A refractive laser lens exchange corrects nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism with a 5-minute laser procedure by replacing the eye’s natural lens, which has the wrong power, with an intraocular lens (IOL) implant that has the correct power for the eye. A refractive lens exchange is a laser procedure that uses the identical technology as the highly successful advanced laser cataract surgery. Please see Laser Cataract Surgery for more details on this laser procedure, as well as Dr. Mendelsohn’s 30-year pioneer work in advanced laser surgery.
LASIK and PRK are two alternative procedures for those who want to reduce or eliminate their dependence on glasses or contacts. Both of these vision correction procedures change the focusing power of the cornea. A difficulty arises in everyone in our 40’s and beyond focusing for near vision, such as reading and performing deskwork/paperwork (presbyopia). These presbyopic symptoms also occur in those who have had LASIK or PRK, necessitating the use of glasses for near vision and eventually intermediate vision, despite having had these procedures to avoid wearing glasses. In the past decade, the performance of laser cataract surgery, correcting for astigmatism when present, combined with the insertion of a multifocal IOL in both eyes has been a boon for all recipients, especially those with incredible visual demands. These multifocal lens implants will focus light from distance, intermediate, and near simultaneously, thereby addressing all the focal lengths, enabling the recipient to be hopefully glasses-free, or at least far less dependent on glasses. Visual outcomes with these multifocal IOLs is far superior to any of the monofocal options. With refractive lens exchange, when a multifocal lens implant is utilized, this dependence on glasses for up close is eliminated or markedly reduced. This is a major advantage for refractive laser lens exchange versus alternative procedures.
Cataracts are a part of the normal aging process with everyone developing cataracts, just as everyone develops gray hair. People who have a refractive laser lens exchange will not have to have cataract surgery in the future. However, those with LASIK or PRK will eventually require laser cataract surgery down the road, thereby necessitating a second surgical procedure per eye. This is a second major advantage of having refractive laser lens exchange instead of having LASIK or PRK.
Problems with refractive laser lens exchange are extremely rare. Dr. Mendelsohn and his staff are vigilant and meticulous at avoiding complications. This 5-minute laser procedure is a safe, effective and permanent procedure, but like any surgical procedure, it does have some risks. Going to preeminent eye surgeon like Alan Mendelsohn, M.D., F.A.C.S. can significantly reduce the risks involved with refractive laser lens exchange.