Removal of the naturally occurring lens, and exchanging it by an artificil lens with the appropriate power to reduce or nullify dependence on glasses is called Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE). This is resorted to in extreme cases of short or long-sightedness, very similar to the most widely performed eye surgery; cataract surgery, which involoves the removal of of an opacified natural lens and implanting a suitably powered flexible synthetic lens in its stead. The difference here is that we exchange the lens solely for a refractive purpose. through a tiny incision. The tiny incision closes by itself, without sutures.
The moderrn technology and designs of modern intraocular lenses involve some revolutionary concepts. It is possible now to implant a multifocal intraocular lens, thus largely eliminating the need for reading glasses. In addition, it is possible to implant astigmatism correcting toric intraocular lenses, which can correct not only the present short-sightedness or long-sightedness, but also concurrent astigmatism.
As with any surgery to be carried inside the eye, the health of the eye and its parts are essential before having RLE. A disadvantage in younger population of high myopia is that accommodation (which is the power to see at far and at near with the same visual system) is lost. This, however, can be overcome by implantation of multifocal lenses in selected individuals.
Routine follow-up visits to Dr Khalil Eye Clinic after RLE are scheduled on postoperative-day 1, -week 1 and -month 1. You’ll use some eye drops after the procedure for a month. If both eyes are corrected for distance vision, you will require reading glasses after your procedure. However, monovision corrections are possible with RLE to decrease or even eliminate your need for reading glasses. An alternative, called multifocal or presbyopic lenses, can be implanted at the time of lens extraction. These lenses allow you to see both near and far after the operation.