Refractive Lens Exchange

Refractive Lens Exchange is a procedure that corrects vision by replacing the natural lens of the eye with an advanced multifocal or accommodating intraocular lens. The procedure corrects the patient’s vision to clearly see objects across the range of sight, from close up to far away. Because the natural lens of the eye is replaced, patients who undergo Refractive Lens Exchange procedures do not experience cataracts. Refractive Lens Exchange is best suited for older patients in Boulder and Denver, CO, who depend on reading glasses to correct their farsightedness or nearsightedness.

What happens during the Refractive Lens Exchange procedure?

If both eyes are to be treated, Dr. Beyer will only treat one eye at a time, allowing the treated eye to heal before the second eye is treated. The surgeon administers a topical or local anesthesia to the eye. The surgeon then makes a small micro-incision at the edge of the patient’s cornea. The incision typically causes the patient minimal discomfort. For patients with astigmatism, the surgeons at Boulder Eyes / Beyer LASIK may make additional incisions in the cornea to reduce the astigmatism. A special probe is inserted through the incision. The probe is used to break and remove the damaged lens from the eye. Once the natural lens has been completely removed, the intraocular lens is inserted through the incision. The incision does not require stitches. Typically the procedure is finished within 20 to 25 minutes.

When can normal activities be resumed after the procedure?

Because the procedure only requires a small incision, the recovery time is quick. Patients are not required to limit their activities, and generally return to normal activities one to two days after the procedure.

Is there any pain after the procedure?

Some patients in Boulder and Denver, CO report mild discomfort after the procedure. Patients may experience inflammation of the cornea or retina, sensations of increased pressure in the eye and droopy eyelids. These symptoms should resolve as the eye heals.

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