Refractive lens exchange

This surgical technique is recommended for the treatment of severe vision problems.

A real chance to correct serious visual impairments

Refractive lens exchange is a surgical technique that allows to correct serious vision disorders that cannot be treated with laser eye surgery. It works by replacing the natural crystalline lens with an artificial one (intraocular lens) through a cutting-edge technique known as “phacoemulsification”: the surgeon makes a tiny incision, smaller than 2 mm, and uses an ultrasonic probe to break up the crystalline lens and remove it. Then, an artificial lens (IOL) is implanted into the empty capsular bag through the same incision. A variety of IOLs with different shape, size and power are available depending on the visual impairment and eye structure.
Intraocular lenses do not cause allergic reactions or “rejection” and do not require maintenance; on the contrary, they become a permanent part of your eye and do not alter your outer appearance or natural vision.

The Refractive lens exchange technique

The Refractive lens exchange technique


Not every refractive surgeon can perform refractive lens exchange surgery, as previous experience in cataract surgery is essential for this operation to be successful.

Refractive lens exchange surgery is recommended to remove cataracts and correct severe myopia and hyperopia.
Dr. Angelo Appiotti, with over 30 years of experience, uses state-of-the-art techniques in the laser and surgical treatment of vision problems in patients and professional athletes, and is an authority in the field of refractive surgery in Europe.

Good candidates for surgery


⦁ people over 45
• myopia> 15-20 dioptres
• hyperopia> 6-7 dioptres
• early-stage cataracts
• presbyopia



If you have thin cornea, replacing the crystalline lens could be the best option; however, it is the only option for patients who suffer from severe visual impairments.
What is more, if the refractive result is not achieved with the crystalline lens replacement, the artificial lens (IOL) may be replaced with another one of different power or vision can be improved with light excimer laser treatment.
Last but not least, since your natural lens is removed and cataracts cannot form on the artificial lens, this treatment should be permanent.

Visual recovery

Visual recovery


Recovery from refractive lens exchange surgery is almost immediate and usually takes about a week.

Possible side effects and complications


Lens replacement surgery is more invasive than excimer laser refractive surgery and, unlike laser surgery, may cause infections. One of the most common complications (that can arise after a few months or years) is the opacification (PCO) of the posterior capsule containing the artificial lens (also known as secondary cataract).
In such cases, the problem can be solved permanently and painlessly using YAG laser, which removes the cloudy part of the lens capsule in a matter of seconds.

Eye clinics

Dr. Appiotti visits patients and performs refractive surgery operations in selected eye clinics in Milan, Verona, and Modena, which are renowned for their state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment and laser technologies.

Contact us


If you are interested in booking a visit with Dr. Appiotti to determine if you are eligible for laser surgery, please contact the toll-free number


Alternatively, you may send your request through the contact form. We will answer promptly in a polite and professional manner.