Refractive Lens Exchange

Lone Tree, Castle Rock, & the Greater Denver Area

middle-aged-couple-260x190Refractive Lens Exchange is made possible through Dr. Alan Margolis. You can regain your clear vision through the safe and effective procedure of a Refractive Lens Exchange at Margolis Vision. Please call 303-797-1150 today to schedule an appointment at our Lone Tree office and find out if refractive lens exchange is right for you.

What is Refractive Lens Exchange?

Refractive lens exchange or lens replacement surgery is a feasible alternative for people with refractive errors.  People with presbyopia and hyperopia may consider this as a better option than LASIK, PRK or phakic IOL refractive surgery.  RLE is a procedure which is very similar to a cataract surgery but its main purpose is to replace the natural lens with an artificial one to correct vision problems like farsightedness or nearsightedness and other focusing difficulties.

Who is a candidate?

People who have presbyopia (farsightedness) and those who have myopia (nearsightedness) are ideal candidates for a Refractive Lens Exchange when procedures like LASIK, PRK or phakic IOL surgery are not suitable or advisable options. RLE may be the only feasible option for a vision clarity procedure in patients who have both presbyopia and moderate to severe hyperopia. Dr. Alan Margolis can diagnose and analyze patient’s viability to Refractive Lens Exchange in Denver and Colorado Springs.  The procedure works best for patients who are dependent on wearing their glasses or contact lenses to see clearly, but a proper consultation should be made first to determine the suitability.

How is it done?

RLE works to correct your refractive error by replacing the natural clear lens of the eye with an artificial intraocular lens (IOL) to attain a sharper focus and cut down the need for reading glasses or bifocals.  Although Refractive Lens Exchange surgery technically does not have an FDA approval, it is legal and recognized by the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery.  It is considered as one of the most effective ways to perfect vision problems. The procedure will usually take between 15 to 20 minutes in each eye. Each eye will be treated separately within a week of each other. The surgery is performed on an outpatient basis.  During the procedure, an anesthetic is used to numb and avoid discomfort or pain.  Most patient claimed that there is an immediate improvement of their vision after the surgery.
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The RLE procedure is essentially the same as a cataract surgery.  The only difference is that cataract surgery mainly involves removal of a cataract that clouded the lens, while in RLE it is the lens itself that is being replaced.

People who have an early cataract development could choose to have the Refractive Lens Exchange procedure instead of waiting for the cataracts to advance and worsen to the state of vision loss. This will occur in people who are middle-aged or older.

What are the results?

Results of Refractive Lens Exchange may vary per individual but the common result is that patients can see well enough and even return to normal duties of work and even drive within one week of the surgery depending on the advice of the surgeon.  People that are reliant on eyeglasses or contact lenses can experience a significantly better vision through the intraocular lenses.  As an added benefit, RLE can eliminate the risk of developing cataracts due to replacement of the natural lens with an artificial one.

Patients can resume normal daily activities as an initial recovery, while the final outcome can take up to several weeks. Symptoms like a glare, halos, an itchy sensation and blurry vision no longer exist after the surgery.  The intraocular lens is the same as a dental filling for a cavity that you won’t feel in your eyes after the surgery and it is not detectable to the naked eye because it is situated inside your eye.  It is a permanent replacement for the natural lens and will last a lifetime.  There is only a minimal danger of deterioration as time goes by since IOL’s are not affected by changes as we age.

What are my lens options?

There are 3 types of intraocular lens (IOLs) that are feasible to replace the natural lens and suitability will depend on individual’s vision needs and eye’s health.  The 3 types of IOL’s are the following:

  • Monofocals – this provides a clear vision either at a distance, near or average ranges but can’t provide all of these at once.
  • Multifocal – this provides a clear vision at various distances.
  • Accommadative – this is a type of a monofocal lens that permits focus at multiple distances by changing its position in the eye.
  • Toric – this is also classified as monofocal IOLs to correct an astigmatism vision.

There is no “one size fits all” for intraocular lenses.  Hence, an eye surgeon will diagnose and recommend the proper and suitable lenses per patient.  Dr. Margolis, together with the staff of Margolis Vision, is the best option for Refractive Lens Exchange in Denver and Colorado Springs area.

The type of intraocular lens used during the refractive lens exchange will determine whether you will need eyeglasses or contact lenses after the surgery.  Cataract surgery as well as clear lens exchange use Monofocal IOLs extensively because they offer the finest vision and contrast sensitivity.  They have little instances of eyesight disturbances, such as glares and halos, but they are created to focus only at one distance.  Therefore, there is a need of glasses for tasks that require closer range such as working at a computer or reading fine prints.

Targeted Outcomes

Targeted outcomes of a Refractive Lens Exchange can be best achieved through Dr. Alan Margolis a board certified surgeon of Margolis Vision located at Denver and Colorado Springs.  Every step of the way will be meticulously taken care of with high diligence.  Enumerated below are very crucial phases of the RLE surgery:

  • Pre-op evaluation and testing – During this phase, a comprehensive and thorough examination is necessary to determine whether a patient is qualified for any other refractive procedures.  The lens is determined after completing a series of pre-operative tests. The surgeon can give advice about the IOL options once the examinations are complete.
  • Intraoperative Abberometry (ORA) – ORA is the latest revolutionary way to guide surgeons to analyze the eye during a cataract and refractive lens exchange surgery and at the same time to customize the treatment for each eye.  It improves accuracy, makes the result more precise and reduces the chance of an additional procedure.  An ORA guided eye surgery procedure adds a guarantee the best possible outcome.
  • Post OP Refinement – Enhancements or secondary treatments for refinement may be needed after the surgery.  It is advisable that enhancements be performed in an average of 1 to 3 months after the surgery.  LASIK surgery may be used after the refractive lens exchange surgery to further refine the results.  At the same time, a PRK may also be required following the surgery to correct an astigmatism that was not completely corrected by the procedure. Usually only about 3 percent of the patients would require an enhancement.

Please contact Margolis Vision today to schedule your refractive lens exchange consultation. We serve patients in Lone Tree, Castle Rock, and throughout the Denver area.