About Refractive Lens Exchange
As we age, our eyes can lose their ability to focus at near. The condition known as presbyopia affects most people after the age of 40 and everyone by their early 50s. An estimated 90 million baby boomers either have presbyopia or will develop it within ten years. These people struggle to read or do hobby work and must rely on magnifying reading glasses for even the most mundane daily tasks, such as checking a watch. But now, thanks to new advancements in eye care, qualified patients can undergo laser, non-laser and implant procedures to improve their reading vision.
Sometime around age 40, most people begin facing the inevitable need for corrective lenses to see clearly at close ranges, even if they have never needed them for distance. But now, thanks to new advancements in eye care, qualified patients can have a simple outpatient procedure to improve their vision.
A Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE) using an advanced lens implant is a procedure nearly identical to cataract surgery, in which the impaired natural lens is replaced with an artificial one. However, unlike cataract surgery, the eye's natural lens has not developed into a cloudy cataract.
Vance Thompson Vision's world-class eye surgeons utilize state-of-the-art technology to deliver the best treatment for your lifestyle needs. We invite you to a one-on-one consultation with ophthalmologist surgeon Dr. Brandon Baartman in Omaha, NE to learn more about RLE for your best vision.
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Patients experiencing the frustration of presbyopia who want to reduce their dependence on spectacles or contact lenses and have healthy eyes are good candidates for RLE. We will determine if you are a great candidate. You will go through a diagnostic process to determine which surgery is most suitable for your ocular condition.
An RLE procedure is performed as an outpatient surgery.
During the procedure, the doctor will begin by making an incision on the eye in order to remove the natural lens, which will then be replaced by a new artificial lens called an intraocular lens (IOL). The implant will not change the outward appearance of your eye, but it can drastically improve your vision.
At Vance Thompson Vision, we offer both manual and ReLACS lens replacement surgery. In the traditional manual surgery, the surgeon uses a blade to make the small opening through which the lens is removed.
With ReLACS, a laser is used to make the incision. Dr. Vance Thompson assisted in the research and development of the ReLACS surgery by being involved in its clinical trials and FDA approval process. This technology allows our surgeons to plan and perform refractive lens exchange with laser precision. The laser also sections the lens into smaller pieces making the process quicker and the lens easier to remove. Surgeons experience more control and flexibility, plus ReLACS features real-time tools for an accurate visual of what's going on inside the eye.
What to Expect
As an alternative to LASIK, refractive lens replacements use a new artificial lens to refocus the light on the retina, rather than changing the shape of the cornea. RLE combined with advanced lens implant options provide a continuous range of vision for distance, intermediate, and near, eliminating or reducing your dependence on reading glasses or bifocals.
Your new implant following RLE should last the rest of your lifetime. However, it is possible to revise the RLE by removing the implant and replacing it with a new one.
- Recovery Time
- 1 - 2 days
- Procedure Time
- 30 minutes (15 per eye)
- Follow Up Time
- 1 day, 1 week, 1 month
- Recovery Location
Is it Time for An RLE?
We can help you determine if you are a candidate for RLE during a consultation in our Omaha, NE office at Vance Thompson Vision. Dr. Baartman will match your lens replacement surgery to your lifestyle needs. Schedule your consultation today.