Relative size of lens
Relative size of lens

PRELEX, Presbyopic Lens Exchange

Although LASIK has proven itself in recent years as a viable treatment for nearsighted patients, people with moderate to high hyperopia (farsightedness) have not had a good surgical option available.

Now, the surgeons at Montgomery Eye Physicians (MEP) are successfully using the "tried and true" technology of modern cataract surgery––but for a new reason: the correction of farsightedness.

Called "PRELEX," or presbyopic lens exchange, the procedure involves dissolving the patient's natural clear lens and replacing it with an intraocular lens implant (IOL) of the correct power. Specifically, PRELEX involves the use of a multi-focal lens implant––the Array lens––which allows people to see at all ranges––distance, intermediate and near––with decreased dependence on both reading and distance glasses.

"In refractive surgery, we can change the power of the lens or the power of the cornea to correct vision," explained John Swan, M.D., corneal and refractive surgeon at MEP.  LASIK changes the power of the cornea, a method that has proven to be the best surgical option for nearsightedness, in which the power of the eye is too strong.

"In farsightedness, however, the power of the eye is too weak; the laser can increase the power, but only to a limited degree. Patients have been treated with PRELEX even for high degrees of farsightedness," continued Dr. Swan. "There is not really a set limit as to who can have the procedure. The only limitation is the availability of the correct power of the lens implant and moderate to high astigmatism."

Like cataract surgery, PRELEX is a brief outpatient procedure performed at the Montgomery Eye Surgery Center. The risks are standard to any intraocular eye surgery, Dr. Swan said.  If  you are interested in learning if you're a candidate for the procedure, click here for a free screening.

Like LASIK, PRELEX is not covered by insurance but can be financed.