Eye Center of Texas Blog

Refractive/Clear Lens Exchange vs. LASIK Surgery

Clear lens exchange vs. LASIK surgery — Is one better than the other? If so, why? And for whom? Both LASIK and clear lens exchange (also known as refractive lens exchange) have pros and cons that are determined by a patient’s vision correction needs.

Learn what helps doctors decide which procedure is best for you, and why some of the best LASIK surgeons in Texas recommend refractive clear lens exchange surgery.   

What is RLE? What is LASIK?

Before you get into the particulars of clear lens exchange vs. LASIK surgery, it’s wise to understand a little bit about the procedures.

Refractive lens exchange (RLE) is a procedure in which a doctor replaces your eye’s natural lens with a synthetic one. RLE helps treats refractive errors (errors caused by light entering your eye at the wrong angle due to eye shape) and presbyopia (the hardening of your eye’s natural lens).

LASIK is a procedure in which a doctor uses a laser to reshape your cornea and correct refractive errors. In order to reshape the cornea, your doctor must first create an incision, or a “corneal flap,” which is closed at the end of the surgery.

Clear lens exchange vs. LASIK surgery

The basic differences between clear lens exchange vs. LASIK surgery are:

  • Disorders treated:
    • RLE corrects for cataracts, presbyopia, and moderate to severe myopia
    • LASIK corrects for astigmatism, hyperopia, and mild/moderate myopia

  • Restrictions:
    • RLE patients have a higher chance of successful surgery if they do not suffer from retinal damage or corneal astigmatism
    • LASIK patients have a higher chance of successful surgery if they do not have thin corneas, eye disease, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, or autoimmune disorders

  • Procedure duration
    • RLE is an outpatient procedure that takes 20-30 minutes per eye
    • LASIK is an outpatient procedure that takes approximately 15 minutes per eye.

  • Recovery duration
    • RLE patients typically take off 2-7 days before returning to their normal routine (But when patients ask, “How long does it take to recover from lens replacement surgery?” the fact that it can take 6-12 weeks for your eyes to feel completely normal is often overlooked.)
    • LASIK patients typically take off 2-7 days before returning to their normal routine

Choosing clear lens exchange vs. LASIK surgery

Both LASIK and refractive lens exchange reviews are overwhelmingly positive. (You can check out refractive lens exchange reviews and cataract surgery lens reviews on our blog).

Ultimately, however, you and your doctor will need to meet with each other to discuss which option is best for you. Eye Center of Texas is here to answer any questions you may have regarding RLE or LASIK, including the questions, “How much does lens replacement cost?” and “Does LASIK hurt?

Whichever procedure “wins” in your refractive lens exchange vs. LASIK surgery debate, Eye Center of Texas will be there to give you the best RLE and the best LASIK in Houston. Give us a call at 713-797-1010 or request an appointment online at any of our six locations today.

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Our Locations

Houston

6565 W. Loop S. Suite 650

Bellaire, TX 77401

Medical Office: 713-797-1010

Medical Fax: 713-357-7276

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LASIK/ReSTOR Fax: 713-357-7278

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Pasadena, TX 77504

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Sugar Land, TX 77478

Medical Office: 281-277-1010

Medical Fax: 281-277-4504

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455 E. Medical Center Blvd., Suite 110

Webster, TX 77598

Medical Office: 281-332-1397

Medical Fax: 281-338-1215

Katy

Kingsland Medical Plaza 777 S. Fry Road Suite 102

Katy, TX 77450

Medical Office: 713-797-1010

Medical Fax: 713-357-7276

The Woodlands/Conroe

Park Place Professional Building 100 Medical Center Blvd Suite 118

Conroe, TX 77304

Medical Office: 713-797-1010

Medical Fax: 713-357-7276