About Refractive Lens Exchange
The eye surgeons of Solomon Eye Physicians and Surgeons offer their Maryland vision correction patients the refractive lens exchange (RLE) procedure. Also known as clear lens exchange or clear lens extraction, RLE is an excellent treatment option for patients who have high degrees of nearsightedness or farsightedness, and therefore, may not be good candidates for laser eye surgery.
RLE involves the extraction of the eye's natural lens, which is then replaced with an intraocular lens (IOL) implant. Although RLE is essentially the same procedure as cataract surgery, in RLE, the eye's natural lens is not obscured by cataracts. Instead, the lens is removed and replaced with an IOL to sharpen the focusing power of the eye.
"Every staff member had a welcoming smile and treated myself and others with the utmost respect! One of the nicer eye doctors I've been to. Even had some nice art around the lounge!!"- J.W. / Yelp / Nov 20, 2019
"I went to their office in Greenbelt and they treat you with respect and very professional way."- B.T. / Facebook / Oct 31, 2019
"ICL surgery went extremely well. I initially went to Lasik but my eyes were too weak (-12.5 eye presecription with astigmatism), a little older than some at 49 and my corneas too thin. They recommended me to Dr. Solomon, and I am very grateful that they did. From my initial exam to post surgery Dr. Solomon and his staff have been exceptional. I had some eye prescription stability issues with the initial visit, so I had to where my glasses for a week, once my prescription stabilized, I had the surgery and then had issues with eye pressure. After a few eye visits and some additional eye drops I could not be more pleased with the results being able to see everything so clearly without any contacts or reading glasses."- R.T. / Google / Oct 26, 2019
"ICL surgery went extremely well. I did have some eye pressure issues after surgery but the office gave me medicine to relieve the pressure and follow up appointments all free of charge. I couldn't be more pleased with the results. My eye prescription was -12.5 with astigmatism, now I see 20/20 without any type of lenses. Not bad for a 49 year old. I highly recommend Dr Solomon and his staff for your eye care."- R.T. / Google / Sep 29, 2019
"Would recommend to everyone. My wife and I have been patients of Steve Solomon and then Johnathan Solomon for years. We both have had cataract surgery which has been wonderful and life changing. Office staff super helpful. Jasmine G is a real asset. If we could give them ten stars we would!!!"- J.D. / Google / May 14, 2019
Best Candidates for Refractive Lens Exchange
The main advantage of RLE is that it can correct high degrees of nearsightedness or farsightedness. It is also often performed on patients who are not good candidates for laser eye surgery due to inadequate corneal thickness. In addition, RLE eliminates the possibility of cataract development and enables individuals who have mild cataracts to receive treatment and achieve improved vision. RLE also corrects presbyopia (age-related loss of near vision).
Individuals who undergo the RLE procedure are generally able to see well at multiple distances afterward, often greatly reducing their need for corrective eyewear.
What To Expect with Refractive Lens Exchange
The refractive lens exchange procedure is technically the same as cataract surgery, and the difference is its purpose. During cataract surgery, the lens is removed because it has become or is becoming opaque due to cataracts. It is then replaced with an artificial lens that cannot develop cataracts and may also correct the patient's refractive errors. During RLE, the natural lens is healthy but is removed in order to replace it with an artificial lens that can correct a refractive error. The artificial intraocular lens (IOL) will be chosen before your surgery and will be created specifically to accommodate your exact refractive errors.
On the day of your RLE procedure, your eyes will be numbed and an anesthesiologist will administer a mild sedative to make sure you are comfortable. You and your surgeon will have decided beforehand whether the procedure will be done with a fine diamond blade or with laser technology. A very tiny incision will be made in the cornea, through which the natural lens can be removed and the artificial lens implanted. The artificial lens is rolled up very tightly to be inserted, and then it unfolds and is inflated after it is in place.
The incision is so tiny and fine that it does not require sutures; it will heal on its own over the course of the following days. Most patients are able to see immediate results with their ultimate vision outcomes visible in just a couple of days.
Refractive Lens Exchange Follow-Up
If you are having both lenses replaced, you will need to wait about a week between surgery on each eye. Each surgery only takes about 15 minutes, but after your numbing drops wear off, you may feel some slight discomfort. However, it only lasts a day or two and can be managed with over-the-counter analgesics. As your eyes continue to heal, you will likely have a few instances of blurry vision, glare, or halos that will come and go. You may likely also have dry eye symptoms. This is normal and will dissipate over time. For some patients, this only lasts a few weeks, but for others, it might last months.
After your procedure, we will schedule follow-up visits that are very important for you to attend. Even if you feel great and can see perfectly, we need to monitor the progression of your healing. Your new lenses are designed to last forever; however, if there is any issue or concern, it is always possible to have them replaced or resituated.
Plan Your Procedure
long-term clear vision
Refractive lens exchange is an amazing procedure that can significantly improve not only your vision but your overall day-to-day functioning. For patients who are not great candidates for LASIK, LASEK, or PRK, refractive lens exchange is a phenomenal option that reduces or eliminates the need for corrective lenses, as well as the likelihood of developing cataracts. If you interested in finding out more about RLE, please contact Solomon Eye Physicians and Surgeons to set up your evaluation.