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To determine the prevalence of refractive lens exchange (RLE) for presbyopia among ophthalmologists who perform refractive surgery and to assess the willingness of these ophthalmologists to recommend RLE to immediate family members.
A validated 32-question Global Survey on refractive lens exchange in refractive surgeons was sent by e-mail to 500 ophthalmologists randomly selected from two databases. 250 surgeons were chosen from one database of over 2,500 ophthalmologists who had reported outcomes after laser vision correction, and a second database of over 3,800 ophthalmologists who had reported outcomes after premium lens surgery, at some point in the past 10 years. Respondents were excluded from the study if they indicated they were not refractive surgeons or no longer practicing refractive surgery. Responses were solicited by e-mail, with subsequent telephone reminders to non-responders.
Initial results (n = 204) demonstrated that 89% of surveyed surgeons are currently performing RLE. 23% indicated that they would undergo lens replacement for presbyopia correction in the absence of a cataract, 11% reported that they had already undergone a lens procedure for presbyopia, 32% reported that they have recommended RLE to immediate family members, and 19% reported immediate family members have had RLE.
RLE is still perceived as controversial and its prevalence rate among refractive surgeons is unknown. This is the first report to show that ophthalmologists performing refractive surgery are more likely to have RLE themselves, to recommend RLE to family members, and to have family members undergo RLE than the general population.