Refractive lens exchange (abbreviated to RLE) is also known as refractive lens surgery, lens replacement surgery or clear lens exchange (CLE).
RLE surgery is completed using the same technique as cataract surgery although no cataract is present. The clear natural lens inside the eye is removed and replaced with an artificial intraocular lens and is popular with patients who are above the age of 40. RLE is a great alternative to laser eye surgery for those over 40 as it can offer a more permanent near vision result as well as great distance vision.
There are various intraocular lenses available to suit all people and they provide different visual results. For example:
Monovision – both distance and near vision can be achieved unaided.
Trifocals (also known as multifocals) – both distance and near vision can be achieved unaided and are an alternative for those that do not tolerate monovision.
Distance vision only – Single vision lenses are used to correct the distance vision to achieve clear unaided distance vision but in most cases, the patient will require near vision glasses for reading and other near vision tasks.
RLE surgery takes only 30 minutes and your outpatient visit to Perth Eye Hospital/Joondalup Health Campus will be approximately 3 hours. You are required to begin an eye drop 3 days prior to your procedure and more medicated eye drops will be provided by the nursing staff on the day of your procedure to take for a short period after your procedure to optimize your healing time and reduce the likelihood of post operative complications.
Dr Furness is one of the leading providers in WA of the implantable contact lens, also known as an implantable collamer lens or phakic intraocular lens (phakic IOL).
ICL’s can be used to treat myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism and are a very good option for those people not suitable for F-LASIK, ASA or refractive lens exchange. The tiny collamer lens sits just behind the pupil and in front of the clear lens. It is not visible to anyone looking at your eye and is made of a special material which allows it to stay in your body indefinitely without being rejected. It does not require any maintenance or further treatment once it is in your eye.
The implantable contact lens sits in front of your natural lens, so you still have the ability to focus in the distance and near (accommodation). The implantable contact lens is made of a special material which allows it to stay in your body indefinitely without being rejected and it does not require any maintenance or further treatment once it is in your eye.
The procedure takes approximately 30 minutes and is performed under topical anaesthetic as an outpatient at Perth Eye Hospital. This is a purpose built, fully accredited operating facility with state of the art, fully equipped operating rooms.