Refractive Lens Exchange
This procedure is an excellent option if you currently rely on bifocal or multifocal corrective eyewear.
During Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE), the surgeon removes the natural lens of your eye, and replaces it with a multifocal intraocular lens. This lens corrects your vision at all distances. As a result, you regain your ability to change focus between far and near distances without corrective eyewear! For more information, contact us for a consultation.
What to Expect with Your Surgery
- Schedule a consultation and eye exam so we can determine whether this treatment is the best option for you. We’ll discuss what you can expect before, during, and after surgery, and answer any questions you may have.
- You’ll need to go without contact lenses for a certain period of time leading up to your eye exam. This helps us to obtain the most accurate reading of your visual acuity during your exam, since contacts can slightly alter the shape of your cornea. The length of time that you’ll go without contacts depends on contact type; we can provide the specifics.
- To protect yourself from infection, go without creams, cosmetics, or perfumes the day before and the day of your surgery.
- Ask someone to give you a ride to and from your surgery. We ask that you wait to drive for 24 hours after your surgery. This allows time for the anesthetic to wear off and for the results of the surgery to take full effect.
- Plan to take a few days off from work and other strenuous daily activities after your surgery.
- Confirm your arrival time for surgery with us.
- Plan to be free from your typical activities on the day of your surgery; you will need to set this time aside for rest and recovery.
- We will give you an eye-drop anesthetic to numb your eye, and clean the area around your eye.
- We’ll put a gentle spring device called a lid retainer in place to hold your eyelids open.
- You’ll be asked to stare at a light so we can ensure correct positioning of your eye.
- The surgeon will make a tiny 2.2 mm incision in your cornea.
- Your natural lens will be removed, and replaced with a multifocal Intraocular lens (IOL), a small acrylic lens measuring 6 mm wide. This lens will correct your vision at all distances.
- Stitches are rarely necessary. Eye drops and a clear plastic shield will be used to complete the procedure.
You may temporarily experience the following:
- Watery or irritated eyes
- Slight pain or discomfort
- Blurry vision
These symptoms should disappear a few days after surgery. We’ll provide eye drops to help speed the healing process.
You’ll also be given a special pair of protective sunglasses to wear while your eyes are healing. During this period of time, please do not replace these sunglasses with your own; these are specially designed to protect your eyes from any exposure during the healing process. Also, do not wear contact lenses while you are recovering from this surgery.
Be sure to attend follow-up appointments so that we can monitor your healing process.