Understand the Safety & Risks of RLE Surgery

Are you considering Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE) surgery as a solution to correct your vision and reduce your dependence on glasses or contact lenses? 

With such a sensitive and vital area of the body being operated on, having concerns is understandable. You may even be asking yourself, is refractive lens exchange surgery safe?

This groundbreaking procedure has helped countless individuals achieve clearer vision, but it's essential to understand both the safety and potential risks associated with RLE. 

In this blog post, we'll explore the safety of RLE surgery and the risks you should be aware of when considering this vision correction option.

Is Refractive Lens Exchange Safe?

RLE, also known as Lens Replacement Surgery or Clear Lens Extraction, is a surgical procedure used to treat common vision problems like presbyopia, hyperopia (farsightedness), and myopia (nearsightedness).

It's similar to cataract surgery. With RLE, the lens is transparent, i.e., no cloudy cataract (when the clear natural lens becomes opaque or clouded).

The natural lens is replaced with an artificial intraocular lens (IOL) in both procedures. RLE  is done to correct refractive errors. Cataract surgery removes the cloudy blockage to light but will also be used to simultaneously correct any need for glasses.

RLE is considered a safe and well-established procedure. Like any surgical intervention, it carries some level of risk, but the safety of RLE primarily depends on several factors, including the experience of your surgeon, the technology used, and your individual health and eye condition. 

Here's why RLE is generally regarded as safe:

  • RLE surgery at Focus Clinics is performed by highly trained and experienced ophthalmic surgeons specialising in refractive procedures. 
  • Choosing a reputable and skilled surgeon significantly enhances the safety of the procedure. 
  • With our customised approach, refractive lens exchange is tailored to each patient's unique eye characteristics, ensuring a personalised and precise treatment plan.

What Are the Risks of RLE?

While RLE is generally safe, it's essential to be aware of potential risks:

  • Infection. As with any surgery, there's a small risk of infection or around 1 in 3,000. Adhering to post-operative care instructions and keeping the eye clean can minimise this risk.
  • Glare and halos, especially in low-light conditions, following RLE. These visual disturbances usually improve during the healing process but can sometimes persist.
  • Retinal detachment, especially for individuals at higher risk due to factors like nearsightedness or a family history of retinal issues.
  • In rare cases, the IOL implanted during RLE may become displaced, necessitating additional surgery.
  • Dry eye symptoms can occur temporarily or persistently after RLE surgery.
  • In rare cases, achieving the desired outcome may require multiple surgeries or additional vision correction methods for some patients.

Increasing the Safety of RLE Surgery

Ultimately, the decision to undergo RLE should be made in consultation with your surgeon. The benefits of clearer vision and reduced dependence on glasses or contacts are substantial, but weighing them against the potential risks is vital. 

Your surgeon will carefully evaluate your suitability for RLE, discuss the associated risks, and help you decide about your vision correction journey.

  • Follow your surgeon's recommendations for lifestyle changes leading up to the surgery. This may include discontinuing certain medications or habits, such as smoking, that can impact the procedure and post-op recovery.
  • Share any family history of eye conditions with your surgeon. Some disorders, such as retinal issues, can have a genetic basis and may increase the risk of complications.
  • Don't hesitate to ask your surgeon any questions or express any concerns you may have about the procedure. Open communication is essential for your safety and peace of mind.

Modern advancements in eye surgery technology have further improved the safety and precision of RLE. High-quality IOLs, precise measurement tools, and advanced laser systems contribute to a successful outcome.

Before your surgery, we will conduct a comprehensive evaluation to assess your suitability for RLE. This assessment includes a thorough examination of your eye health and a review of your medical history.

After the surgery, we will ask you to follow post-op treatment regimen and attend post-op appointments. This is essential to aid your healing and to spot any potential complications, with free coverage given to you for the first decade after surgery.

Understanding the safety and risks of RLE is crucial for anyone considering this procedure, ensuring they can make informed choices about their eye health and vision correction goals.

More information about RLE surgery:

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100% 20/20 vision

100% 20/20 vision

Focus Clinic has a remarkable 100% success rate for 20/20 vision. We know of no other clinic that has matched these results. There is a big difference between, for example, 98% and 100% success, especially if you are in the 2%.

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10 year guarantee

Your 10 Year Guarantee means you can return at any time if you have additional questions on the quality of your vision. If you have distance vision correction for short-sight then any repeat laser eye treatments to correct a return of myopia in the first 10 years are included free of charge.*

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