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LASIK vs Refractive Lens Exchange: Which is Right For Me?

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When you’re considering vision correction surgery, you may wonder if you’re a candidate for LASIK or Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE) surgery. At Wang Vision Institute, Dr. Ming Wang and Dr. Josh Frenkel can evaluate their patients at their Nashville, TN office to determine which vision correction surgery will suit their needs best. There are many factors that play into this important decision. Our vision professionals will examine your eye health to make the most informed decision for your eligibility for either surgery. The good news is that you don’t have to live with clouded, blurry, or foggy vision forever.

What is LASIK?

LASIK or laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis is an elective eye surgery used to reshape a cornea to correct refractive errors, which can include astigmatism, nearsightedness, or farsightedness. Surgery helps to reduce or, in many cases, eliminate the need for contact lenses or glasses. It may not be covered by insurance since it is considered elective. At Wang Vision Institute, our team can help determine if you have insurance coverage toward this procedure before you commit to it.

Who are the best LASIK eye surgery candidates?

There are some general requirements for LASIK eye surgery candidates in Nashville, TN. Candidates should be 18 or older and in good general health. Other requirements for candidates include:

  • Not taking any medication that compromises the immune system

  • Aren’t pregnant or nursing

  • Have a healthy cornea and proper cornea thickness

  • Have no active eye disease or disorder

  • Have at least 20/40 vision with prescription glasses or contacts

  • Have a stable eyeglass prescription (at least six months of no change)

Dr. Wang and Dr. Frenkel will conduct a thorough examination to make an informed decision on a candidate’s eligibility for surgery. Most patients with nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism can expect positive results from LASIK when they meet these specific requirements.

There is no set maximum age for LASIK; however, your overall eye health is closely evaluated. Those with glaucoma or cataracts aren’t eligible.

What happens during a LASIK eye evaluation?

At Wang Vision Institute, we ask our patients health questions during their visit to learn about your candidacy for eye surgery. We also will perform many tests. We will scan your eyes for measurements that will help Dr. Wang and Dr. Frenkel to determine your eligibility. Some tests that may be conducted during your consultation include:

  1. Dry eye testing: This helps us to evaluate if a pre-procedure of dry eye treatment is needed to prepare your eyes for surgery.

  2. Pupil testing: This evaluates how your reflexes react to light.

  3. Corneal topography: This maps the surface of your cornea. This pachymetry helps us measure your corneal thickness to see if you’re eligible for surgery.

  4. Keratometry: This evaluates both the shape and radius of your cornea.

  5. Wavefront analysis: This analysis measures how light bounces off the back of your eye.

What is Refractive Lens Exchange?

Refractive lens exchange surgery replaces your natural lens with an artificial intraocular lens or IOL. This is for patients who have changes in their vision due to aging. Lens replacement surgery is like cataract surgery. The only difference is that RLE replaces a clear lens rather than one that is cloudy because of a cataract. The types of artificial lenses available are the same, and the type chosen by Dr. Wang or Dr. Frenkel will depend on your eye health.

Refractive Lens Exchange Versus LASIK

When it comes to the differences between the two surgeries, Dr. Wang and Dr. Frenkel must closely evaluate a patient to determine the surgery that suits them best. LASIK is generally used for those with astigmatism, hyperopia, or mild myopia. While RLE is for those with moderate to severe hyperopia, presbyopia, and early cataracts. In terms of procedure time, RLE takes slightly longer, about 20 – 30 minutes per eye, while LASIK takes about 15 minutes each. Recovery time is about the same for both surgeries.

Learn more about LASIK and Refractive Lens Exchange during an eye evaluation

At Wang Vision Institute, we offer an evaluation visit to determine if you’re a candidate for each eye surgery. Our doctors will closely evaluate your eye health and discuss both surgeries to help you to make an informed decision. To learn more about LASIK or Refractive Lens Exchange, call our Nashville, TN office today to schedule a consultation.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.