An Alternative to LASIK
Have you been told you’re not a candidate for LASIK refractive surgery? If so, you are not alone. Many patients are not ideal candidates for cornea-based refractive laser surgery like LASIK or LASEK. However, there is another time-proven and advanced refractive surgery option: Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE). Refractive lens exchange can reduce or eliminate large amounts of nearsightedness and farsightedness and therefore may be a better surgical solution than LASIK for high prescriptions. Refractive Lens Exchange can correct a wide range of refractive error, from +8.00 diopters (D) of farsightedness to -20.0 D of nearsightedness. It can also correct up to 3.50 D of astigmatism if an astigmatism-correcting toric IOL is used.
Just like cataract surgery, which is performed on approximately three million Americans each year, Refractive Lens Exchange involves removing the natural lens in the eye and replacing it with a tiny permanent prescription lens implantresulting in improved vision and reduced dependency on glasses or contact lenses. This is different than most other refractive surgeries like LASIK that involve reshaping the cornea because the eye’s natural lens is liquefied, removed, and replaced with an intraocular lens implant.
As in cataract surgery, a single vision lens implant can be inserted to eliminate nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. In this scenario, a patient’s distance vision will be significantly improved, but they’ll still need reading glasses. More recently, multifocal IOLs have been developed to correct distance AND reading vision. There are a wide variety of multifocal and accommodative lens implants that allow patients to see as well as (and perhaps better than) their natural lenses.