Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE)

What is Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE)?

Also known as “clear lens exchange” or simply “lens implants”, a refractive lens exchange (RLE) procedure at Visiomed Eye and Laser Clinic is recommended to our patients with dry eyes or thin corneas. Some patients may not be ideal candidates for LasikHD surgery and therefore we would recommend we use our advanced RLE techniques.

The RLE procedure at Visiomed Eye and Laser Clinic uses laser technology that ensures accurate results, quick recovery and minimal risk or complications.

During the RLE procedure, your ophthalmologist removes the fatigued natural lens and replaces it with a new, synthetic one. The implants are made from a soft, flexible material and are custom-made to correct your unique vision challenges.

What eye problems does RLE surgery address?

The Visiomed Eye and Laser Clinic RLE surgery procedure will address nearsightedness, farsightedness, presbyopia and astigmatism

Who are ideal RLE surgery candidates?

  • Over age 40.
  • No prior ophthalmic procedures.
  • No history of eye disease such as glaucoma, iritis or diabetic retinopathy.

Benefits of RLE surgery at Visiomed Eye and Laser Clinic

  • Lens exchange is a simple, day clinic procedure that takes just a few minutes.
  • The procedure provides immediate improved vision.
  • The lenses and technology used at Visiomed Eye and Laser Clinic usually allow you to return to your daily routine almost immediately.

What is the difference between RLE surgery and LasikHD surgery?

LasikHD surgery reshapes the cornea on the surface of the eye, while the Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE) replaces the lens on the inside of the eye. Both procedures are minimally invasive and take approximately 35-minutes to complete. LasikHD surgery is typically done on both eyes at once while RLE procedure is performed on one eye at a time at 2-4 week interval. Recovery is extremely fast and typically delivers nearly immediate results.

The benefits of RLE surgery at Visiomed Eye and Laser Clinic

  • No Reading Glasses RLE addresses multiple complications in one simple procedure. The lens implant your Visiomed Eye and Laser Clinic ophthalmologist recommends for you can typically address your distance, intermediate and near vision at the same time. RLE is often the only option for patients wishing to get rid of their bifocals, trifocals or the hassle of carrying multiple pairs of glasses.
  • No risk of cataracts RLE is the only effective method of preventing cataracts from ever developing. Cataracts occur when your lens becomes cloudy due to the aging process. At Visiomed Eye and Laser Clinic your ophthalmologist will replace your lens with a synthetic one. You therefore do not have to worry about the cost and inconvenience of cataract surgery in the future.

The RLE procedure comprises of four steps:

Step 1Step 2Step 3Step 4

Initial eye exam at Visiomed Eye and Laser Clinic

A 90 minute consultation will determine whether you are a candidate for laser vision correction. Your ophthalmologist will perform various tests similar to a normal eye examination as well as a scan of the eyes to determine certain RLE related information.

During your consultation your ophthalmologist will:

  • Test your visual acuity and visual field (peripheral vision)
  • Measure your corneal thickness and topography (shape of the eye)
  • Read your previous eye prescription using your glasses lenses.
  • Exam your pupils for reactivity.
  • Evaluate the muscle function and dominance of your eyes.
  • Assess the health of eye using a pupil dilatation and slit-lamp test.
  • Check for Glaucoma assessing your eyes’ pressure.
  • Inspect the health of your peripheral retina.
  • Assess your overall medical health.
  • Discuss your hobbies and occupation.

All of these factors will assist your ophthalmologist to determine whether you are a candidate for laser vision correction surgery and which procedure is best suited for you. Once completed, this assessment will determine your unique treatment at Visiomed Eye and Laser Clinic.

Determining whether you are an RLE candidate

Results from the initial eye examination, your doctor will suggest a treatment which is customised to your prescription, eye anatomy and personal needs.

RLE treatment at Visiomed Eye and Laser Clinic is recommended for:

  • Patients with presbyopia, nearsightedness, farsightedness and/or astigmatism.
  • Patients who are not ideal LasikHD cadidates.
  • Patients in their mid-40’s.

The RLE procedure at Visiomed Eye and Laser Clinic

The RLE procedure is completed one eye at a time at a 2 – 4 week intervals to allow for stabilisation. The procedure only takes 30 – 35 minutes per eye. You will be allowed to go home immediately after the procedure to rest and relax.

Post-operative care

Your ophthalmologist will prescribe eye drops and antibiotics as well as give you a pair of protective glasses to wear at night.
Your Visiomed Eye and Laser Clinic doctor will schedule a few routine post-op visits to ensure your treatment is a success and you are 100% satisfied.

Life after RLE

At Visiomed Eye and Laser Clinic, your post-op care is very important to us. We therefore schedule visits with your ophthalmologists periodically after your treatment.

The first 24 hours after the RLE procedure

  • Your vision will stabilize in 2-4 weeks after the RLE procedure as your eye heals and adjusts to the new lens.
  • Multi-focal lenses allow for near vision and diminishes the need for “readers”.

One week after the RLE procedure

  • Your one-week follow-up appointment at Visiomed Eye and Laser Clinic will mark significant improvement to your overall vision.
  • Continue following your doctor’s recommendations regarding eye drops and be sure to keep water, soap and shampoo out of your eyes when showering.
  • You may read, use the computer and watch TV, but keep your eyes well lubricated and rest them if they feel strained. Be sure to keep sweat out of your eyes and avoid all lotions, creams and eye makeup for seven days.

One month after the RLE procedure

  • At this point, your eye(s) will be close to fully healed and there will be a noticeable improvement to your eyesight.

Three months after the RLE procedure

  • You will now have complete vision stability.
  • Typically, your Visiomed Eye and Laser Clinic ophthalmologist will request that you attend a post-op appointment within one and three months.
  • In some cases, after three months, your doctor may request an additional 90-day post-op check.
  • Vision stability will be realised in most patients at approximately three months.