Refractive Lens Exchange
Refractive Lens Exchange (Clear Lens Extraction)
With Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE) — also called Clear Lens Extraction or CLE — an artificial lens is used to replace your eye’s natural lens in order to correct vision. The procedure is performed similarly to cataract surgery.
In this procedure, the surgeon makes a small cut at the edge of your cornea. He/she removes your natural lens and replaces it with a plastic lens implant. The procedure can correct extreme farsightedness or nearsightedness.
It works well for people with thin corneas, dry eyes, or other minor cornea problems. A LASIK or LASIK-related procedure can be combined with RLE to correct astigmatism. As is an option in cataract surgery, RLE may employ multifocal or accommodative intraocular lenses (IOLs). These custom lenses allow the ability to focus at all distances.
RLE is not FDA-approved, however, ophthalmologists may choose to perform this procedure in what is called an “off-label” use.