How Successful Is Refractive Lens Surgery

January 15, 2024

Probably one of the most daunting ways to begin your day is by fumbling around for your glasses or the hassle of putting on your contact lenses. Trust us when we say this – you aren’t the only one. Many would admit in a heartbeat that they feel quite limited with their reliance on either glasses or contact lenses, holding them back from outdoor activities or just as simple as reading their favourite books.

Of course there are several solutions nowadays with the advancement of technology in the ophthalmology industry for various eye conditions. One of the options that we will be discussing today is refractive lens surgery, where we will have a glance through the procedure, its benefits, risks of refractive surgery and is it safe, and last but not least, the success rate of the surgery. Shall we?

Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE) – A Glance Through the Procedure

So, what is refractive lens surgery? Simply put, it is a saviour from having to wear any corrective eyewear lifelong anymore. The Refractive Lens Exchange commonly known as the RLE surgery, involves removing the eye’s natural lens and replacing it with an artificial intraocular lens (IOL). The IOL will be tailored to correct your specific vision problems, providing a clearer and sharper vision.

Aimed to fix eye conditions such as severe myopia, hyperopia, and presbyopia along with astigmatism, this popular refractive surgery in Malaysia is unlike LASIK in which the later procedure literally reshapes the cornea. Most candidates who aren’t suitable for LASIK surgery can easily opt to get an RLE procedure done instead.

The Success Rate of Refractive Lens Exchange Surgery & How Safe Is It?

Assured to be a highly accurate and effective procedure, the refractive lens surgery has a success rate ranging between 90 – 95 % with the majority of patients achieving the satisfaction of significant vision improvement with little to no need for the use of any eyewear post-surgery.

The above also depends on the patient’s individual eye health as well as the type of IOLs used, and the after-surgery care done correctly as advised by the eye doctor. In most cases, refractive lens surgery is direct and safe, thus promising a successful result afterward.

An additional perk many appreciate through choosing refractive lens surgery is the fact that you would not need to worry about cataracts in the future nor fear losing corrective effect anytime.

How is Refractive Lens Exchange Surgery Performed?

Similar to cataract surgery, refractive lens surgery is where the natural lens would be replaced with an IOL, with the only difference being that in the former, the natural lens is cloudy thus requiring the replacement of the lens, and the later is to improve the vision over the refractive error it struggles with.

Just like how you will undergo a cataract eye exam to determine the condition, before deciding on refractive lens exchange surgery, you will first be assessed thoroughly with an eye examination by an eye doctor. After diagnosis, you will then discuss your surgical options, in which if RLE is the selected procedure, you will also have to look through the type of IOLs that best suit you and understand the possible risks involved in refractive lens surgery.

As this surgery is treated as an outpatient procedure, you can expect to get done with it as quickly as less than an hour on each side, and another thirty minutes to an hour of observation before you can leave for home.

The surgery begins with you receiving numbing eye drops to numb the surface of the eye. If you feel anxious, a relaxant can also be provided to keep you calm throughout the procedure. Next, the eye doctor would proceed to create an incision using a laser beam followed by the process of breaking the natural lens into pieces and its removal (phacoemulsification).

Now, the new IOL is ready to be placed through the same incision and positioned accurately within your lens capsule (the thin membrane that holds your lens). The incision made earlier will be so small that it will seal shut on its own. Lastly, a shield will be taped across the eye to protect it as it heals. Do take note that it isn’t advisable to drive right after the procedure, hence arrange a pick up after the appointment and give your eye the rest it needs for speedy recovery.

Side Effects, Recovery Period and Risks of Reflective Lens Surgery – Is It Safe?

No surgery in the world can dodge the risks or side effects post-surgery. However, one could understand the possibilities to work around minimising them instead. In refractive lens exchange surgery, the common side effect reported during recovery is the shadow or a shimmering arc of light in the peripheral vision, and halos or glare around lights, especially when driving at night.

Some also complained of eye irritations and dry eyes for at least the first few days to a week. Not to worry though, these symptoms naturally subside as the eye recovers post-surgery, with supporting data of success rate assuring that refractive lens surgery is safe.

The more serious risks in refractive lens surgery that concern many would be the possibility of retina detachment, posterior capsular rupture and posterior capsular opacification that may occur during the surgery or due to improper care post-surgery leading to infections and inflammations, which is usually the case. Hence, be sure to follow through with your eye doctor’s prescription along with their advice to ensure smooth recovery and avoid any complications.

Having read all the above, we are pretty sure that you already grasp a clear view of the whats and hows of refractive lens surgery. There’s no denying that this procedure has transformed the lives of countless individuals, liberating them from the confines of glasses or contacts. Its success rates, combined with the rapid recovery and minimal discomfort, make it a beacon of hope for those seeking long-term vision correction.


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