Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE)

More and more people are choosing refractive lens exchange (RLE) for improved quality of life. Worldwide, over 50 million intraocular lenses (IOL) have been implanted in patients. Although RLE is similar to cataract surgery, the reasons for performing the surgery differ: RLE is performed for patients whose natural lenses have insufficient power to permit a clear vision without visual aids. One crucial difference is that refractive lens exchange replaces a clear lens while cataract surgery replaces a cloudy one. Furthermore, RLE is recommended for patients who are not candidates for laser vision correction.

What are the steps of the Refractive Lens Exchange?

Before the procedure, eye drops are administered to dilate pupils. This step may trigger light sensitivity and blurred vision. Following this, additional eye drops will be used to anesthetize the patient’s eyes.

The surgery itself consists of four easy steps:

Step 1


Step 1 – The surgeon creates a tiny incision in the eye, where the lens will be inserted.

Step 2

Step 2 – The surgeon uses state-of-the-art ultrasound technology to remove the natural crystalline lens of the eye. Through this specialized and precise instrument, called a phacoemulsifier, the natural lens is then removed.

Step 3


Step 3 – The natural lens is replaced with a new foldable artificial lens.

Step 4

Step 4 – The new lens unfolds and takes the place of the natural lens, for an easy and smooth transition. The procedure is completed, with no stitches required, allowing for a speedy self-healing process. The procedure generally takes less than 15 minutes per eye.

Please note that those who have had surgery will not be allowed to drive home following their procedure and must arrange for transportation ahead of time.

RLE can be used to correct nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia), lens opacities, and, when special lenses are used, some astigmatism and presbyopia.

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LASIK MD is currently using the following lenses for IOL surgeries:

  • AcrySof® IQ ReSTOR®

Alcon's AcrySof® IQ Restor® Intraocular Lens (IOL) can substantially restore a patient’s ability to see both near and distant objects without the aid of reading glasses or bifocals. The AcrySof® IQ ReSTOR® IOL's innovative lens optics allows for a greater range of accommodation, thereby eliminating or significantly reducing dependence on reading glasses following RLE – without compromising on distance vision.

  • AMO’s TECNIS Symfony

The TECNIS® Symfony Extended Range of Vision IOL delivers high-quality vision by bringing together two types of technologies:  The first is the proprietary diffractive echelette feature, which extends the range of vision. This provides patients with improved eyesight at near, intermediate and further distances, with reduced appearance of halos and glare. The second technology is the proprietary achromatic feature, which corrects chromatic aberration for enhanced contrast sensitivity. This feature introduces a pattern of light diffraction that elongates the focus of the eye, resulting in an extended range of vision.

  • FineVision™ by PhysIOL

FineVision™ is a trifocal intraocular lens that features a series of rings which diffract light to provide far, intermediate and near vision, lending to the name FineVision™. This intraocular lens features a patented innovative trifocal structure designed to significantly improve performance for both near and intermediate vision.

Nine out of 10 patients who have had this lens implanted no longer need to wear glasses at all, including for everyday tasks such as driving, reading the car speedometer or even using their smartphone. FineVision™ has been used in 43 countries around the world in over 75,000 patients since 2010.

  • Oculentis® LENTIS Mplus

With the Oculentis® LENTIS Mplus lens, patients will benefit from improved vision for everyday activities like reading, working on the computer or using a mobile device, as well as for active leisure time activities like biking or other fitness and sports training. It will also benefit patients vision with high contrast sensitivity, making driving during both the day and night possible.

If you are interested to learn more about or to find out if you are a candidate for the refractive lens exchange procedures that we offer, book a free, no-obligation consultation today.