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How Is Refractive Lens Exchange Surgery Performed?

Posted on August 2, 2022

Can you believe that, in the U.S., a whopping 12 million people who are 40 or older deal with vision issues?

If you wish you could have clearer and more youthful eyesight like you used to, then you’ll be glad to know that there are procedures that can help. For instance, refractive lens exchange surgery is one of the most cutting-edge procedures out there. There’s a possibility that you’re a great candidate for it.

Are you wondering what to expect? Keep reading to learn all about how refractive lens exchange surgery works with this in-depth guide.

What Is Refractive Lens Exchange Surgery?

Put in the simplest terms possible, RLE surgery involves replacing your eye’s natural lens with ones created by advanced technology. The reason this is sometimes necessary relates to a condition often associated with old age. Over time, we can lose our ability to focus on objects that are near us.

The exact term for this condition is known as presbyopia. While it’s sometimes possible to treat the condition with laser vision correction, this isn’t always the case.

The procedure itself is no different than cataract surgery. However, the major difference between these two procedures is that refractive lens exchange is for people who haven’t developed cataracts.

Another major difference is that RLE surgery doesn’t alter the thickness of your corneas. This is one among many benefits because a thicker cornea can lead to various complications.

The Benefits of RLE Surgery

You’ll be delighted to know that there are several wonderful refractive lens exchange benefits. For instance, it’ll prevent the formation of cataracts, it’ll reduce the need for contact lenses or glasses, and you’ll see much better than before.

Did you know that over a million cataract surgeries are performed every single year? The older you get, the higher your risk is. Plus, many people who are 80 years of age or older are currently living with cataracts.

Instead of worrying about cloudy vision later in life, RLE surgery gives you peace of mind knowing that cataracts can’t form inside your new and improved lenses.

Putting in and taking out contact lenses every day can often be a nuisance. Plus, you have to make sure you keep them clean, or you could infect your eye with bacteria. Instead of dealing with this, it’s much better to have your natural lenses replaced completely with RLE surgery.

Consultations for RLE Surgery

The consultation is the best time to ask any questions you may have about the procedure, including what to expect and more. Of course, if you think of a question later on, then phoning the doctor is one way you can ensure that all your worries are addressed.

One of the risks associated with RLE surgery involves retinal tearing. Since people who are near-sighted already have a higher susceptibility to tears and holes in the retinal area, this is something that can turn into a problem. However, you can rest easy by finding a surgeon who has a significant amount of experience.

Aside from assessing their experience, you can also get an impression of their personality during the consultation. If they don’t make you feel comfortable or don’t seem willing to answer all your questions, then you should trust your gut and go with a different doctor instead.

Another potential downside to this surgery is the fact that most insurance providers don’t cover it. It’s worth calling your provider and finding out whether or not this is the case for you. Unfortunately, RLE surgery is often about twice as expensive as LASIK surgery or even PRK.

After you’ve had a consultation in which your condition is assessed, a professional will determine if you’re the right candidate for a refractive lens exchange procedure.

How Is RLE Surgery Performed?

If you’re deemed a candidate for RLE, then it’s worth knowing ahead of time that the surgery involves working on one eye. In the case of both eyes requiring the procedure, you’ll need to return a week later for a second session.

When it comes to the surgery itself, you’ll be glad to know it’s painless. Are you wondering how this is possible? The surgeon can provide you with anesthetizing eyedrops and a moderate sedative.

Before doing anything else, the doctor will use the power of ultrasound to soften your natural lens. Afterward, emulsion and removal of the lens occur. This allows the surgeon to put in the new and improved lens.

Although it’s artificial, the lens has a membranous backing that ensures it stays in place. The procedure shouldn’t take more than an hour and you’re free to go home after it’s completed. Your surgeon will let you know about aftercare and will also answer any questions you might have.

RLE Surgery Aftercare

Although you can go home on the same day of your surgery, it’s still important to avoid driving for around a week. With this in mind, be sure to contact a reliable friend or family member who can drive you home afterward and to other places you might need to go during your recovery.

While the recovery time is important, you can often start seeing an improvement in your vision soon after the surgery. However, there’s also the possibility of blurriness, halos, and light glares. In general, you might feel a general discomfort as you recover.

The good news is that all these symptoms should go away in full after you’ve recovered.

Ready to Receive Refractive Lens Exchange Surgery?

Now that you’ve learned all about refractive lens exchange surgery, you can improve your vision and see clearer than before. Be sure to recommend the procedure to your friends and family members if they’re suffering from the same vision issues.

Our knowledgeable professionals can provide you with several life-changing vision procedures, including LASIK, advanced surface ablation, corneal cross-linking, and refractive lens exchange surgery.

Feel free to reach out to us and schedule a free consultation at a time that works best for you. We’d love to hear from you and help in any way we can.

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