What Is Refractive Lens Exchange?
Unlike the LASIK procedure, which alters the shape of the cornea, Refractive Lens Exchange changes the focusing power of the eye with a lens. The Refractive Lens Exchange procedure consists of removing the eye’s natural lens and replacing it with a lens implant selected to provide clear focusing ability, much like a modern cataract procedure.
What Happens During the Refractive Lens Exchange Procedure?
To begin, the surgeon makes a small incision of approximately 1/8 of an inch in either the white sclera or on the edge of the cornea. The surgeon inserts a delicate instrument to create a smooth, round opening in the outer capsule of the natural lens (think of the capsule as a bag that holds the lens in place). Using an ultrasonic suction probe, the surgeon proceeds to gently break up the lens and suction it out from the lens capsule. Then, the surgeon inserts a high quality lens implant of appropriate power and positions it securely within the existing capsule of the lens.
Who Benefits Most From Refractive Lens Exchange?
Patients with signs of early cataract development and patients over 55 years of age who are dependent on corrective lenses for distance vision but not LASIK candidates benefit the most from Refractive Lens Exchange.
What are the Advantages of Refractive Lens Exchange?
Refractive Lens Exchange has a long history of predictable and successful outcomes, fast visual stabilization, and minimal side effects. Refractive Lens Exchange procedures can be combined with laser or incision options to correct astigmatism. Additionally, Refractive Lens Exchange eliminates the need for cataract surgery in the future, allowing patients to enjoy good vision for many, many years, without ever needing cataract surgery.
How Does Refractive Lens Exchange Compare to LASIK?
The two procedures are almost too different to compare—they are like apples and oranges. However, both are types of vision correction procedures. LASIK is laser vision surgery performed on the front surface of the eye. Refractive Lens Exchange corrects the eye’s power from inside by replacing the natural lens located behind the iris (the colored part of the eye).
What Are the Possible Complications of Refractive Lens Exchange?
As with any surgery, there are some possible complications to a Refractive Lens Exchange. However, the risks are minimal. They are as follows:
- Increased possibility of retinal detachment
- Inner eye surgery complications
- Corneal surface surgery complications
What Is the Recovery Time for Refractive Lens Exchange?
The patient should expect visual recovery to be fast and dramatic. Most patients experience some temporary blurring for a few days from tear film variations or some fluid in the cornea. Patients can also expect increased light sensitivity for a few weeks.
Are You Interested in Refractive Lens Exchange?
Call us today at (615) 559-4242 to schedule your appointment to find out if Refractive Lens Exchange is right for you.