Refractive Lens Exchange in San Antonio, TX

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About Refractive Lens Exchange

Our seasoned ocular surgeons, Dr. Allison Young and Dr. Jana Waters, have years of extensive training in performing refractive lens exchange (RLE). This procedure is also known as clear lens extraction (CLE) and is reserved for patients who have presbyopia (age-related vision loss) or high hyperopia (severe farsightedness). RLE carefully removes the eye's natural lens and replaces it with an artificial lens known as an intraocular implant (IOL). The placement of an IOL is a simple process and enables sharper focusing power for the eye. Reach out to Stone Oak Ophthalmology Center in San Antonio, TX to schedule a private consultation with one of our skilled eye surgeons to learn more.

Best Candidates

The best candidates for RLE are typically over the age of 50 with severe age-related vision loss or farsightedness. Candidates may also have astigmatism or are experiencing early signs of cataracts. RLE surgery is recommended when patients have an inadequate corneal thickness, which is necessary for LASIK correction surgery. At Stone Oak Ophthalmology Center, we offer several ocular lenses (IOL) to choose from, including premium, multifocal, and toric. Prior to any treatment, our team will perform a full eye exam to determine if RLE is the best option for your unique vision needs and which IOL is ideal for your overall ocular health. 

What To Expect

Refractive lens exchange is considered an outpatient procedure and is generally completed in 15 minutes. At the start of surgery, your eyes will be numbed and a sedative will be used to help keep you relaxed during the procedure. Advanced ocular technology is then used to make a small incision in the cornea to remove the eye's natural lens. Once the lens is removed, the artificial lens will be placed and the incision will be left alone to heal on its own. The incision typically heals very quickly and is so tiny that it does not require sutures. Many patients report noticeable vision improvement within just a few days.


If both eyes need treatment, two surgeries will be needed, spaced about one week apart in order to treat one eye at a time. As you heal, you may experience vision disturbances, such as blurry vision, halos, glare, and the sensation like something is in your eye. These symptoms are normal and generally improve over time. Most patients are able to return to work and other activities within about a week, but this may vary, depending on your healing progress. Optimal adjustment may take 6 – 12 weeks. Follow-up appointments will be scheduled accordingly so we can monitor your progression.

long-term clear vision

Refractive lens exchange is a cutting-edge procedure that offers great improvement for patients with mild or early signs of cataracts, age-related vision loss, and farsightedness. If you have noticed changes in your vision, and glasses or contacts aren't providing enough strength, RLE may be right for you. Contact Stone Oak Ophthalmology Center in San Antonio, TX to set up a consultation today.

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*Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary from person to person. Images may contain models.