What is Refractive Lens Exchange?
A refractive surgery procedure to reduce or eliminate your dependence on glasses or contacts. Refractive Lens Exchange is a vision correction surgery where the natural lens is replaced with an artificial intraocular lens. This procedure is similar to cataract surgery without the development of cataracts.
It's a great option for patients who may not qualify for LASIK or PRK who have hyperopia (farsightedness) or presbyopia. Refractive Lens Exchange is done using a specifically constructed tunneling incision that does not require any stitches. The natural lens in your eye is removed and replaced with a manmade lens that will allow you to be less dependent on strong prescription glasses or contact lenses that you probably needed prior to the procedure.
This lens replacement procedure may be followed by LASIK to finely adjust your distance vision if you desire and if it is medically advisable. Refractive Lens Exchange is done with no stitches, no shots in many cases, and no restrictions following surgery. Most people can return to their normal activities the day after surgery.
How do I know if I qualify for Refractive Lens Exchange?
Refractive Lens Exchange is designed for people who:
- Are 45 years and older*
- Have early lens changes and desire refractive surgery*
- Have to wear strong prescription lenses for distance vision*
- May not have enough corneal thickness for LASIK alone*
*Your eye doctor can advise you in determining if you are a candidate for this procedure as well as discussing possible risks involved and alternatives.
Intraocular Lenses (IOL):
Intraocular lenses have been in use for over 50 years. Today, they are available in many shapes, sizes, and materials. During your evaluation, your doctor will assess your vision and work with you to create a customized surgery plan with the lens option that best suits your lifestyle and needs.
Premium IOL Options:
Astigmatism correcting lens - these advanced lenses correct higher levels of astigmatism and provide clear distance and night driving vision. You will still need glasses for near and intermediate vision or driving at night.
Monofocal lens - these lenses can provide clear distance vision for patients without astigmatism. You will still need glasses for near and intermediate vision or driving at night.
Depth of focus lens - these lenses provide a continuous range of vision at all distances and allow you to be free of glasses for 80- 90% of the day to fit your active lifestyle. You will still need glasses for near vision and possibly driving at night.
Refractive Lens Exchange can be performed using the femtosecond laser for some of the most challenging parts of surgery. The experienced eye surgeons at Specialty Eye Institute create precisely centered and shaped incisions for each patient. After the incision is made, a new IOL is inserted to create customized vision for each patient. Specialty Eye Institute offers the lowest cost for the femtosecond laser surgery so that more patients can enjoy the benefits of customized vision.
Prior to your surgery, a number of tests and measurements are performed to determine the intraocular lens (IOL) power, cylinder power and lens orientation for your desired visual outcome. During surgery the eye is constantly in motion and a number of unknown surgical factors could create a margin of error. The ORA intraoperative aberrometry system is used to provide a real-time analysis of your eye to ensure more precise IOL power, cylinder power and lens orientation.
The ORA system can improve the accuracy especially for patients who:
- Have astigmatism
- Had prior LASIK or PRK
- Elected to use a multifocal lens