Refractive Lens Exchange & Intraocular Lens Implants

  • Three types of lens implant surgery available.
  • Refractive Lensectomy/Lens Exchange (RLE): Natural lens is replaced by an artificial lens.
  • Phakic Intraocular Lens (IOL): Intraocular lens inserted into eye without removing natural lens.
  • 15 – 30 minutes long surgery with local anaesthetic and a sedative.
  • Risks and benefits discussed at your consultation.

Some individuals with very high levels of refractive error and / or thin corneas may not be suited to laser refractive surgery. However, that does not mean we cannot assist you to be free of glasses or contact lenses. After consultation with our ophthalmologist you may be recommended an intraocular lens implant.

Our highly experienced team can carry out three types of lens implant surgery at WA Laser Eye Centre: Refractive Lensectomy, also known as Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE), Phakic Intraocular Lens (IOL) insertion, and Implantable Contact Lens (ICL) surgery.

Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE) Eye Surgery

A Refractive Lens Exchange, or Refractive Lensectomy, is a type of vision correction surgery, the procedure being very similar to cataract surgery. The natural (crystalline) lens is removed, and an artificial intraocular lens of the required power is inserted in the eye. Multifocal or trifocal lenses surgery may be recommended to correct mid-range, distance and reading problems.

Phakic Intraocular Lens Implants

The Phakic Intraocular Lens (PIOL) procedure is used to correct vision in those who are not suitable candidates for corneal-based or RLE eye surgery. Phakic IOL is an intraocular lens that is inserted into the eye without removing the natural lens (crystalline lens). This means that the eye benefits from the combined action of the natural lens and the implanted IOL to correct the vision. Recovery is rapid and most individuals can see more clearly the following day.

Implantable Collamer Lens

The Implantable Collamer Lens (ICL) is similar to the Phakic IOL, but is placed behind the iris, adjacent to the natural lens. The ICL remains in place indefinitely, but can be replaced or removed should the vision change enough over time. It provides exceptional quality of vision, and is generally recommended for those persons who either have high refractive errors, or do not have the required corneal thickness to undergo LASIK surgery. Rapid recovery, and a simple outpatient procedure make this a highly rewarding vision correction option.

What Types of Intraocular Lenses are Used?

At WA Laser Eye Centre, there are a few different types of intraocular lenses we use for these procedures. Your ophthalmologist will discuss the IOL best suited to your needs during the consultation.

  • Monofocal lenses – Provides vision correction at a single distance, usually for seeing far away.
  • Multifocal lenses – The Panoptix Multifocal IOL and Symfony IOL offers vision correction at multiple distances.
  • Trifocal lenses – For trifocal lenses surgery, the PanOptix Trifocal IOL addresses near, mid and distance vision.
  • Toric lenses – The PanOptix Toric lens is designed to address astigmatism.

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Day of Your Procedure

Lens implant surgery is performed as a day patient at a private day surgery facility. The surgery typically takes between 15 – 30 minutes using local anaesthetic and a sedative to help relax you. After the procedure you will need someone to drive you home and you will be asked to rest for the remainder of the day.

An appointment will be scheduled to see the surgeon the following day and you will be asked to use eye drops to assist the eye to heal. Visual recovery is usually rapid with some activities limited until the eye is completely healed.

As with any surgery there are inherent risks. These risks and benefits will be discussed with you at your consultation to assist you with your decision. For more information about RLE eye surgery or Phakic Intraocular Lens implants, or to schedule your appointment please contact us.

Watch a Live Cataract Surgery

See the precision and expertise behind cataract surgery with our procedure video. The footage takes you through the steps of a cataract surgery performed by our experienced Principal Surgeon Dr Robert Paul, offering a closer look at the techniques used to restore vision at WA Laser Eye Centre.