PRELEX Questions & Answers
What does PRELEX stand for?
PRELEX is an acronym for presbyopic lens exchange, which means exchanging a patient’s incorrectly powered natural lens for a correctly powered multi-focal lens implant.
What is presbyopia and how does PRELEX help patients with this condition?
Presbyopia is the inevitable condition in which the lens of the eye becomes increasing inflexible as you age. After your mid-40’s, you have a difficult time focusing on close-up objects. The onset of presbyopia has traditionally meant that you are relegated to wearing reading glasses for clear vision. What’s more, even those individuals who've had laser vision correction before age 40 will eventually become presbyopic and need reading glasses to restore their full range of sight. PRELEX offers a solution by replacing the natural lens of the eye with a multi-focal lens––offering you clearer vision at all distances with little or no dependence on traditional or progressive bifocal glasses.
What are the benefits of a multi-focal IOL or lens implant?
Exciting advances in lens implant technology now allow patients to choose multi-focal lens implants to correct their vision. Monofocal lens implants provide excellent vision at one point, usually distance. Multi-focal lens implants has several “rings” that provide a range of clearer vision at near, intermediate and distance, thereby allowing you to perform most daily activities with less or no dependence on traditional or progressive bifocals. If you choose to have PRELEX, our surgeons will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of multi-focal lenses prior to the procedure.
What is the procedure like?
PRELEX, like today’s technologically advanced cataract procedure, is performed on an outpatient basis at the Montgomery Eye Surgery Center and takes only a few minutes. The primary difference between cataract surgery and PRELEX is that cataract surgery is performed to remove a patient’s cloudy lens and PRELEX is done to reduce a person’s dependence on glasses or contact lenses.
On the day of surgery you will receive a local anesthetic for the eye. During the procedure, the surgeon removes the eye’s natural lens through a micro-incision (less than 3 mm or 1/8-inch), breaking it apart with ultrasonic vibrations and gently suctioning it from the eye. The natural lens is replaced with a foldable intraocular lens, which is inserted through the micro-incision. It is then unfolded and placed into permanent position. Because of the design of the incision and its small size, it seals itself and no stitches are usually required. Patients go home soon after the procedure to relax for the rest of the day, and most resume their normal activities within a day or two. Your surgeon will study how your first eye adapts after the procedure, and will use that information to determine how to provide maximum benefit when the procedure is performed on the second eye. PRELEX is usually performed on the second eye a week after the first procedure.
How successful is PRELEX?
Dr. John Swan, corneal and refractive surgeon at Montgomery Eye Physicians, reports that his PRELEX patients have been very happy with their results. Everyone heals somewhat differently, but many patients report improvement in their vision almost immediately. Here is what just one of his patients, Roxanna Lunsford, had to say about this procedure:
“I'm just thrilled with it! I could see well immediately. I can read; I can see well at a distance... and they said I'd never have cataracts. I highly recommend both Dr. Swan and Dr. Setzer and this procedure. It is the best thing that has come along for a 64-year-old woman. It really is just wonderful!”
Can PRELEX work for nearsightedness or astigmatism?
PRELEX is generally not the procedure of choice for nearsightedness or astigmatism by itself. A complete examination would determine your individual expected outcome and the refractive procedure that would best fit your prescription. If you have astigmatism coupled with farsightedness, the surgeon can usually correct the astigmatism on the day of your PRELEX procedure by placing miniature incisions around the edge of the cornea––a procedure called LRI, or limbal relaxing incisions.
How can I find out if I am a candidate?
While we can provide general information in this forum, the only way to definitely determine if you are a candidate for the procedure is through a complimentary PRELEX screening with Dr. John Swan, corneal and refractive surgeon, and Dr. Fred Setzer, Director of Refractive Surgery at Montgomery Eye Physicians. They will discuss the procedure with you at length, determine your candidacy and give you an idea of your expected outcome.
How safe is the procedure?
PRELEX uses a new technology with a proven procedure. Millions of eyes have received lens implants for other conditions using the same surgical techniques required for PRELEX. The risks are minimal but present; you will be given additional information covering these risks and potential complications that will help you make an informed decision. All surgery involves risk, and only you can determine if the benefits of having this or any procedure outweigh the risks.
How much does PRELEX cost?
The cost for PRELEX at Montgomery Eye Physicians is $2,250 per eye. Although the procedure is generally not covered by insurance (unless it involves a cataract), this global fee includes all post-operative visits and pre-operative medications. Like LASIK, PRELEX can be financed using Vision Fee Plan, offering monthly payments for as low as $100 with no money down. Apply now! Click on the button below to go to the Vision Fee Plan application page.