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Refractive Lens Exchange

While LASIK corrects refractive errors of the cornea, a refractive lens exchange replaces the natural lens of your eye with an appropriately powered lens that can allow for clear vision far away, up close, and in between. This surgery is typically reserved for patients over 45 whose natural lens has stiffened and lost the ability to focus up close. However, it may also be an option for people with extreme levels of nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism who are not good candidates for LASIK or ICLs.

Refractive lens exchange is essentially cataract surgery with an intraocular lens implant to decrease dependence on glasses and contacts. The entire procedure is completed in about 10 to 15 minutes, and visual recovery is rapid. LASIK can be used after surgery to fine tune results if necessary. Furthermore, patients who have a lens exchange will never need cataract surgery in the future.

Several different types of IOLs may be used in this procedure:

  • Traditional IOLs treat a wide range of vision problems from high nearsightedness to high farsightedness. These lenses do not correct astigmatism or accommodate to restore partial reading vision.
  • Toric IOLs treat a wide range of vision problems from high nearsightedness to high farsightedness, but also have the benefit of treating astigmatism at the same time.
  • Accomodating and Multifocal IOLs are designed to provide clear vision far away, up close, and in between most of the time without the need for glasses or contacts. We utilize all the lenses currently approved by the FDA ( ReSTOR, Tecnis MF, and the Crystalens) and custom match them to each individual person depending on their visual needs.

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