Is the Refractive Lens Exchange Surgery Safe?

Posted by: Eye Health Northwest in Uncategorized on November 20, 2023

If you want to gain greater visual freedom and experience less dependence on visual aids like glasses and contact lenses, you may want to consider refractive lens exchange, also called RLE. RLE is a kind of vision correction surgery that can correct refractive errors, similar to other popular refractive procedures like LASIK.

RLE is an effective procedure that can improve vision and reduce or eliminate the need for glasses or contacts. Keep reading to learn more about refractive lens exchange, including whether or not it is safe!

What is Refractive Lens Exchange? 

Refractive lens exchange is a surgical procedure to replace your eye’s natural lens with an artificial lens. The type of lens used for RLE is called an intraocular lens IOL. 

The IOL has a vision correction prescription customized to correct your vision, just like a contact lens or glasses lens. RLE surgery treats a variety of vision issues, including:

  • Nearsightedness
  • Farsightedness
  • Age-related farsightedness (presbyopia)
  • Astigmatism

There are many different types of IOLs. Your eye doctor can help you decide which type of IOL is most appropriate for you based on your vision goals and lifestyle.

What Happens During Refractive Lens Exchange? 

RLE surgery uses the exact same techniques as cataract surgery. It’s one of the most common and safest surgical procedures in the United States.

It’s performed in your eye doctor’s office, and you will be awake the whole time. The procedure only takes about fifteen to thirty minutes. 

Your eye doctor will use eye drops to numb the surface of your eye to ensure you are comfortable. After that, your eye doctor makes a small incision on the surface of the eye. 

They use special tools to break up and remove the natural lens. Using the same incision, they place the artificial lens in your eye and settle it into the proper position. 

Full recovery takes about eight weeks, but most people can return to normal activities sooner than that. Many people notice improved vision within days of the procedure. 

What are the Benefits of Refractive Lens Exchange? 

There are a lot of benefits to RLE surgery for vision correction, including:

  • Can treat a variety of refractive errors
  • Reduces or eliminates the need for glasses
  • It prevents cataracts since cataracts only form on natural lenses, not IOLs

RLE surgery, like cataract surgery, is considered very safe. As with any surgery, there is a risk of complications, including infection. 

However, most side effects are minor, like soreness and swelling. They usually get better within a few days. 

How Do I Know if Refractive Lens Exchange is Right For Me?

RLE is a good option for people who are not candidates for LASIK or other corneal refractive surgeries. RLE is not recommended for people who have macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, corneal disease, or risk factors for retinal detachment.

It is also important that you are not pregnant or breastfeeding and that you are in good general health. The best way to know whether or not you may be a candidate for RLE is to visit your eye doctor at EyeHealth Northwest for a full evaluation.

Do you want to learn if you are a candidate for RLE? Schedule an appointment at Eyehealth Northwest in Portland, OR, today!


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Our Locations

Aloha
18345 SW Alexander St,
Suite A
Aloha, OR 97003
(503) 642-2505 see more
Glisan
6701 NE Glisan Street
Portland, OR 97213
(503) 255-2291 see more
Gresham
24601 SE Stark St.
Suite 245
Troutdale, OR 97060
(503) 255-2291 see more
Hillsboro
6111 NE Cornell Rd
Hillsboro, OR 97124
(503) 846-9400 see more
Lake Oswego
9 Monroe Parkway, Suite 160
Lake Oswego, OR 97035
(503) 636-2551 see more
Milwaukie
11086 SE Oak St
Milwaukie, OR 97222
(503) 656-4221 see more
Mt. Tabor
5935 SE Division St.
Portland, OR 97206
503 777-5546 see more
Newberg
2318 Portland Rd, Suite 300
Newberg, OR 97132
(503) 538-1341 see more
North Portland
3246 N. Lombard St.
Portland, OR 97217
(503) 285-1671 see more
Northwest Portland
1955 NW Northrup St
Portland, OR 97209
(503) 227-2020 see more
Oregon City
1306 Division St
Oregon City, OR 97045
(503) 656-4221 see more
Peterkort
9555 SW Barnes Rd.
#100 (1rst floor)
Portland, OR 97225
(503) 227-2020 see more
Providence Portland
5050 NE Hoyt St., Suite 445
Portland, OR 97213
(503) 231-0166 see more
Providence St. Vincent
9135 SW Barnes Rd., Suite 961
Portland, OR 97225
(503) 292-0848 see more
Southeast Portland
10819 SE Stark St,
Portland, OR 97216
(503) 255-2291 see more
Sunnyside
12050 SE Stevens Rd, Suite 100
Happy Valley, OR 97086
(503) 783-3300 see more
Tigard
15298 SW Royalty Parkway
Tigard OR 97224
(503) 227-2020 see more
Wilsonville
29250 SW Town Center Loop W
Wilsonville, OR 97070
(503) 582-0000 see more
Westside Surgery Center
13240 SW Pacific Hwy
Portland, OR 97223
(503) 639-6571 see more
EyeHealth Eastside Surgery and Laser Center
12050 SE Stevens Rd.
Happy Valley, OR 97086
(971) 206-6100 see more

Our Locations

Aloha
18345 SW Alexander St,
Suite A
Aloha, OR 97003
(503) 642-2505 see more
Glisan
6701 NE Glisan Street
Portland, OR 97213
(503) 255-2291 see more
Gresham
24601 SE Stark St.
Suite 245
Troutdale, OR 97060
(503) 255-2291 see more
Hillsboro
6111 NE Cornell Rd
Hillsboro, OR 97124
(503) 846-9400 see more
Lake Oswego
9 Monroe Parkway, Suite 160
Lake Oswego, OR 97035
(503) 636-2551 see more
Milwaukie
11086 SE Oak St
Milwaukie, OR 97222
(503) 656-4221 see more
Mt. Tabor
5935 SE Division St.
Portland, OR 97206
503 777-5546 see more
Newberg
2318 Portland Rd, Suite 300
Newberg, OR 97132
(503) 538-1341 see more
North Portland
3246 N. Lombard St.
Portland, OR 97217
(503) 285-1671 see more
Northwest Portland
1955 NW Northrup St
Portland, OR 97209
(503) 227-2020 see more
Oregon City
1306 Division St
Oregon City, OR 97045
(503) 656-4221 see more
Peterkort
9555 SW Barnes Rd.
#100 (1rst floor)
Portland, OR 97225
(503) 227-2020 see more
Providence Portland
5050 NE Hoyt St., Suite 445
Portland, OR 97213
(503) 231-0166 see more
Providence St. Vincent
9135 SW Barnes Rd., Suite 961
Portland, OR 97225
(503) 292-0848 see more
Southeast Portland
10819 SE Stark St,
Portland, OR 97216
(503) 255-2291 see more
Sunnyside
12050 SE Stevens Rd, Suite 100
Happy Valley, OR 97086
(503) 783-3300 see more
Tigard
15298 SW Royalty Parkway
Tigard OR 97224
(503) 227-2020 see more
Wilsonville
29250 SW Town Center Loop W
Wilsonville, OR 97070
(503) 582-0000 see more
Surgery Centers

Westside Surgery Center

13240 SW Pacific Hwy
Portland, OR 97223
(503) 639-6571 see more

EyeHealth Eastside Surgery and Laser Center

12050 SE Stevens Rd.
Happy Valley, OR 97086
(971) 206-6100 see more