Refractive lens exchange (RLE) is an alternative to LASIK, PRK, and other vision correction procedures. In some cases, patients who are not good candidates for more common methods of laser vision correction may qualify for RLE. The refractive lens exchange procedure is also known as clear lens exchange (CLE).
Using the same intraocular lens (IOLs) options seen in cataract surgery, refractive lens exchange is used to correct vision when cataracts are not present. This procedure effectively corrects nearsightedness or farsightedness by replacing your eye’s natural lens with an artificial one that helps the eye focus correctly. It can also correct astigmatism. The surgery itself is identical to cataract surgery and lens replacement. Because the natural eye lens is no longer in place, patients who undergo RLE are no longer at risk of developing cataracts, even as they age.
Refractive Lens Exchange: Introduction