Refractive Lens Exchange | The Specialty Eye Care Centre

Refractive Lens Exchange

What Is Refractive Lens Exchange?

Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE), also called Clear Lens Extraction, is a procedure that involves replacing the eye’s natural lens with an Intraocular Lens (IOL) as an alternative to laser vision correction. It can correct pre-existing nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, and presbyopia. Presbyopia is a progressive condition that typically occurs to those over 40, causing dependency on glasses for close up vision, including reading.

What Are The Benefits Of RLE?

  • Prevention of future cataract development.
  • Good-to-excellent near, intermediate, and far vision with with advanced technology IOLs.
  • Possible reduced likelihood of future need for laser vision correction or eyeglasses.

Advanced Technology IOLS

Exciting advances in intraocular lens design allow Specialty Eyecare Centre patients the opportunity to maximize their visual outcomes. Our surgeons offer patients the most advanced lens implant technology.

Learn More About our Advanced Technology Lens Options

RLE vs. Other Vision Correction Procedures

Although LASIK and PRK are the more popular vision correction procedures, refractive lens exchange is an excellent alternative for many people struggling with refractive errors and dependence on visual aids. In fact, refractive lens exchange may be the better option in many cases because it can correct nearly any degree of farsightedness (instead of only mildly to moderately severe cases) and presbyopia, which LASIK and PRK do not address. Another advantage of RLE is that it eliminates the need for cataract surgery later in life as the artificial lens cannot develop cataracts.

About RLE Surgery

RLE is similar to cataract surgery. A very small incision, just two to three millimeters long, is made at the edge of the clear cornea. A probe is inserted through the tiny incision and used to gently remove the natural lens with high-frequency sound waves. Once the lens has been removed, an intraocular lens is inserted in its place. RLE is typically performed on one eye first and then the second eye one to four weeks later, after the first eye has stabilized.

Recovering After RLE Surgery

After RLE surgery there will be a next day post-operative office visit with your surgeon to ensure that you’re healing properly. Some patients have blurred vision the day after surgery, while some already see clearly – every patient heals differently.

Your sight should improve within a few days, although complete healing may take several months. For the first four to seven days after RLE surgery, you should avoid heavy lifting and bending over. After the first week, you can resume most of your normal activities, but you should minimize lifting heavy items, bending, and straining for the first month following surgery.


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