Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE), also known as Custom Lens Replacement (CLR), provides a precise and long-lasting remedy for vision changes brought on by aging in your natural lens. Patients who have had RLE say it is like turning back the clock, giving you a more youthful field of vision, while preventing cataracts in the future.

Refractive Lens Exchange is becoming increasingly popular among individuals who want to restore and improve their eyesight without using contact lenses or glasses and prevent the need for cataract surgery. Brinton Vision is dedicated to changing lives through the gift of improved vision. Our goal is to help you see the world more clearly. Call our office at (314) 375-2020 to schedule a consultation today and see if you’re a candidate for any 1 of our 7 procedures.

What is Refractive Lens Exchange?

A Refractive Lens Exchange procedure is also referred to as a custom lens replacement, and the procedures are exactly the same. During a Custom Lens Replacement procedure or RLE, the eye’s natural lens is replaced with an artificial intraocular lens (IOL) to correct vision loss. This loss can be due to nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, presbyopia, or cataracts. Not only is vision greatly improved, but the positive changes are lasting.

RLE technology (also known as CLR) is being utilized effectively all around the globe and is currently the most efficient and safe it has been. With RLE, vision correction patients gain a degree of visual freedom they have never known before. Many patients choose to get RLE before cataracts even have a chance to form. You don’t have to allow poor eyesight to prevent you from living the life you have always desired. Brinton Vision is here to help you improve your vision quality and give you the freedom to see life more clearly.

See if RLE can bring you visual freedom.

More FAQs about Refractive Lens Exchange

Is Refractive Lens Exchange a cure for presbyopia?

Presbyopia affects more than 100 million adults in America. Presbyopia happens with or without nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism and is a natural part of aging. Presbyopia makes it difficult to read, do paperwork, or work on a computer screen. Many people turn to reading glasses to deal with presbyopia but quickly become frustrated with the constant struggle to see things close up.

Presbyopia can be permanently cured by Refractive Lens Exchange. Near and distance vision are corrected with a custom lens implant that utilizes a multifocal lens. RLE, or CLR, can be done to one or both eyes, but presbyopia is best treated by replacing both lenses. Our highly trained staff at Brinton Vision would be happy to help you determine if RLE is the best procedure for you. Call our office to schedule your Brinton Vision Ocular Analysis to determine if you would be a good candidate for RLE.

Can Refractive Lens Exchange help with Dysfunctional Lens Syndrome?

DLS is gradual loss of vision of the natural lens inside your eye and is known as Dysfunctional Lens Syndrome. When you are born, your natural lens is transparent and flexible. The transparency allows light to travel through your eye without glare, light dispersion, or blurred vision. Its adaptability enables the lens to shift focus and form so that you can view both far-off and up-close things. Since the day you were born, your lens has slowly become less flexible and more cloudy.

DLS can be cured with the Refractive Lens Exchange surgical procedure. The new intraocular lens is transparent, allowing light to travel through, giving you clear vision. Modern intraocular lens implants might be toric (correcting astigmatism), multifocal, or accommodating implants to help with some focusing. Many patients with accommodating or multifocal implants do not use glasses for close-up or far-off vision. Custom Lens Replacement is one of the wonders of contemporary medicine, since it can treat many of the effects of DLS.

How long does a Refractive Lens Exchange take?

RLE is a 15 minute procedure per eye that lasts a lifetime. Brinton Vision aims to give patients visual independence after undergoing RLE surgery. On the day of your RLE procedure, patients can expect to be in the office for about two to three hours.

To provide Dr. Brinton with the most accurate assessment of your vision possible, we will run some of the same tests performed during your Brinton Vision Ocular Analysis before starting. The majority of your time spent here on the day of surgery is getting you ready and answering any last-minute questions you might have. You are only in actual surgery for about 15-30 minutes.

How long does Refractive Lens Exchange last?

The intraocular lenses used during a Refractive Lens Exchange (custom lens replacement) will last a lifetime. An intraocular lens does not break down over time and never needs to be replaced. Patients can help protect their IOLs by following their surgeon’s post-surgery instructions carefully.

What is the difference between a Refractive Lens Exchange and a custom lens replacement procedure?

Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE) and Custom Lens Replacement surgery (CLR) are two different terms for the same procedure. Refractive Lens Exchange refers to the process of removing the eye’s natural lens used to refract light and replacing it with an artificial lens. Custom Lens Replacement refers to the replacing the natural lenses themselves and matching the new lens to each eye’s unique needs.

See if Custom Lens Replacement is a good fit for your vision.

Is Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE) surgery painful?

RLE is a painless and safe procedure. The patient will undergo local anesthesia before the procedure to ensure they won’t feel any discomfort. Patients often feel minor temporary discomfort as the anesthetic wears off. It is typical for patients to have slight discomfort or itching around the eye in the days after a lens replacement procedure, but this usually recedes within a few days. In most cases, over-the-counter medications are more than enough to treat any discomfort the patient may feel.

Are you awake during lens replacement surgery?

You will be awake during your RLE surgery and Dr. Brinton will guide you through the entire procedure. The Brinton Vision staff will ensure you are relaxed and comfortable the entire time you are in our office, before, during, and after your procedure.

When can I exercise after Refractive Lens Exchange?

The day following surgery, you’ll be able to go about your normal, everyday activities. To allow your eyes time to adjust following the procedure, we recommend that you start mild activity three days after treatment and full exercise one week after treatment. One week after treatment, you may resume swimming, but we advise wearing goggles to protect your eyes from the chlorine’s stinging effects. You may swim without any limitations after four weeks.

Is Refractive Lens Exchange surgery the same as cataract surgery?

Modern cataract surgery and RLE are the same procedure. In both procedures, a synthetic lens is implanted into the eye via a small incision to replace the natural lens.

The sole distinction between the two is that RLE is performed to lessen reliance on glasses or contact lenses. In contrast, cataract surgery is mostly performed to correct blur or light dispersion produced by a cloudy natural lens.

Will I need glasses after Refractive Lens Exchange?

Your decision to continue wearing glasses full-time, part-time (like reading glasses), or no glasses at all depends on various factors. These considerations include the overall health of the eye, the degree of astigmatism, your current prescription for glasses, the kind of IOL chosen, and your visual needs.

Regardless of the lens you choose, you may still need to wear glasses occasionally. However, with the right IOLs, you can significantly improve your vision, reducing or eliminating your need for glasses. With the help of an experienced eye surgeon, you can choose the IOL that most closely matches your visual requirements and way of life.

At Brinton Vision, we believe that living without glasses or contacts makes it simpler to experience each moment as it happens. We want you to live without the limitations of glasses or contacts to be able to experience everything life offers, and we would love to meet you to find out if Custom Lens Replacement can be the right solution to help you do just that. Many patients who are not candidates for laser vision correction or other types of refractive surgery are often recommended for Refractive Lens Exchange. Give our office a call today to schedule your Brinton Vision Ocular Analysis to find out if CLR is the right solution for you.


Dr. Jason P. Brinton is an internationally recognized specialist in the field of LASIK and refractive surgery. He is a graduate of Harvard College, earned his medical doctorate from the Harvard Medical School and is board certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology.