Refractive Lens Exchange

For LASIK patients who are not good candidates for traditional LASIK, another option is a refractive lens exchange with a multifocal or accommodating lens. Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE) is essentially cataract surgery but exclusively for refractive purposes, because the lens that is removed is not clouded with a cataract. RLE is sometimes called Clear Lens Exchange (CLE), Clear Lens Extraction (CLE), or Refractive Lens Replacement (RLR).

Refractive Lens Exchange Procedure Diagram

During the procedure, the natural lens of the eye is removed and replaced with a foldable implant. To achieve the best vision correction and widest range of vision, a multifocal lens such as the ReSTOR, or an accommodating lens such as the crystalens are recommended. These premium IOLs provide the broadest range of vision with less chance of patients requiring glasses, helping reduce the possibility of presbyopia.

RLE is particularly attractive for LASIK patients who have high refractive errors, thin corneas, dry eyes, cornea problems, or a combination of these conditions, which make traditional LASIK less appropriate. Also, if the exact desired refractive change is not achieved by the replacement lens, that IOL may be exchanged for a different power, or a cornea-based refractive surgery technique, such as LASIK, PRK or Epi-LASIK may be used to fine-tune the correction. Finally, since RLE removes the natural lens, there is no possibility of developing cataracts in the future.

Because RLE is a procedure that involves both the equivalent of cataract surgery and the possibility of refractive surgery, it is important to look for a surgeon such as Dr. Harry Koster, who has both extensive cataract experience and extensive cornea-based refractive surgery experience. Nonetheless, as with any surgical procedure, there are inherent risks, and a patient’s results cannot be guaranteed.

Which LASIK Implant Option is Right for Me?

At your consultation, the doctors and staff at NY Vision Group will review your options and help identify which procedures best suit you, based on your lifestyle and your visual needs. If cost is an issue, we offer several financing options and will work with you as best we can to meet your vision goals.

Dr. Koster is a New York Multifocal IOL specialist who can help you select the lens that is right for you. If you are having trouble seeing clearly or feel that you may be experiencing cataracts please feel free to contact us directly.

For a second opinion regarding cataract surgery in New York please, do not hesitate to call us. We are happy to provide a thorough eye exam and offer you the best implant options in New York City.

Our Locations


37 Murray Street
Lower Level
New York, NY 10007

Phone: 212-243-2300
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Richmond Hill

119-15 Atlantic Avenue
Richmond Hill, NY 11418

Phone: 718-805-0700
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279 Wyckoff Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11237

Phone: 718-805-0700
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