:30am – 4:30pm
Friday: 8:30am – 3:00pm
Serving patients with quality eye care, corrective vision surgery, diabetic evaluations and glaucoma treatment in the following communities: Rockville MD, Gaithersburg MD, Potomac MD, Germantown MD, Bethesda MD, Chevy Chase MD, Montgomery Village MD, Olney MD
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