Refractive Lens Exchange at Horizon Laser Vision Center

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What Is Refractive Lens Exchange?

Refractive lens exchange (RLE) is an alternative surgical option for people who are not candidates for corneal-based surgeries like SMILE, LASIK, or PRK. RLE changes the focusing power in your eye by replacing your natural lens with an artificial intraocular lens (IOL). The surgical process for RLE is similar to cataract surgery.

RLE can help correct several refractive errors, including myopia, hyperopia, astigmatism, and presbyopia. Request your consultation to see if RLE is right for your vision needs. 

How Does Refractive Lens Exchange Work?

RLE takes around 20 minutes to complete per eye. The RLE process begins with the administration of numbing eye drops to improve your comfort. 

The procedure can be completed manually with a surgical blade or with the assistance of a femtosecond laser.

The ophthalmologist will begin removing your natural lens by creating a precise opening in the cornea and the capsule that holds the lens. Using a femtosecond laser or ultrasound energy they will then break the natural lens into smaller pieces to fully remove it. 

Your ophthalmologist places a new, artificial lens after removing your natural lens. This surgery typically does not require stitches because the incisions created are self-healing. It is common to experience irritation, glare, halos, and light sensitivity during the healing process.

What Are the Benefits of Refractive Lens Exchange?

There are several benefits associated with Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE):

  • Increased freedom: RLE successfully treats a wide range of hyperopia and myopia to reduce dependence on glasses or contact lenses.
  • Premium intraocular lens: The implanted lens can be customized to treat astigmatism and presbyopia to optimize vision.
  • Astigmatism: Toric lenses can be used to correct astigmatism to improve overall vision.
  • Presbyopia: Trifocal or Extended Depth of Focus lenses can be used to decrease the need for computer or reading glasses.
  • Cataract prevention: RLE eliminates the risk of developing cataracts in the future.
  • Thin corneas: Patients previously not a candidate for laser vision correction due to thin corneas, may now benefit from lens-based surgeries such as RLE.
  • Long-lasting results: RLE is a permanent solution that decreases the risk of deteriorating vision due to age or regression associated with corneal surgeries.
  • Laser-assisted surgery: Laser-assisted surgery offers the benefit of a higher degree of accuracy and safety during surgery.

Who Is Refractive Lens Exchange Ideal For?

While anyone who has a refractive error can receive RLE,  this procedure can benefit those with strong prescriptions and early cataract development

You may not be eligible for other surgeries if you have severe hyperopia, myopia, or astigmatism. RLE is an alternative treatment to these options. Additionally, replacing your natural lens with an artificial lens can help prevent cataract development

Your ophthalmologist can provide you with a premium intraocular lens to address astigmatism or presbyopia, depending on your vision needs. We can help determine if RLE is ideal for your needs.

What Are the Long-Term Results of Refractive Lens Exchange?

RLE has long-lasting results. This procedure is permanent and decreases your risk of deteriorating vision due to age or regression. 

Request a consultation if you are interested in refractive lens exchange surgery. 


·Horizon Saskatoon·

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  • 203-728 Spadina Cres. E
  • Saskatoon, SK S7K 3H2

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·Horizon Regina·

Our Address

  • 110-1914 Hamilton St.
  • Regina, SK S4P 3N6

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