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Lens


lens 

Lens replacement surgery is normally used to refer to one of three similar types of treatments: Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE), Implantable Contact Lenses (ICL) and Cataract Surgery with each having alternative names and acronyms so it can be a little confusing!  Hopefully this article will clear up any confusion and give some clarity on the type of lens replacement surgery that may be suitable for you as well as the costs involved.

Types Of Lens Replacement Surgery

  1. Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE)
    • In general when people talk about lens replacement surgery they are referring to some type of Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE) which is also known as Refractive Lens Replacement, Clear Lens Exchange (CLE) or Clear Lens Surgery. This is a treatment for patients suffering from presbyopia (long-sightedness normally occurring in middle and old age), hyperopia (farsightedness where objects nearby are not seen as clearly as objects in the distance) or those with a considerably thin cornea.

      It is commonly used for patients over 40 who don’t qualify for either LASIK or PRK laser eye surgery but are not willing to continue using glasses or use contact lenses. It can also can correct myopia (nearsightedness) but it is not normally recommended when LASIK surgery or Phakic intraocular lens (IOL) can be used.

      The procedure involves removing the eye’s natural lens and replacing it with an artificial intraocular lens. As well as removing the need to continue wearing glasses or use contact lenses, the new artificial intraocular lens will also mean that the patient will not suffer from cataracts in the future as a cataract can not form on an artificial lens.

  2. Cataract Surgery
    • Cataract surgery involves the same procedure as refractive lens surgery described above except that the lens that is removed is not clear but cloudy due to existence of cataracts. Patients have the same choice of monofocal, multifocal or trifocal lenses (see lens types below) giving them the option to also remove the need for reading glasses as well as correct their cataracts.
  3. Implantable Contact Lenses (ICL)
    • This type of lens surgery involves implanting contact lenses rather than removing and replacing the natural lens which occurs in lens replacement surgery.  This new phakic intraocular lens is placed on top of the natural lens and behind the iris (the exact positioning will depend on the lens chosen). As the natural lens is not removed this procedure can be reversed at a later date.

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