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Most people have heard of LASIK as an option to restore clear vision without requiring glasses or contact lenses. However, not all patients are good candidates for this option. Instead, patients may be better suited for refractive lens exchange, or RLE. The ophthalmologists at Kung Eye Center can assess your vision needs and recommend whether RLE surgery is a good option for you.

What is Refractive Lens Surgery?

Refractive lens exchange surgery, or RLE surgery, is a procedure which corrects vision by removing the natural lens of the eye and placing an artificial intraocular lens (IOL). This is a similar procedure to cataract surgery. The primary difference is that RLE is an elective surgery performed to achieve clear vision in patients who do not have cataracts.

Who is a Good Candidate for Refractive Lens Exchange Surgery?

Refractive lens exchange surgery can be a good option for patients with nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism. It can be used in those who would like to decrease their dependency on glasses, contact lenses, or reading glasses for clear vision. In particular, RLE is recommended for patients who have presbyopia, a type of farsightedness caused by poor elasticity in the lens of the eye common in middle to older age, or otherwise severe farsightedness. RLE is a good alternative to patients who are not suitable for LASIK and patients who have severe refractive errors or astigmatism. It can also be useful for those who have two different prescriptions for distance and close vision (bifocals). Finally, RLE may be recommended to those who have a higher risk of developing cataracts, as the procedure eliminates the chance of cataracts ever forming.

Testimonials from Real Patients

“I recently had corrective lens surgery performed by Dr. Kung with amazing results. I no longer require glasses for reading or distance (driving, tv viewing etc.). Dr. Kung and his staff are consistently friendly, helpful and provided excellent care pre-, during and care anywhere. I would definitely recommend the Kung Eye Center for the treatment of any ophthalmological disorder.

“Dear Kung is an absolute genius! In my opinion he is the best cataract surgeon in NY city.

“State of The Art Facility and doctors. Exceeded my expectations. Extremely careful regarding Covid19....Everybody wearing masks, etc. Thank you

“I had cataract surgery with the light adjustable lens. Surgery went very well. Staff is very professional, friendly and courteous. Highly recommend.


The Refractive Lens Exchange Surgery Procedure

The entire RLE surgery can be completed very quickly, requiring just 15 minutes per eye. The surgery is nearly identical to cataract surgery. First, your surgeon will apply numbing eye drops to prevent discomfort. The natural lens of the eye can then be removed and replaced with the IOL. Your Kung Eye Center ophthalmologist may use Light Adjustable Lens technology, which means that the lens power can be adjusted after the surgery when the lens is already placed within the eye. If you are treating both eyes, you will need to return to Kung Eye Center at a later appointment, as only one eye can be operated on at a time.

Recovery After Refractive Lens Exchange Surgery

Refractive lens exchange is an outpatient procedure; you can return home as soon as the surgery is complete. Most patients can return to work and driving within a week. As your eye heals, you may notice blurry vision, halos or glare, and a scratchy or dry sensation. These side effects can persist for several weeks. Once healing is complete, you will not be able to see or feel the IOL within your eye.

Schedule a Consultation

To learn more about refractive lens exchange surgery, schedule a consultation at the Kung Eye Center. You will be assessed and treated by leaders in the field of ophthalmology. Call our New York office at (718) 948-8880 or our New Jersey office at (732) 257-4900 You may also contact us online.

Resources for Our Patients

Please follow these links to information for new patients, financing options, and insurance plan participation. Please do not hesitate to call our Staten Island or New Jersey offices with any questions you may have.