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Refractive Lens Exchange



Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE) is a surgical procedure that uses the same successful techniques of modern cataract surgery. These surgical techniques have improved dramatically over the last 20 years. Cataract surgery is now the most common surgical procedure performed in medicine today.

The main difference between standard cataract surgery and RLE is that cataract surgery removes a patient's cloudy natural lens that is obstructing their vision, while RLE removes the same lens of the eye which is clear (not cloudy) to minimize a person's dependence on bifocal glasses or contact lenses.

RLE is for those who:

  • Want to be less dependent on bifocals, reading glassrs or contacts.          
  • Are outside the corrective range of LASIK and other refractive procedures.
  • May have early mild cataracts not yet interfering with vision.
  • Have healthy eyes.

Cataracts are a part of the normal aging process and if a person lives long enough, chances are they will develop cataracts. People who have RLE now will not ever need cataract surgery. RLE corrects vision by replacing the eye's natural lens, which has the wrong focusing power, with an artificial monofocal (one focusing distance) or multifocal (multiple focusing distances) intra-ocular lens (IOL) such as the ReSTOR, Tecnis Multifocal, Symfony. These IOL's have the correct focusing power for the eye. Having a multifocal lens implant creates a new "visual system" inside the eye, one that can provide the focusing power to see near, intermediate and far images with little to no need for glasses. Monofocal lenses on the other hand, provide clear vision at only one point of focus.

Call 888-841-EYES to set up a free consultation with one of our doctors to see if you are a candidate for RLE. We look forward to seeing you!

Contact Us

Contact us with any questions for your upcoming vision appointment, surgery or if you have general questions about our services. Please call 888-841-EYES (3537)


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Office Locations

  • Birmingham
  • 3928 Montclair Road
  • Suite 100
  • Birmingham , AL
  • 35213
  • Map & Directions
  • Call: 888-841-EYES
  • Hoover
  • 7191 Cahaba Valley Road
  • Suite 203
  • Hoover, AL
  • 35242
  • Map & Directions
  • Call: (205) 991-2021