Refractive Lens Exchange
A couple of trends are emerging that underline the need for clear, crisp vision: first, people are leading more active lifestyles, especially in areas of the country like Arizona, where the weather is beautiful year-round. Also, employees are staying in the workforce longer instead of retiring in their early sixties. Because of these factors, people want to stay at the top of their game -professionally and personally. Cataracts or dependence on spectacles can compromise both an active lifestyle and, in some cases, career longevity. One way to preemptively stave off cataracts and lessen one's dependence on eyeglasses or contacts is refractive lens exchange, known simply as lens replacement surgery. Phoenix eye surgeon Emilio M. Justo, M.D. offers refractive lens exchange at the Arizona Eye Institute & Cosmetic Laser Center. Contact Dr. Justo, with office locations in Sun City, Sun City West, and Wickenburg, to schedule a lens replacement surgery consultation.
About Refractive Lens Exchange
Refractive lens exchange (RLE) is an elective vision correction surgery that removes the eye's natural lens that has clouded over time and replaces it with an artificial lens. Often called "elective cataract surgery", "early cataract surgery", or "clear lens extraction", it is primarily used to treat people who show the beginnings of cataracts. Refractive lens exchange is typically performed on middle-aged patients to prevent the vision loss that accompanies full-fledged cataracts. It is sometimes used to treat extreme farsightedness (higher than +6.00 diopters) that cannot be corrected with LASIK.
The Refractive Lens Exchange Procedure
During refractive lens exchange, Dr. Justo makes a small incision at the edge of the cornea. Through the incision, a small instrument is inserted to break up the damaged natural lens. The lens is carefully suctioned out, and replaced with an intraocular lens (IOLs). The choice of lens is tailored to the patient's needs and lifestyle; Dr. Justo often works with the AcrySof® Toric IOL. The entire refractive lens exchange outpatient procedure lasts under an hour, after which the patient generally recovers very rapidly.
Refractive lens exchange - or any lens replacement surgery - requires a surgeon with a certain expertise; not only must he or she be adept at implanting IOLs, but also have the precision to work with the very delicate crystalline lens. Dr. Justo is particularly skilled in these areas and has successfully improved the vision of thousands of patients who've suffered from cataracts or a dependence on glasses or contact lenses.
It's important to note that refractive lens exchange can be a staged process; some patients may require the need for additional corneal enhancement. Although the goal is to prevent the need for cataract surgery down the road, there is a small chance that another surgery will be necessary to fine-tune the outcome of the lens replacement surgery.
Benefits of Refractive Lens Exchange
Some of the appeals of refractive lens exchange include:
- Eliminates the need for future cataract surgery
- Eliminate dependence on glasses or contact lenses
- Long-term results (permanent, in some cases)
- Can relieve intraocular pressure in some patients with mild to moderate glaucoma
Risks of Refractive Lens Exchange
The risks of refractive lens exchange are similar to those of cataract surgery, including retinal detachment, IOL displacement, infection, and swelling. However, cataract surgery is one of the most common and successful surgeries performed; if you are concerned with the risks of this eye surgery, please discuss your concerns with Dr. Justo.
Contact Us about Refractive Lens Exchange
If you'd like to eliminate your dependency on eyeglasses, and are considering lens replacement surgery, contact Phoenix eye surgeon Emilio Justo for a consultation. It's crucial to thoroughly discuss your expectations of any vision correction procedure with your surgeon prior to getting started with treatment, and we'd like to see you as soon as possible to talk about your needs and goals.