Refractive Lens Replacement
Refractive Lens Exchange: the surgical technique
Refractive Lens Exchange, also known as RLE, even offers a treatment option for more serious short-sightedness and especially for long-sightedness.
With Refractive Lens Replacement the body’s own lens, which is often weak due to old age, is replaced by a new artificial lens. The procedure is based in essence on the surgical technique used in cataract operations. This is a routine procedure, which is carried out approx. 700,000 times every year in Germany alone. In contrast to the cataract operation, however, there is no actual illness present in this situation.
A small incision at the edge of the cornea allows access to the lens in the eye. The main part of the natural lens is shrunk with the aid of ultrasound and is then removed by suction. After this an artificial lens is inserted, which has already been matched using precise calculations to the degree of defective vision. The surgeon inserts the lens into the eye using an injector, where it unfolds by itself and slides into the correct position. The small incision seals itself within a few seconds and does not need to be stitched.
With Refractive Lens Exchange, one thing the eye does lose is its natural ability to adjust its focus to different distances (accommodation). This procedure is therefore often only used where the patient’s ability to accommodate is already reduced, i.e. as a rule only above the age of 40. A further situation where this procedure may be beneficial is the onset of a cataract, for example.
Lens exchange with multifocal lenses
Multifocal lenses are highly-developed, intelligent artificial lenses, which are being used for Refractive Lens Exchange with increasing frequency. They split the light up into several focal points and so enable the eye to focus at different distances without varifocals or reading glasses.
As well as serious short-sightedness or long-sightedness or an astigmatism, this even allows presbyopia to be corrected. This means that the patient becomes totally liberated from the need to wear glasses and is not forced to wear either reading glasses or varifocals.
As the refractive strength of the eye does not change once the artificial lens has been implanted, the patient will not require glasses for the rest of his or her life.
Lens exchange: risks
Refractive Lens Exchange is based in essence on the surgical technique used for routine cataract operations.
Nevertheless, even with this operation – as with any other operation – there is a residual risk that complications may arise. As with all operations, even here there is a risk of an infection, although this can be kept to a minimum by the application of suitable antibiotic drops. In some exceptional cases, the lens capsule may become clouded after the operation (what is known as a secondary cataract). This can usually be removed with a simple laser procedure.
So we can eliminate any potential risks as much as possible, the eye experts at the Cabinet de Chirurgie Réfractive in Luxembourg will carry out detailed preliminary examinations and post-operative checks as a matter of course and will be with you every step of the way.
- Comprehensive preliminary examination or consultation with experienced eye surgeons
- Modern operating theatres and examination rooms meeting the latest hygiene standards
- Artificial lenses made of very easily tolerated material
- Highly-qualified surgeons with many years of experience
- Regular post-operative checks
- Quality management in line with DIN EN ISO 9001