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Timothy Denman, M.D.So you wanted to have LASIK to reduce or eliminate your need for glasses, but your doctor says you are not a good candidate. Fortunately, there are alternatives to LASIK. Your doctor can review these with you, and this post gives a brief overview.

Refractive lens exchange

One LASIK alternative is a procedure called refractive lens exchange, or RLE. It is exactly the same as cataract surgery, in which the natural lens of the eye is removed and replaced by an artificial lens (also called an intraocular lens or implant). The artificial lens is designed to reduce or eliminate your need for glasses or contacts. Millions of these procedures are done in the United States each year.

Advantages of refractive lens exchange over LASIK

RLE has several advantages over LASIK. Specifically, RLE:

  • Can treat more severe nearsightedness or farsightedness than LASIK
  • Can treat more severe astigmatism than LASIK
  • Gives better night vision than LASIK because it does not flatten the cornea
  • Can be done with multifocal lenses, which correct both distance and reading (near) vision

Of course, your eye surgeon will need to examine your eyes and determine if you are a candidate for refractive lens exchange. Not all patients qualify for this procedure.  The doctor can also discuss other aspects of this surgery with you.

How much does refractive lens exchange cost?

Refractive lens exchange is elective, so insurance does not cover the procedure. However, Oregon Eye Specialists offers financing that makes RLE very affordable.

More information on refractive lens exchange

Read more about refractive lens exchange

Make an appointment online, or call 503-935-5580

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Meet Timothy Denman, M.D.



About the Expert

Dr. Timothy Denman is an experienced cataract surgeon at OES, having performed more than 10,000 cataract and refractive procedures in his career. Some of his current focuses are advanced intraocular lens surgery and multifocal and toric intraocular lenses – he cares for his patients and stays at the cusp of cataract surgery innovations to serve their needs. Learn more about Dr. Timothy Denman »
Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE) vs LASIK | What Procedure is Right for You?

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