What Is Refractive Lens Exchange Surgery?

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Are you over the age of forty and dealing with age-related farsightedness, also known as presbyopia? Are you tired of relying on glasses or contact lenses to see clearly?

If so, you may be a candidate for Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE) surgery. RLE is a cutting-edge surgical procedure that replaces your eye’s natural lens with an artificial intraocular lens (IOL) to correct vision problems such as presbyopia, farsightedness, and nearsightedness.

Unlike LASIK, which reshapes the cornea, RLE surgery addresses the root cause of refractive errors by replacing the lens itself. Keep reading to learn more about refractive lens exchange surgery, including what it is and who is a good candidate for it!

What Is Refractive Lens Exchange?

Refractive lens exchange is a procedure done in an outpatient setting to replace your eye’s natural lens with an artificial one. The artificial lens is called an IOL or intraocular lens.

The IOL functions similarly to contact lenses or glasses. It has a specific vision prescription that’s customized to you, allowing you to see more clearly.

The main difference is that while contacts or glasses are removable, an IOL remains permanently in the eye. The new artificial lens functions like a natural eye lens, meaning it bends light as it enters the eye and sends it back to the retina. 

Once you receive refractive lens exchange, there’s a good chance you won’t need to wear glasses or contacts any longer, or at least not as often. 

What Are the Steps to Getting RLE?

Treatments like LASIK reshape the cornea to improve vision. For many people, LASIK is an excellent option for gaining greater visual freedom.

However, not everyone is a good candidate for LASIK. Refractive lens exchange is another refractive surgery option that can allow you to significantly reduce your dependence on visual aids like glasses and contact lenses.

Before you can get RLE, you will need to visit your eye doctor for a consultation. During this visit, they will determine whether you are a good candidate.

If you are a good candidate, you will be cleared for the procedure. On the day of your RLE surgery, here is what to expect:


First, you’ll receive numbing drops and medication to help you feel more at ease. While you’ll be awake during the procedure, your vision will be blurry. 

Eye Incision

Then, your RLE surgeon will make a small incision in the front surface of your eye that allows them to access the natural lens. After breaking your natural lens into small pieces, they will gently remove them with suction.

New Lens

Next, they will insert your new lens and position it in your eye. After this, the procedure is complete, and the tiny incision in the front of your eye will heal naturally.

You will need to have someone drive you home after the procedure. Your eye doctor will provide you with a list of instructions on how to take care of your eyes and rest during your recovery to avoid any complications.

Do you want to learn more about RLE or determine if you might be a good candidate for this procedure? Schedule an appointment at Stahl Eyecare Experts in Garden City, NY, today!

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450 Endo Boulevard Garden City, NY 11530
Phone: 516.832.8000
For a LASIK consultation, please call (516) 832-8000 ext. 4
185 Madison Avenue, 2nd Floor (On the corner of 34th Street) New York, NY 10016
Phone: 212.689.7676
For a LASIK consultation, please call (516) 832-8000 ext. 4
200 Motor Parkway, Suite D-25 Hauppauge, NY 11788
Phone: 631.952.8000
For a LASIK consultation, please call (516) 832-8000 ext. 4
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If you are seeking a Long Island LASIK specialist, the eye doctors at Stahl Eyecare Experts would like to offer you a great opportunity in laser eye surgery. Brought to you by professional, experienced Long Island LASIK surgeons, our one-of-a-kind medical facility brings not only cutting-edge technology, but experienced hands in ophthalmology as well. Helping you achieve your personal best vision is mission critical at our Long Island LASIK office. If LASIK cost is something that has been holding you back please feel free to review our options regarding LASIK Financing. We are dedicated to providing the best in patient education so that our patients can make a well-educated decision as to whether or not LASIK would be a good vision correction option. Remember, not everyone is a good candidate for LASIK. This is precisely why you need to have an experienced LASIK surgeon in Long Island evaluate you to make sure that this is the right eye surgery procedure for you! If LASIK is not the best procedure for you, we offer other ophthalmology procedures such as cataract surgery to help you see better. If you are seeking a Long Island cataract surgeon we are happy to offer cataract consultations to educate you about this process and determine your vision correction options.

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