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Presbyopic Lens Exchange (PRELEX)

As technology and medical science continue to advance, innovative methods for vision correction have emerged to address various eye conditions. One such procedure is PRELEX (Presbyopic Lens Exchange), a cutting-edge eye surgery that offers a revolutionary approach to correcting presbyopia and reducing dependence on reading glasses or bifocals. In this article, we will explore the ins and outs of PRELEX eye surgery, its benefits, risks, candidacy, and what to expect during and after the procedure.

Understanding PRELEX Eye Surgery

PRELEX is a specialized vision correction procedure designed to treat presbyopia, an age-related condition that affects the eye’s ability to focus on nearby objects due to the loss of elasticity in the eye’s natural lens. Unlike traditional LASIK or PRK, which reshape the cornea, PRELEX involves the replacement of the natural lens with an artificial intraocular lens (IOL). This advanced lens provides a greater range of focus, improving both distance and near vision.

PRELEX uses the same successful techniques of modern cataract surgery. These surgical techniques have evolved and improved dramatically over the last 20 years. Cataract surgery is now the most common surgical procedure performed in medicine today. 

The main difference between standard cataract surgery and PRELEX is that cataract surgery is primarily performed to remove a patient’s cataract that is obstructing and clouding their vision, while PRELEX is performed to minimize a person’s dependence on glasses or contact lenses.

The PRELEX Procedure

The PRELEX procedure is typically an outpatient surgery that takes around 15-20 minutes per eye. It is often performed one eye at a time to minimize potential risks and allow for clearer communication between the patient and surgeon during the process. Here is a step-by-step overview of the surgery:

  1. Comprehensive Eye Examination – Prior to the procedure, the ophthalmologist performs a thorough eye examination to assess the patient’s eye health, vision prescription, and overall suitability for PRELEX.
  2. Lens Selection – During the pre-operative consultation, the patient and surgeon discuss the various types of premium intraocular lenses available, considering factors like lifestyle, visual preferences, and the desired level of spectacle independence.
  3. Anesthesia – Before the surgery begins, eye drops are used to numb the eye, and in some cases, a mild sedative may be administered to ensure patient comfort.
  4. Lens Removal – Through a small incision in the cornea, the surgeon removes the eye’s natural lens using an ultrasonic device called a phacoemulsification probe.
  5. IOL Implantation – Once the natural lens is removed, the selected premium intraocular lens is carefully inserted into the eye. The artificial lens unfolds and remains in place, requiring no stitches.
  6. Recovery – Patients are usually allowed to go home shortly after the procedure. Some discomfort and blurry vision may be experienced during the initial recovery period.
 

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Candidate Suitability for PRELEX

Ideal candidates for PRELEX eye surgery generally meet the following criteria:

  • Age 45 or older with presbyopia or age-related vision issues.
  • Good overall eye health, with no existing eye diseases or conditions that may interfere with surgery.
  • Stable vision prescription for at least one year.
  • Realistic expectations about the outcome of the procedure.
  • Willingness to follow pre and post-operative instructions.
 

Benefits of PRELEX

  • Corrects Presbyopia: PRELEX effectively treats presbyopia, enabling patients to focus on nearby objects without the need for reading glasses or bifocals.
  • Improved Vision: With premium intraocular lenses, patients often experience improved contrast sensitivity and reduced glare compared to their natural lenses.
  • Long-Lasting Results: The implanted intraocular lens is permanent and provides lasting results, meaning patients can enjoy improved vision for the rest of their lives.
  • Versatility: PRELEX can be customized to address other refractive errors, such as myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism, if present.
  • Minimal Maintenance: Unlike contact lenses, IOLs do not require regular cleaning or replacement.
 

Potential Risks and Complications

While PRELEX is considered safe and successful for many patients, there are some potential risks and complications to be aware of, including:

  • Infection: As with any surgical procedure, there is a small risk of infection.
  • Posterior Capsule Opacification: Some patients may experience a clouding of the posterior capsule of the eye over time, which can be treated with a simple laser procedure.
  • Visual Disturbances: Some patients may experience halos, glare, or starbursts around lights, especially at night.
  • Undercorrection or Overcorrection: In some cases, the implanted lens may not provide the desired level of vision correction, requiring further enhancement procedures.
 

Postoperative Recovery and Follow-up

Following PRELEX surgery, patients are advised to avoid strenuous activities for a few days.. It’s crucial to use prescribed eye drops to prevent infection and facilitate healing. Most patients can resume normal daily activities within a week or so after the procedure. Regular follow-up appointments with the ophthalmologist are essential to monitor healing progress and address any concerns.

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Types of Intraocular Lenses (IOLs) Used in Prelex

There are different types of intraocular lenses used in Prelex eye surgery, each offering distinct advantages and addressing specific visual needs. The ophthalmologist will help the patient select the most suitable IOL based on their lifestyle and visual requirements. Here are some common types of IOLs used in Prelex:

  1. Monofocal IOLs: Monofocal IOLs are designed to provide clear vision at a fixed distance, typically either for distance vision or near vision. Patients may choose to have one eye corrected for distance vision and the other for near vision (monovision) to achieve a greater range of focus without glasses.
  2. Multifocal IOLs: Multifocal IOLs offer multiple focal points, providing a broader range of vision. They can correct both distance and near vision simultaneously, reducing the need for reading glasses or bifocals after surgery.
  3. Accommodating IOLs: These lenses are designed to mimic the eye’s natural focusing ability. They can move slightly within the eye in response to changes in the muscles, allowing patients to focus on objects at different distances.
  4. Toric IOLs: Toric IOLs are specifically designed to correct astigmatism, a common refractive error that causes distorted or blurred vision due to the irregular shape of the cornea. These lenses provide astigmatism correction, reducing the dependence on glasses for both near and distance vision.
 

Comparison of Prelex Vision Correction with Other Vision Correction Procedures

  1. LASIK and PRK: LASIK and PRK are popular laser eye surgery procedures that reshape the cornea to correct refractive errors like myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism. While LASIK and PRK primarily address distance vision, they do not treat presbyopia. However, combining Prelex with LASIK or PRK (Blended Vision) can offer both distance and near vision correction, making it an attractive option for those with presbyopia.
  2. Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE): RLE is a procedure similar to Prelex but is typically recommended for patients with significant refractive errors who are not yet affected by presbyopia. RLE involves removing the natural lens and replacing it with an IOL, providing clear vision at all distances. Prelex, on the other hand, is specifically tailored to treat presbyopia and improve near vision.
  3. Is PRELEX a better alternative than Lasik? 

Laser procedures such as LASIK get rid of contacts and glasses by correcting your distance vision only. This may be adequate for patients in their 20’s and 30’s who can still read up close without glasses. Once a patient can no longer read without glasses (Presbyopia), PRELEX becomes the better option because it corrects vision for distance, intermediate, and near using premium lens implants. 

PRELEX also removes your natural lens at the time of surgery. This means that you will never develop cataracts in later life! 

What if you can still read without reading glasses? 

Depending on your age and prescription, after LASIK, you may lose your ability to read up close or end up needing reading glasses much sooner. So PRELEX may still be the better procedure for you!

PRELEX Eye Surgery cost in Vietnam

The cost of PRELEX Eye Surgery in Vietnam can vary based on several factors, including the choice of intraocular lens (IOL), the specific eye clinic or hospital, the experience of the surgeon, and the region within Vietnam. Generally, PRELEX surgery costs in Vietnam are competitive and often more affordable compared to many Western countries, making it an attractive option for those seeking high-quality vision correction at a reasonable price. To get accurate and up-to-date information about the cost of PRELEX Eye Surgery in Vietnam, it’s recommended to reach out directly to reputable eye clinics or hospitals, as they can provide detailed insights into the procedure’s cost, potential additional fees, financing options, and the comprehensive care offered.

PRELEX eye surgery represents a remarkable advancement in vision correction, providing patients with an opportunity to restore their near and distance vision without the need for glasses or contact lenses. While the procedure offers significant benefits, it’s crucial for potential candidates to consult with a qualified ophthalmologist to determine their eligibility and understand the potential risks and rewards. As technology continues to evolve, PRELEX remains a beacon of hope for those seeking a clear and vibrant view of the world, unburdened by presbyopia’s limitations.