RLE in Los Angeles

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Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE) is the next frontier in vision correction where the near vision that has degraded with age is restored while, at the same time, correcting the distant vision.

The advances in diagnostic devices such as biometric eye scanners and ORA enable highly detailed and precise surgical planning. The advances in surgical equipment, such as Luxor Microscope, phacoemulsification ultrasound devices, and laser technology, allow fast, safe, and comfortable surgical process. Finally, the smart lenses (multifocal IOLs) closely simulate the natural human lens functions, allowing the eye to focus at almost all distances.

RLE represents a culmination of more than 50 years of eye surgery. If you are older than 40 years old and need glasses for either near or far, you may be a RLE candidate. Call for a free consultation at CCRS and see what you have been missing.

A Vision for a

Unlike laser vision correction, RLE is designed to last for a lifetime. The smart lens’ ability to focus at both far and near means that your vision will be clear at almost all distances even as you become older. Furthermore, as the aging lens is replaced with a smart lens, a cataract does not form. RLE may be the last eye surgery that you will need in your lifetime.

Accurate and

With the tremendous advances in diagnostic and surgical technologies, a procedure once reserved to treat vision loss from cataracts has become an elective procedure to restore youthful vision. No more glasses to read, see the computer, and drive is now possible here at CCRS.

Come and experience this visual rejuvenation, which is nothing short of a miracle.

Safe and Gentle with
Fast recovery

The procedure usually takes less than 15 minutes and is performed in the office without general anesthesia. A mild oral sedative is used to relax you, and the eye is made numb with drops. You can stay comfortable in your clothes with the recovery, usually occurring overnight. RLE is an effective procedure that can restore your youthful vision.


Bladeless Wavefront

Small Incision Lenticule
Extraction (SMILE)

Implantable Collamer
Lens (EVO ICL)

Refractive Cataract

Refractive Lens
Exchange (RLE)


Keratectomy (PRK)

Corneal Collagen
Cross-Linking (CXL)


View all FAQ

Anyone who has developed near vision difficulty as result of aging or anyone over the age of 40 who wants to rid of glasses can be a good candidate for RLE surgery. Corneal procedures such as LASIK, can only correct vision at one distance, either far or near. As a consequence, if you undergo LASIK after the age of 40 to correct your distance vision, you will still need reading glasses. This phenomenon is called presbyopia in which an older eye corrected for distance has difficulty seeing up close. The age at which presbyopia occurs varies with typical onset around 45 years old. Most people by the time they reach 50 years of age will need reading glasses. In RLE surgery, through usage of advanced technology smart lenses, Dr. Lee can correct far vision and restore near vision at the same time.

In both procedures, a person’s natural lens is exchanged with an artificial lens. In cataract surgery, the natural lens that has become cloudy due to age is removed, and an artificial lens is placed in its place. In RLE, the same procedure is done to correct vision both for far and near by using an advanced technology “smart” lens. Since the natural lens is removed, a patient following RLE will never develop a cataract.

Yes, RLE is a very safe surgery. The process of RLE surgery is exactly the same as that of cataract surgery. Cataract surgery is the most commonly done eye surgery with a history dating back almost 50 years. The advances in RLE and cataract surgery equipment have made these procedures not only safe but highly accurate and effective. Furthermore, the surgery and recovery time have been shortened dramatically to where most patients can resume normal activities the day after a 15 minute procedure. However as there are risks with any surgery, you should consult with your doctor to see if RLE is a good procedure for you.

The most serious concern for immediate sequential bilateral RLE and cataract surgery is the risk for infection. However, numerous studies have shown that when proper steps are taken, the risk is extremely rare. We offer same-day bilateral surgery to our patients solely for their convenience. If a patient has any concerns, we recommend getting the surgery done on separate days. Furthermore, a patient can elect to stop after first eye even though the surgery was scheduled as a bilateral procedure. Related articles: pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30119786, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28438415

RLE surgery is remarkable in that it not only corrects far and near vision, but its effect can potentially last one’s lifetime. This permanency is because in RLE surgery, the part of the eye that changes with age, namely the natural lens, is replaced with a durable artificial smart lens. As the lens ages, a change in prescription and cloudiness begins to develop. Thus, replacing this natural aging lens corrects vision while eliminating the aging effect of the natural lens. RLE surgery may be the last eye surgery a patient may need in his lifetime.

There have been revolutionary advances in the technology of the lenses used in RLE surgery, where we now aim to restore great vision at all distances. The advent of multifocal smart lenses has made this concept, once considered unattainable, a reality. PanOptix trifocal lens is such a multifocal lens that is highly effective in this endeavor. By splitting the incoming light and allocating it strategically to different parts of the lens, it can focus at various distances. Now, vision correction with restoration of youthful vision is a reality.

There are mainly three different types of smart lenses used to restore youthful vision. They are EDOF (Extended Depth of Focus), multifocal, and accommodating. The examples of lenses in these categories are Symfony for EDOF, PanOptix for multifocal, and Crystalens for accommodating. Recently, another class of lenses that utilizes the wavefront property to give a greater range received FDA approval. It is called Vivity lens.

You can ask Dr. Lee which lens may best address your visual needs.

No, RLE does not change the color nor the shape of the eye.