Refractive Lens Exchange

PRELEX is a vision correction procedure that is different from laser procedures such as LASIK. It permanently allows patients to get rid of the need for glasses and contacts for both distance and near. PRELEX stands for Presbyopic Lens Exchange.

Why do I need reading glasses/bifocals?
During daily activities such as reading, writing, watching television or working at the computer, our eyes are constantly focusing on objects at a distance, up close, and in between. The ability to quickly change our focal point throughout our range of vision is called accommodation. The eye accomplishes this by moving the lens inside the eye small distances back and forth. As we age, our lens gets a little heavier until it becomes difficult for the eye to move the lens. This is called presbyopia. Many people will complain of “eye strain” or needing the “arm stretcher” to see clearly. Therefore, the more birthdays you have, the more dependent on bifocals or reading glasses for up close and intermediate work you become.

Cataract extraction is the most common surgical procedure performed in the United States each year. PRELEX uses the same highly successful surgical technique. In an outpatient setting, a 2.4 mm incision is made and the heavy natural lens is removed. The implant lens is then placed into the eye. No sutures are required. Think of it as lens replacement surgery.

Laser procedures such as LASIK are wonderful procedures. However, they alleviate the need for glasses and contacts at distance only. While this is ideal for patients in their 20's and 30's who can still read glasses free, it does not give those in reading glasses/bifocals the outcome they desire. With LASIK, they would still require reading glasses because it does not correct the heavy natural lens. PRELEX is the best option because it corrects vision for distance, intermediate, and near, by addressing the lens problem. This gives the recipient the best possible outcome. As an added benefit, you will never develop cataracts because your natural lens has been removed.

What lens is implanted?
The majority of the time our surgeons select the Panoptix, Vivity, or Synergy lenses. However, each procedure is customized to each patient’s needs.

What are the benefits?
Excellent vision at distance and up close is achieved in most cases. This is usually very stable over a lifetime. In addition should you select this procedure, you will never get a cataract. While the near vision is excellent in most cases, you will still require reading glasses for tasks like threading a needle.

To find out if PRELEX is the right surgery for your eyes, schedule a consult with the surgeons at The Eye Center by calling 803-256-0641.


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