Refractive Lens Exchange / Clear Lens Extraction

Clear Lens Extraction (CLE), also called Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE), is the removal of natural lens of the Eye with Intraocular Lens placement as a Refractive procedure. This procedure is done for people having very high glasses number where Lasik or Phakic Implanatble Collamer Lens (ICL) is not possible. The Natural Lens of the Eye is replaced by an Intraocular Lens to correct and neutralize high Spectacles number. The process resembles that of Cataract Surgery; however in Cataract Surgery the Lens is clouded, whereas in this Surgery, the Removed Lens is clear.

Who is an eligible candidate for RLE?

RLE is usually reserved for patients with high myopia and high hyperopia (12 to 30 diopters ) that is not easily managed by other Refractive procedures, such as laser in situ keratomileusis ( LASIK / PRK ) or Implantable phakic Intraocular Lens (ICL). The advanced premium Intraocular Lenses like Toric IOL can correct astigmatism along with myopia and hyperopia. Similarly Multifocal and Accomadative IOLs can correct presbyopia (near vision problem after 40) and distant vision simultaneously.

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What is the procedure?

RLE is performed as any other Cataract Procedure under Local anaesthetic Eye Drops. The Natural Lens matter is aspirated and replaced with Refractive Intraocular Lens. It is done as a day Care Surgery.

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What are the advantages of this procedure?

Imagine the life of a person who has Spectacles Power of say -20 or +15 dioptres. They are completely dependent on Glasses or Contact Lens to visualize. For them ,it is a boon to be able to see well and get rid of the burden of heavy glasses. The Predictability, Stability, better optical quality vision, ease and cost with which this technique can be performed, use of toric or Multifocal Lens technologies and advantages of small-incision Surgery, makes it a viable option for very high glasses number

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What are the risks and complications?

A through checkup of the retina periphery is a must before planning the Surgery specially for high myopia. Prophylactic retinal laser needs to be done for any hole or break detected. This is done to prevent the remote possibility of retinal detachment. There no such concerns for patients with high hyperopia. Rest of the risks & complications remain same as that of Cataract Surgery.