Refractive Lens Exchange Specialist

Eduardo Besser, MD

Ophthalmologist & Eye Surgeon located in Culver City, CA

Refractive lens exchange gives most patients a chance to retire their eyeglasses by implanting a new lens that corrects refractive vision problems. Dr. Eduardo Besser has extensive experience using advanced technology to perform laser refractive lens exchange safely. To learn whether you’re a good candidate for lens replacement, call Dr. Besser’s office in the heart of Culver City, California, or schedule an eye examination online.

Refractive Lens Exchange Q & A

What is refractive lens exchange?

Refractive lens exchange, or lens replacement surgery, is an elective procedure used to correct refractive errors and produce sharper vision by removing a non-cataractous natural lens and replacing it with a synthetic intraocular lens (IOL). The same type of surgery is safely and commonly performed in patients with cataracts to remove a cloudy lens and replace it with a clear one.

During lens replacement surgery, the new IOL is specially chosen to correct each patient’s refractive error. As a result, eyeglasses are no longer necessary, or the need for reading glasses is reduced.

What types of refractive errors are corrected with lens replacement?

Refractive lens exchange may be performed at the patient’s request as elective surgery or used as primary treatment for those who aren’t candidates for other refractive procedures such as LASIK.

Refractive errors treated with clear lens replacement include:

  • Myopia: nearsightedness, or inability to see objects in the distance
  • Hyperopia: farsightedness, or inability to see close objects
  • Presbyopia: age-related loss of close-up vision
  • Astigmatism: irregular focus that may affect near and distant objects

What types of intraocular lenses are implanted?

Most intraocular lenses are made of silicone or acrylic that’s coated with a material to help protect the eyes from harmful ultraviolet lights, which is one of the functions normally performed by the natural lens. The types of IOLs available include:

Monofocal fixed-focus IOL

A monofocal IOL provides clear vision at distant, intermediate, or near range, but it can only correct one, not all three, at one time. For instance, patients may correct distance vision but still need reading glasses.

Multifocal IOL

This lens provides clear vision at multiple distances by incorporating different powers into various zones of the lens. They’re often used to provide freedom from eyeglasses.

Toric IOL

A toric IOL incorporates different powers in specific meridians of the lens to correct the different refractive errors associated with astigmatism.

Accommodative IOL

A type of monofocal lens that corrects vision at different distances by moving its position or changing shape inside your eye.

How is refractive lens exchange performed?

Dr. Besser specializes in refractive lens exchange using laser surgery. The procedure begins with imaging to map the eye; then a state-of-the-art femtosecond laser achieves sharply focused micro-incisions that are cut to a precise depth and shape. These micro-incisions are self-sealing.

After Dr. Besser gently removes the natural lens, he places the IOL into the lens capsule, which holds the IOL in place.