When establishing the need to choose between LASIK and Refractive surgery it is common in cases where the patient’s glasses/contacts prescription is significantly high, that the appropriate vision correction procedure to perform is RLE.
Refractive surgery is very similar to cataract surgery; however, as opposed to cataract surgery, no cataract is present. In cataract surgery, the opacified lens is removed and replaced by an artificial intraocular lens implant. In fact, such a lens implant is chosen to specifically correct the patient’s refractive problem, be it astigmatism, hyperopia, or myopia. When performing RLE, the clear lens (not opacified one, since there is no cataract) is removed and an artificial intraocular lens implant is placed, thereby completely correcting the underlying refractive error of the patient’s eye. Essentially, RLE acts as if you are placing a permanent contact lens INSIDE the eye. Since this is a 5 minute procedure, there is minimal swelling, pain, and inflammation postoperatively, and the vision will be significantly improved within hours.
Refractive surgery is a superior procedure to LASIK in patients whose refractive errors are severe and high. With LASIK, there are particular parameters to the procedure, such as the amount of the prescription that can be corrected. With RLE, any prescription can be corrected since the lens implants can be made and ordered to perfectly fit the patient’s eye. With either procedure, though, most people are highly satisfied even if they have to wear thinner glasses afterwards.
As always it is best to contact your Ophthalmologist for their best recommendations and advice.