Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is the difference between laser vision correction (LASIK) and RLE (Refractive Lens Exchange?
A: First, most people do know about laser as the only method to improve vision. In fact, there are many procedures that can improve vision and there are no single procedure that is best for every patient age group, condition and requirement.
Because the limitation of laser vision correction that can provide only one fixed focus vision (patients have to choose either “near or far vision” but not both) so Laser vision correction will give best performance in correcting vision in younger patients (age under 45) who do not have reading/near-vision problems yet. But for older patients (age over 50), RLE seems to be a better choice because RLE will correct both far vision and reading/near vision at the same time.
For patients whose age is over 60, the procedure will even offer more benefit because it will remove cataract (that usually happens in this age) and permanently restore vision at the same time.
Q: How can I know which procedure is suitable for me, laser vision correction or RLE?
A: If your age is under 45 without a reading problem (not need bifocals or reading glasses) and you do not mind the chances of lens surgery in the future, laser vision correction may be good for you.
If your age is over 50 with a reading problem and you prefer long-term stable visual outcome and don’t want lens/cataract surgery in the future, RLE will be a better choice for you.
Q: Will I have freedom from my spectacles or contact lenses with IOL treatment?
A: The results will vary depending upon your vision, lifestyles and the anatomy of your eyes. Most people, however, can conduct most of their daily activities without dependence on spectacles or contact lenses. Some people find that they need some help from spectacles to read small text or drive at night. Anyway, they will likely be free from eyeglasses for 85-90% of what they do.
Q: Do I require an adjustment period?
A: Yes. For most people, there is a period when they are learning to adjust to this new visual system/lenses that allow you to see up close and at a distance. This adjustment period differs for each individual. As with all multifocal lenses, some people report haloes or glare around lights which diminishes over time. For some, it becomes less troublesome, but never completely goes away, and most people report that the ability to see near and far outweighs the visual side effects associated with the lens. Ask your surgeon to explain this adjustment period at your consultation.
Q: How long does it take for the procedure?
A: About 40-60 minutes for each eye. The procedure will be performed one eye at a time, with the other eye done on the following day.
Q: Is it painful?
A: No. With our surgeon’s skills, the pain both during and after the procedure will be very minimal.
Q: Is it risky?
A: As you know, all surgery has risks. The major risks of RLE (e.g. infection) are less than 1%. This rate was comparable with laser vision correction.
Q: How does an intraocular lens replace the natural lens?
A: The natural lens inside the eye is gently removed through a very small incision in the periphery of your eye’s cornea. The new lens is then inserted in its place and remains there permanently. The procedure generally takes approximately twenty minutes.
Q: How long after surgery will it take until I see my best?
A: Like most procedures, this depends upon the overall health of your eye. For many people, vision is noticeably better immediately and continues to improve during the first few weeks following the procedure.
Q: Do I need to stop using my soft contact lens for 1 week prior to the treatment?
A: Yes, depending on the type of lens you wear, you will need to stop using them (and wear spectacles) prior to consultation/treatment. Contact lenses may distort the cornea and lead to inaccurate measurements and treatment if not removed on time prior to consultation/treatment.
Q: Is 20/20 vision guaranteed with RLE?
A: As with any refractive surgery, including Lasik, 20/20 vision can be achieved but can’t be guaranteed. Anyway, RLE surgery is an extremely advanced technology for surgical vision correction. The eye can be measured very precisely for an appropriate lens implant, and your surgeon will be highly skilled in performing the procedure. As a result, the vast majority of people undergoing RLE surgery is very happy with their post-procedure vision. In fact, a person’s happiness with their vision after the procedure is a far more important indicator of success than the somewhat arbitrary “20/20” measurement done in a dark room of a doctor’s office.