Refractive Lens Exchange
What is Refractive Lens Exchange?
Refractive lens exchange is removing the natural lens and replacing it with an artificial lens exactly as is done in cataract surgery but before the cataract is fully formed. Surgery is performed in our fully accredited surgery center at our Dallas location under twilight sedation and often one of our custom high tech lenses is chosen to replace your lens to give you a wider range of vision for near, far or in-between.
Is LASIK right for me if I can’t see up close any more?
Not everyone is a good candidate for LASIK. In fact, most patients over 40 are surprised to find out that LASIK is designed to only correct your distance or your far-away vision. There are other alternatives for you if you are over 40 and you are to the point that you cannot see your phone without a pair of reading glasses or bifocals.
It’s important to understand what is happening inside the eye. All of us are born with a clear focusing lens inside our eye that when we are young it moves forward and backward automatically to let us focus to see near and far just like a lens inside a camera focuses. But after about our mid forties, the lens begins to change. It’s less flexible, the muscles and fibers that hold it in place don’t work as well and over time will only focus at one distance and that is usually at a distance.
Eventually, this progresses until the lens changes in color and develops cloudiness in places on the lens. The natural lens changes from clear, to white, to yellow and if left untreated it can even turn brown. Can you imagine trying to focus through something cloudy and discolored? When these changes progress and interfere with your daily activities, we call it a cataract.
What can be done for presbyopia?
You may have several options today if you do not want to depend on reading glasses for all your up-close work. Possibilities may include bifocal contact lenses, monovision contact lenses or refractive lens exchange.
Is Refractive Lens Exchange Covered by Insurance?
If you do meet the qualifications for cataract surgery, insurance may consider the portion of the surgery to remove the cataract but if it is considered to be elective, all the costs will be out of pocket and not covered by your insurance. In either case, the custom high tech lenses are not covered by insurance.
The risks to lens replacement surgery are rare and will be fully discussed with you during your consultation. Most patients enjoy improved vision as soon as the day after surgery. Another benefit is that having the RLE procedure means you will not have to deal with cataracts later.
“I have been a patient of Key-Whitman for two years and I have always felt like I was the only person in the office. Their attention, professional approach and their friendly attitude makes one feel like they are family. When leaving you know your personal information about the health of your eyes and if further office visits are necessary and future plans.” – Clarissa C.
“From Steven at Valet, to the lovely greeter inside& through every step of check-in to checkout, the professionalism, sincerity and thoroughness is impeccable!” –Rita M.