What can you expect on RLE surgery day?

Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE) surgery performed by our surgeon, Dr. Nunnery, is conducted at The Surgery Center at Edgewater just 20 minutes from our South Charlotte office. Up until the day of your surgery, all of your appointments will have been at our Providence Eye & Laser Specialists office. On the day of your surgery, you will be going to The Surgery Center at Edgewater. You will return back to our Providence Eye office for all of your post-operative visits.

Note: we only perform refractive lens exchange on one eye at a time. Surgery on your second eye will be planned 2-4 weeks after your first eye.

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Planning for Refractive Lens Exchange

Dr. Nunnery and his team will provide you with clear, written pre-operative and post-operative instructions prior to your refractive lens exchange procedure. For your planning purposes, we ask the following:

  • When you get dressed please wear your normal clothing. We do recommend layering in case you get warm or cold so that you can adjust accordingly.
  • Please make sure you have someone who will be driving you.
  • You should remember to eat the night before but no food or drink after midnight before your surgery. You may have clear liquids including black coffee.

Upon arrival at The Surgery Center at Edgewater, you will be greeted by their friendly professional staff. Dr. Nunnery will already be there preparing for your surgery in the treatment room.

  • To help you relax and prepare for your procedure we ask that you arrive 1 hour prior to your surgery time.
  • You will check-in and complete the necessary paperwork.
  • You will remain awake but comfortably sedated during the quick procedure.
  • Numbing eye drops will be placed into your eyes and will keep you comfortable during the procedure. When the time is right, you will be escorted into our surgical suite. Dr. Nunnery will talk you through every step of the process.
  • The first step may involve Dr. Nunnery making a corneal incision based on your previous decision to have traditional cataract surgery or laser-assisted cataract surgery.
  • Through your corneal incision, the lens is gently fragmented so it can be easily removed.
  • With the lens out of the eye, it will be replaced with the Intraocular Lens (IOL) you have chosen. (Dr. Nunnery will have already discussed your options well before surgery so that you have your ideal vision after surgery.)
  • With the lens securely in place, your procedure will be complete. There is no need for stitches to close the incision; it will heal naturally.
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Upon completion of your RLE surgery:

  • You will rest in the recovery room for 10-20 minutes prior to going home.
  • You will have a clear plastic shield taped over your eye to prevent you from accidentally rubbing your eye.
  • The person who brought you will be asked to bring you home where you should rest for the remainder of the day.
  • Almost everyone experiences some level of burning, tearing, and light sensitivity. This may be barely noticeable or quite bothersome. It should only last 4-5 hours after you leave the surgery center.
  • Although you should see well the day after the procedure, expect your vision to be a bit hazy for 1 to 2 weeks.
  • It takes 1 to 3 months on average for your vision to stabilize, this is normal.

All of our patients are provided with clear, detailed written post-operative instructions. These will be reviewed with you and should be shared with any caregivers or family members who will be assisting you.

Schedule Your Personalized Vision Analysis

Learn if refractive lens exchange is right for you. Call 704-540-9595 or complete the short form below to schedule your vision analysis.

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We look forward to getting to know you and assisting with your seeing more and living better!

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