Refractive Lens Exchange

RLE, or Refractive Lens Exchange, is a procedure for improving vision that can correct many refractive errors. It may be an option if you are unsuitable for laser vision correction and experiencing the age-related condition called presbyopia (the loss of the accommodative ability of the eye).

What is RLE?

RLE, or also known as lens replacement surgery, is commonly suited to those over 50. This popular procedure is often considered as an excellent alternative for those people who are not suitable for laser vision correction.

This includes people that may have the following:

  • An eye prescription that is outside the safe range of treatment for laser vision correction
  • Thin or irregular corneas
  • Other eye conditions
  • Are over the age of 50 years and wanting to correct both distance and near vision

Benefits of Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE)

A proven and commonly performed day procedure with high success outcomes, RLE has many of the same lifestyle benefits as laser vision correction plus others!

  • Visual freedom – reduced dependency on glasses
  • Ability to correct an extensive range of prescriptions including astigmatism
  • Permanent vision correction – a once-off investment in your vision
  • Cataracts cannot develop on an artificial lens so RLE removes any future need for cataract surgery
  • Multifocal lens option available – meaning can see both near and into the distance clearly
  • Fast visual recovery – similar to laser vision correction
  • It is performed as day surgery – no overnight hospital stay

What to expect when having Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE)

Refractive lens exchange is an elective procedure aimed at removing or reducing the requirement for spectacles or contact lenses.

It’s performed as a day procedure under anesthetic and involves replacing the eye’s natural lens with an artificial lens to correct the vision.

Each eye is treated on different days which allows time for initial healing to take place and a review with your doctor.

Admission, treatment and initial recovery generally takes about two hours and patients are provided with easy to follow aftercare instructions at home.

Recovery after Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE)

Visual recovery after RLE is rapid and most patients can expect to return to tasks such as driving in 2-3 days. RLE offers a short and manageable recovery allowing patients to return to their day-to-day activities quickly.

Post operative instructions are provided and  ensure a quick and safe healing process. Patients are advised to avoid some activities including contact sports, gardening and swimming for the first 72 hours after their treatment. These directions can vary from patient to patient and will be detailed by your doctor.

Recovery after RLE also involves follow up appointments, and this schedule will be advised by your doctor.

All of this information is provided with easy to follow aftercare instructions.

Our specialists

Adelaide Eye & Laser Centre has a number of leading specialist ophthalmologists with extensive experience and expertise in RLE. In consultation with them, you will be guided through your individually tailored options, and how to best achieve your unique visual goals.

Find out more

If you are interested in finding out more about RLE, and if this procedure could help you achieve your visual goals, please do not hesitate to contact a member of our friendly customer service team as the first step.

Book complimentary laser assessment

To understand your best laser options we provide either a tele-consultation or in-house assessment that is no cost to the participant. Provided by a skilled refractive counsellor from ParkView Day Surgery, our affiliated day surgery facility, during this appointment we are able to refine what your personal eye solution is, and provide you an opportunity to ask any questions you may have.

Are you suitable for eye laser surgery?

Not all people are suitable for laser surgery and a thorough examination with an Ophthalmologist is necessary to determine suitability, however, there are some general guidelines and questions which can provide an initial indication of suitability. Take the suitability test and take your first step to a clearer brighter future.

Your questions answered here

We understand that having eye laser surgery is an important decision and that you may have questions about the procedure, your immediate recovery and what you can expect in the days, weeks and months after surgery. We have answered as many as we can here.