Refractive Lens Exchange,
Refractive lens exchange, also known as clear lens exchange, is a technique to treat hyperopia, myopia, astigmatism and presbyopia. For certain patients it may be a better option than laser vision correction such as LASIK or PRK. Refractive lens exchange replaces your eye’s natural lens with an artificial lens to correct your refractive error reducing your need for glasses. Typically this procedure is performed in people for whom laser vision correction is not suitable.
Refractive lens exchange is an off-label procedure but has been performed successful for many years. Ideal patients have moderate to high hyperopia, or are over 50 with high myopia, or have presbyopia (need for reading glasses).
The procedure is identical to cataract surgery but instead of removing a cloudy lens (cataract) the clear lens is removed and replaced with an artificial lens. Any type of lens can be used to replace your natural lens but often an accommodative lens or a multifocal lens will be used to help reduce dependence on glasses at all distances. If you have astigmatism, this can be treated during the same procedure with a special lens or a treatment of your cornea call a relaxing incision.
Refractive lens exchange surgery takes about 15 minutes. Most surgeons wait about two weeks before the second eye surgery is performed. Typically you can return to your normal activities within a few days. The risks of refractive lens exchange, while rare, are identical to cataract surgery and include pain, infection, retinal detachment, need for glasses, droopy eyelid and need for further surgery. Refractive lens exchange is not covered by insurance.
If you have and questions regarding refractive lens exchange please schedule a consultation at your earliest convenience.