What Is Refractive Lens Exchange?

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Patients who are interested in reducing their dependence on prescription contact lenses or corrective eyeglasses may want to speak to an eye doctor about specialized procedures that can help. With refractive lens exchange, patients can replace their current eye lens with an artificial plastic lens called an intra-ocular lens. These implants can be placed during a painless procedure that can be done in less than 20 minutes and improve a patient’s vision dramatically.

What happens during refractive lens exchange?

The refractive lens exchange procedure is performed in the same way as a corneal transplant procedure that is typically done to correct cataracts. The doctor will administer local or topical anesthetic to the eye. Once the eye is numbed, an opening is made in the cornea where a special instrument is inserted to use ultrasound waves to break up the natural lens and remove it. Then, the intra-ocular implant is folded and inserted into the incision. It is unfolded strategically and will remain permanently. Because the incision made to insert the intra-ocular lens is so small, no stitches are needed to complete the procedure. Most patients who have the procedure done at Richens Eye Center will return to their normal activities the next day and will see dramatic improvement in their vision without the use of corrective lenses.

Who can benefit from refractive lens exchange?

In most case, patients under the age of 40 will often be eliminated as a candidate for this procedure unless they have special exceptions that make it beneficial to them. The procedure is considered safe, though with any surgery, there are possible complications that can arise. This procedure may be recommended to patients if they are not a good candidate for traditional vision corrective procedure and want to eliminate or reduce their dependence on corrective lenses. Additionally, these patients may have a need for correction that cannot be achieved with alternative methods, especially if they have a thinning cornea that can make laser vision correction unsafe or risky.

Call Richens Eye Center today!

If you are interested in discussing refractive lens exchange with Dr. Sharon Richens, make an appointment with her front office team today. Call (435) 986-2020 to schedule an appointment at any one of the three convenient locations throughout Mesquite, NV and St. George, UT.

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