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Refractive Lens Exchange

Refractive lens exchange (RLE), also known as clear lens exchange (CLE), is a surgical procedure that can reduce or eliminate the need for glasses or contact lenses for patients over 40, and can potentially correct both nearsightedness and farsightedness. Unlike other refractive procedures that change the shape of the cornea, RLE corrects vision by replacing the eye’s natural, crystalline lens with an intraocular lens (IOL).

Refractive Lens Exchange is for Those Who:

  • Are over 40
  • Want to reduce or eliminate their dependence on glasses or contact lenses
  • Are very nearsighted and/or farsighted
  • Have early cataract formation
  • Want to treat presbyopia with a multifocal implant
  • Are looking for an alternative to LASIK

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What to Expect on Surgery Day

Refractive lens exchange is performed on an outpatient basis, meaning you can go home on the same day. Upon arrival for your surgery, you will be given a local anesthetic to numb your eye during the procedure. You should not feel any pain or discomfort during this surgery. Similar to cataract surgery, your surgeon will replace your natural crystalline lens with a premium intraocular lens. This lens will allow you to see an object at near, far and intermediate distances. If you do not currently have cataracts, you will never develop them after RLE.