Laser eye surgeries are the most common procedure for vision correction. The most popular laser eye surgery to have is LASIK. LASIK surgery is a procedure in which a specialized laser is used to precisely and carefully remove corneal tissue, reshaping the cornea to adjust its focusing power.

Another option for vision correction surgeries is RLE (Refractive Lens Exchange). RLE procedure is a type of surgery that replaces the natural eye lens with an artificial intraocular lens (IOL). Here, we will review the differences between LASIK and RLE and whether RLE can be performed after going through a LASIK procedure.

Overview of LASIK

LASIK is a procedure that reshapes the cornea to alter its focusing power. The laser used in LASIK creates a thin flap of tissues on the front layer of the cornea, which is then folded back before vaporizing small areas of the underlying tissue. By removing this tissue, your doctor can adjust your vision so you can see clearly.

Understanding RLE

On the other hand, Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE) is a medical procedure where the eye surgeon removes a person’s natural eye lens and replaces it with an intraocular lens (IOL). This procedure is done to lessen a person’s reliance on glasses and contacts, correct presbyopia, and is used as a preventative treatment for cataracts.

Can RLE Be Performed After LASIK?

rle laser eye surgery

Yes, if you’ve had LASIK in the past, you can still have RLE. But before taking this route, there are some things you want to take into consideration, such as:

Factors affecting the feasibility of RLE after LASIK

The doctor will consider your age when you had LASIK, your current age, the amount of corneal tissue removed during the LASIK procedure, and any prior eye surgeries to determine if it is safe and feasible for you to have RLE after LASIK.

Assessment of Corneal Thickness and Shape After LASIK

It is important to ensure you have a good corneal shape and enough tissue thickness for RLE. Your doctor will assess the cornea with scans and measurements.

Evaluating Refractive Stability Post-LASIK

Your doctor will also evaluate how stable your vision is post-LASIK. The stability of the refraction post-LASIK is an important factor in determining if it is safe and feasible for you to proceed with RLE after your LASIK procedure.

Potential Challenges and Limitations of RLE After LASIK

Once the doctor has evaluated all the factors and deemed it feasible to proceed with RLE after LASIK, you will want to know any potential challenges or limitations. Your doctor can explain these possible complications and how they can be prevented.

Patient Selection Criteria for RLE After LASIK

patient selection for rle

It is important to note that not everyone who has had LASIK can proceed with RLE. Your doctor will carefully review your medical history and other conditions before recommending this procedure. But to be a candidate for RLE, you will have to be:

  • To be a suitable candidate for RLE surgery, you must be at least 21.
  • You must also have healthy eyes with no history of eye illness, stable eyesight for the six months before your surgery, and steady vision overall. 
  • The greatest candidates for refractive lens exchange, according to many experts, are individuals who are moderate to severely farsighted and who are over 45 and have presbyopia. 

If you’re considering vision correction surgery, discussing your options with an experienced, certified eye surgeon such as the ones at Eye Care Professionals is important. Our team will work closely with you to evaluate your candidacy for any vision correction procedure.

Comprehensive Options with State-of-the-Art Procedures

LASIK and RLE are the most popular vision correction surgeries available today. Each can be used to correct different types of refractive errors, but they come with benefits and limitations. If you’ve had LASIK in the past and want to consider having RLE, you must consult a qualified ophthalmologist such as the ones at Eye Care Professionals in Reno, NV.

Our team of experienced ophthalmologists is trained in the latest surgical techniques and will work with you to determine the safest option. As the leading experts in LASIK eye surgery in Reno, we want you to have the best possible outcome and enjoy a clear vision for years. Schedule an appointment today, and let us help you have the best vision possible!