What Is the Refractive Eye Lens Exchange Procedure

Eye conditions are usually addressed with glasses, contact lenses, or laser eye correction. Given the commonplace nature of eye problems, these procedures and implements are considered normal. However, this article will talk about a corrective eye surgery called RLE or refractive lens exchange.

Unlike laser eye correction, the procedure involves implanting a new lens for each eye. It is safe and effective. Though they may take up to a few days to heal, eye functions are improved. Cataracts, for example, are easily addressed by this procedure.

Getting an RLE procedure

To correct eye issues, you can choose RLE as a solution. It is a medical procedure that replaces your original eye lenses with upgraded IOLs or intraocular lenses. Most patients who get this procedure are in their forties and above.

Refractive lens exchange involves three types of IOLs. The first one is the multifocal lens with bi-focal correction, which corrects vision quality near and far. Monovision IOLs are used for the dominant eye. Accommodation IOLs, on the other hand, are used for adjustable focus.

Eye Condition Treatments

The common eye conditions resolvable by RLE include myopia, extreme myopia, presbyopia, and hyperopia. It will also improve general sight. All these conditions can be addressed with this procedure, depending on your choice of IOL.

Reflective lens exchange can also cure cataracts, as mentioned previously. It can even prevent cataracts from worsening and returning. It eliminates the need for cataract surgery in the future. Besides all these, you can correct any vision issues by choosing the lens type you need.

What is the Recovery Time for RLE?

The patient will usually be conscious during the procedure. The surgery staff will use minimal anesthetics to remove the sensation on the eyes. The surgeon will remove the original lens through ultrasound disintegration and replace them with the corrective IOL needed. It should take an average of 30 minutes per procedure.

After the operation, the patient will need assistance going home. Recovery requires 24 hours of rest, with a 48-hour recovery time. Improvements in overall vision are seen instantly, but the overall adjustment period can take months, from a few to six months in total. At that point, the eyes will have adjusted fully.

Post Op Notes and Reminders

It is only normal to experience some discomfort as the eyes heal and adjust to the new lens. Patients may encounter blurring, minimal glare, halo reflections, or a little uneasiness.

Within a week, they can return to normal activities that require sight focus, such as driving. Although the adjustment is expected within six months, most recoveries happen in less time. It may be the last procedure you’ll ever need for your eyes.

Final Notes

A refractive lens exchange can correct common and extreme eye conditions. It can even permanently solve cataract problems. RLE and cataract surgery are the same. RLE implants can even allow you to choose a lens to upgrade and improve your vision with no need for glasses or contact lenses.

Maybe it’s time to get your eyes corrected and restore perfect sight for the years to come. Set up an appointment with us at Valley Laser Eye Centre. We are the top laser eye clinic in Abbotsford. Book a consultation with us today.


This blog post does not replace medical advice and should not be implemented prior to consulting a fully certified medical professional.



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