Custom Lens Replacement (CLR - RLE) Minneapolis

Custom Lens Replacement is a leading-edge vision correction procedure designed for patients aged 40+ in Minneapolis. This procedure is also referred to as CLR, Clear Lens Replacement, Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE), or Presbyopia Lens Exchange (PRELEX).

As we age, presbyopia sets in, making it necessary for many to start needing reading glasses. CLR can correct both nearsightedness and farsightedness for patients in Minneapolis, St. Paul, or anywhere in the surrounding Twin Cities area.

Join the thousands of patients who have experienced visual freedom with a CLR vision correction procedure from refractive surgeon Dr. Ralph Chu.

Amy Jo Custom Lens Replacement RLE patient Minneapolis


I was legally blind and had to wear special-order contacts. I have bad eye allergies and was miserable. I researched three practices, and Dr. Chu had the best reviews and experience by far. I went from legally blind to seeing 20/20. It was literally a miracle.

Benefits of CLR Vision Correction with Chu Vision

  • Corrects both nearsightedness and farsightedness

  • Can allow an adjustable focus both near and far for a customizable treatment option

  • Prevents the development of cataracts

  • Improved nighttime vision

  • Improves vision without constant reliance on glasses and readers

  • Proven safety and results

Schedule your life-changing experience now!

See if you are a CLR candidate.

Find out if CLR is for you right now.

Why Chu Vision for Your CLR Procedure?

  • You’ll be in experienced hands because Dr. Chu has performed thousands of CLR procedures.
  • Access to a wide range of lens options for your CLR procedure.
  • The FDA has selected Chu Vision to participate in over 100 clinical trials.
  • You’ll get unrushed time with Dr. Chu before, during, and at your follow-up
  • Dr. Chu is the go-to expert in for local and national TV interviews.
  • You’ll feel calm and encouraged because of our team’s cheerful bedside manner.


World-renowned ophthalmologist and eye surgeon Dr. Ralph Chu and his remarkable team of eye doctors are delighted to provide Custom Lens Replacement (CLR/RLE) for patients in Minneapolis and the surrounding suburbs. CLR surgery is highly similar to cataract surgery in that the natural lens of the eye is removed and replaced with a medical-grade artificial intraocular lens, or IOL, to correct or dramatically reduce a certain type of refractive error and allow for sharp vision at varying ranges. A multifocal IOL can improve near, intermediate, and far-distance vision. CLR can be an excellent treatment option for most patients who live with extremely high degrees of myopia (nearsightedness) or hyperopia (farsightedness) and who might not be ideal candidates for laser vision correction or other surgical procedures. Another exciting bonus to this refractive surgery is that your new lens will never develop a cataract like your natural lens can, eliminating the need for future cataract surgery. If you are tired of wearing contact lenses or glasses and want to see clearly without them, a custom lens replacement might be right for you. Call or visit Chu Vision Institute to schedule your initial consultation and learn if CLR is the best choice for you.


Generally, Custom Lens Replacement, also known as refractive lens exchange, is most beneficial for patients with severe levels of myopia or hyperopia that aren’t able to be addressed using laser vision correction procedures. A CLR procedure may also be performed for people whose corneas are insufficiently thick for LASIK surgery or other popular types of laser eye surgery. Most good candidates for CLR are over 40 years old, because CLR can help correct presbyopia (which is why CLR is sometimes called PRELEX, or Presbyopia Lens Exchange). In the days after your first consultation at Chu Vision Institute to see if you’re a good candidate for CLR, Dr. Chu will identify the optimal kind of artificial intraocular lens for your unique vision needs. Your IOLs will then be individually custom-made.

Chu Vision Institute performs custom lens replacement as an outpatient surgery that generally takes around 15 minutes. It is the same procedure as cataract surgery, but the only difference is it is performed before a patient develops cataracts. Before we begin your CLR surgical procedure, our team will apply stingless eye drops to desensitize the eyes and add a mild sedative to ensure your comfort. Dr. Chu will then make a tiny opening in the corneal tissue and use laser or ultrasound technology to safely disintegrate the natural lens and suction it away. Next, he will place the customized lens in the eye through the existing, almost microscopic opening, which will self-seal without the need for stitches within a week.


After the custom lens replacement is complete and the numbing eye drops start to wear off, you may experience a bit of mild discomfort. This should only last about 48 hours and can be addressed with over-the-counter analgesics. Most patients who get CLR begin to experience their new improved vision in as little as 1 – 4 days and can greatly decrease or do away with their use of glasses. Over the course of the initial 4 – 12 weeks, you may experience a few instances of hazy vision, glare, and dry eyes off and on. These are considered standard aspects of the adjustment process and shouldn’t be any cause to worry. We will arrange a series of necessary follow-up visits with your eye doctor during the first few weeks after your procedure to check on your recovery progress.


Custom Lens Replacement at Chu Vision Institute is an advanced elective procedure that would truly improve your eyesight and reduce your need for corrective lenses or reading glasses, as well as your overall outlook on life. For people who may not be great candidates for LASIK laser eye surgery, SMILE, or PRK, CLR has the potential to reduce or erase the need for corrective lenses or contact lenses and the likelihood of future cataracts or the need for cataract surgery. Reach out to or visit our Minneapolis, MN office to set up your evaluation.


With my thick glasses, I sheltered myself. Since my procedure, my day-to-day has changed dramatically. My confidence has increased 10-fold. I am enjoying my life again. They treat you with respect, guide you, and you feel like a family member. My advice? Check to see if you are a candidate.

  • Read more patient transformation stories

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Common Questions About CLR

Can you have CLR surgery if you have thin corneas?

Lens replacement surgery, sometimes referred to as clear lens replacement, is another alternative to LASIK. CLR surgery replaces the natural lens and is a good option for those with thin corneas and farsightedness. The natural lens of the eye is replaced with an artificial intraocular lens during this procedure. Sharper vision is made possible by the improved lens. It’s possible for patients to stop using their reading glasses altogether. The procedure is comparable to cataract surgery except the natural lens is clear instead of clouded, as it is when a patient has cataracts.

Will I need distance glasses after CLR?

The custom IOL chosen can affect your visual outcome.

The vast majority of our CLR patients choose an Advanced Multifocal IOL. These lenses enable you to focus clearly at a variety of distances. In many cases, using a high-quality multifocal IOL will cause you to rely on glasses less following surgery, if not at all.

Using premium multifocal IOLs has additional advantages, such as:

  • Enhanced field of view
  • Improved eyesight in a variety of lighting situations
  • Improved capability for reading and other close-up tasks

Patients who choose a basic monofocal IOL will not be able to focus at varying distances. This means they will still need glasses for close-up work even if they can see well at a distance. We do both Monofocal and Multifocal IOL CLR procedures at Chu Vision. Dr. Chu will discuss your options with you.

Is CLR good for high myopia?

The treatment of very high levels of myopia (nearsightedness) involves the new method known as custom lens replacement (CLR), sometimes also called refractive lens exchange (RLE). Patients with high myopia who are presbyopic or on the verge of presbyopia are some of the best candidates for CLR.

Can I get Custom Lens Replacement after LASIK laser eye surgery?

If you’ve undergone laser eye surgery in the past, you may have lens replacement surgery. The natural lens within the eye is replaced during lens replacement surgery as opposed to laser eye surgery, which addresses the cornea. You can find out whether you are a good candidate for CLR by scheduling a consultation with our experienced team at Chu Vision Institute.

What is the difference between LASIK and Custom Lens Replacement (RLE)?

Both LASIK and CLR are very successful, safe treatments that provide positive outcomes. However, you could benefit more from one procedure than the other, depending on your circumstances. Taking into account your general health, your visual requirements, and other aspects, the Chu Vision Institute eye doctors will give recommendations as to which procedure is best for you. If your eyes are healthy and can endure corneal reshaping, LASIK surgery can be preferable. The majority of CLR procedures are carried out on people who were not LASIK candidates. LASIK involves reshaping the cornea to improve vision and does not enter the inside of the eye. CLR, on the other hand, replaces the natural lens of the eye with an artificial intraocular lens to provide patients with clear vision and better visual acuity.

Does Custom Lens Replacment correct astigmatism?

Numerous refractive errors, including astigmatism, presbyopia, nearsightedness, and farsightedness, may be treated by Custom Lens Replacement surgery. Premium IOLs can be used to treat astigmatism, and multifocal IOLs to enhance vision at all distances—near, intermediate, and far. Multifocal IOLs have received FDA clearance, and there are IOL choices available that can concurrently treat presbyopia and astigmatism. Your eligibility for different IOL alternatives will be determined by a thorough, dilated exam with an ophthalmologist.

Is Custom Lens Replacement permanent?

The changes are permanent after the intraocular lenses have been implanted and the CLR procedure is complete. These lenses can neither grow nor alter like the normal lens of the eye since they are made of specialized medical-grade acrylic. The lens is meant to be a permanent solution for the eyesight issues that were there previously. The patient’s eyesight can become better, sharper, and more focused after the lens implantation.