What is Refractive Lens Exchange?

Refractive lens exchange surgery, also known as clear lens extraction, is a procedure in which the eye’s natural lens is replaced with an artificial lens, known as an intraocular lens implant or IOL. This procedure is an alternative to LASIK or other laser vision correction surgeries and allows patients to forgo glasses or contact lenses. In the case of refractive lens exchange, patients typically reduce their need to wear glasses or bifocals. Another advantage of this refractive surgery is never needing cataract surgery later in life.

Candidates for Clear Lens Extraction 

Clear lens extraction (CLE) is often a good option for patients with nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia), and age-related farsightedness (presbyopia) who are not good candidates for LASIK, PRK, or other types of laser refractive surgery. For example, patients who rely on reading glasses may benefit from clear lens extraction surgery. Whether you have issues with your near vision, your distance vision, or both, CLE can be a good option to consider.

The Refractive Lens Exchange Procedure

Refractive lens exchange is performed as an outpatient procedure. Anesthetic eye drops are first placed in the eyes to prevent any discomfort during the procedure. Your ophthalmologist will make a small incision to remove your natural lenses and replace them with a corrective IOL. The procedure can be completed in about 15 minutes per eye, and patients often have one eye operated on at a time. There are various implants used. The most advanced implant currently available is the light adjustable lens (LAL,www.Rxsight.com ). Boston Vision is the first to offer this implant in MA.

Recovery After Clear Lens Extraction 

After surgery, most of our patients do not need drops. Your ophthalmologist may give you something to cover the eye in order to protect it. Recovery from surgery is relatively quick and simple. Most patients notice an immediate improvement in their vision from the surgery and return to most activities of daily living the next day. Intraocular lenses are intended to last a lifetime, and there is minimal risk of your vision regressing through the years after your surgery. 

Schedule an Appointment 

To learn more about refractive lens exchange and to see if you are a good candidate for the procedure, schedule an appointment at Boston Vision today. To schedule your appointment, use our online form, or give us a call at 617-430-6121.

Refractive/Clear Lens Exchange is available at our Brookline, Milford, Medford, Wellesley, Burlington, Woburn, and Andover locations.

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