Refractive lens exchange is the same procedure as modern cataract surgery. Unlike laser procedures that alter the shape of the cornea, a refractive lens exchange alters the focusing power of the lens within the eye, leaving the cornea untouched. For this procedure, the eye’s lens is removed with a sophisticated computerized ultrasound technique called phacoemulsification. The lens is replaced with a lens implant that has been custom selected to provide the patient with the best vision without glasses. These lenses come in a variety of designs, materials, and powers.
Many patients are not candidates for laser vision correction either because of their refractive error, corneal thickness, and corneal irregularity. Candidates for refractive lens exchanges are usually but not always over the age of 45. Their refractive error is usually beyond what is acceptable with corneal laser procedures. Patients who are developing early cataracts might benefit from Refractive Lens Exchange.
Refractive Lens Exchange can correct most refractive errors including high degrees of nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. The procedure is safe with rapid visual stabilization and a long history of predictable outcomes. The procedure also eliminates the future need for cataract surgery.
Modern technological advances have greatly increased the accuracy of implant calculations. The IOLMaster is one such technology and is a dramatic step forward in the accuracy of refractive lens exchange implant calculation. The IOL Master is a quick, simple means of measuring implant power. Combining performance, accuracy, and simplicity, the IOL Master sets new standards in patient care.
There are many styles and materials of implants used for Refractive Lens Exchange. The choice of implant depends upon the patients’ individual exam and needs. The procedure is the same regardless of the implant style.
The phacoemulsifier is an ultrasonic probe that oscillates at 40,000 cycles per second. In essence, it gently turns a solid material into liquid simultaneously vacuuming it out. The capsular bag is polished and prepared for insertion of the implant. The implant chosen is then inserted into the capsular bag. It is the power of the implant that enables one to see without glasses with Refractive Lens Exchange.