Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE)

Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE)

Unlike laser vision correction procedures that alter the shape of the cornea, a refractive lens exchange (RLE) changes the focusing power within the eye. With this procedure, the content of the eye’s natural lens is removed and replaced by a soft artificial lens implant which has been designed to provide clear focusing ability. The artificial lens remains within the eye without needing cataract surgery later in life. The new lens provides a wide range of focus based on each individual’s needs, occupation, and lifestyle. Excellent distant, intermediate, and near vision can be achieved with an RLE.

Refractive Lens Exchange Edmonton
Refractive Lens Exchange Edmonton and Northern Alberta

A refractive lens exchange procedure is similar to modern cataract surgery. To begin, the surgeon makes a small incision on the edge of the cornea and inserts a delicate instrument to create a smooth, round opening in the outer capsule of the natural lens. Using an ultrasonic suction probe, the lens is removed from the lens capsule. To verify the optimal and precise power of each intraocular lens (IOL) being implanted, measurements and calculations are performed intra-operatively using ORA (Optiwave Refractive Analysis). The surgeon then inserts a high-quality lens implant and positions it securely within the natural lens capsule. 

Dr. Senekal generally uses foldable lens implants, which are inserted through tiny incisions and then open up inside the eye where they are positioned to provide clear vision.  The surgery is usually completed without stitches since the incision is designed to be self-sealing. The whole procedure takes around 15 minutes.

Astigmatism correcting and trifocal lens implants are also available.

You will notice improved vision within minutes of the surgery. Side effects like soreness, irritation, and glares or halos around light will disappear as the eye heals in the next few weeks to months. Eye drops will be prescribed to mitigate the side-effects, and Dr. Senekal will take you through the self-care instructions for the coming weeks. You can resume normal activities within a week. To minimize the risks of infection and ensure that your recovery is progressing well, we will schedule follow-up appointments.

You may be an ideal candidate for RLE if you have myopia, hyperopia, astigmatism, or presbyopia. Even if you have an early diagnosis of cataract, and find driving difficult at night or have high degrees of farsightedness, RLE may be the right surgery to resolve your vision problems. As for every surgery, only a detailed examination at our clinic will determine if this surgery is the best option to correct your vision.

The Following Refractive Errors Can Be Corrected (Exceptions May Apply):
Myopia (nearsightedness): Up to -30.0 Diopters
Hypermetropia (Farsightedness): Up to +15.0 Diopters
Astigmatism: Up to 12.00 Diopters

​Find out if RLE can correct your vision

At Visionmax Eye Centre, we do a thorough eye evaluation to determine if you can expect positive results from RLE surgery. Call our office at 780-452-4111 to schedule a consultation today.