Refractive lens exchange

The best option for the correction of high refractive errors that cannot be treated by laser eye surgery. The eye’s natural lens is replaced with an artificial intraocular lens. The intraocular lens does not cause allergies or ‘rejection’, does not require special care or maintenance nor does it affect aesthetics or natural vision.

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 Treatment

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.

The Best Candidate

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

The Benefits

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 and Risks

Visual recovery

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

Potential 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.

Make an appointment now

Dr. Appiotti performs laser eye surgery in state-of-the-art eye clinics such as Vista Vision in Milan or Verona. To make an appointment and determine whether you are a good candidate for the laser treatment available for your vision problem, please contact our number

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