Lens replacement, also known as Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE), is a surgery which can help you achieve freedom from glasses.
You could be suitable for lens replacement if you are:
- 50 years or over (although exceptions to this may be considered depending on individual circumstances)
- Have a spectacle prescription for distance or near vision, or both
- wish to become less reliant on their glasses or contact lenses
- want to be free from glasses and contact lenses
With lens replacement, we remove the eye’s natural lens and replace it with a clear plastic lens. The procedure is very similar to cataract surgery except we perform the surgery before a cataract develops.
The lens implant that we insert into the eye can be chosen from a variety of types and will be chosen based on your requirements and the examination findings at the consultation.
- With lens replacement, we can achieve a choice of visual outcomes using a variety of lens implants. We can correct your vision for distance alone, or for distance, middle and near vision.
- Lens replacement prevents cataracts from developing in the future. This is because the eye’s natural lens has already been removed and replaced with a lens implant.
Lens replacement is a very safe procedure. However, like all types of surgery, lens replacement carries some risk. These risks are usually 1% or less, and the vast majority of patients are very happy with the results of their surgery.
Lens replacement allows for a choice of visual outcomes.
You will see in the distance but need to use glasses for middle and near tasks.
You will see in the distance and have some functional middle distance vision but will require glasses for finer middle distance vision and for near tasks.
Multifocal / Trifocal
You will see clearly in the distance, middle and near.
Multifocal – Extended Depth Of Focus (EDOF)
These lenses combine multifocal and EDOF technology.
Alternatives to lens replacement include:
- Laser correction with both eyes corrected for distance
- Laser correction with both eyes corrected for monovision
- Laser correction with both eyes corrected with a multifocal corneal ablation
We perform lens replacement with a local an anaesthetic applied in drop form to the eye. Overall the procedure takes around 15 to 20 minutes per eye.
The most common plan is to operate on one eye at a time. The second eye procedure often takes place one week following the first.
Lens replacement is done as an outpatient procedure, meaning you will have surgery and return home the same day to recover.
Step 1: We create a small self-sealing entry point in the front of the eye, where the cornea meets the white of the eye.
Step 2: We remove a thin circular disk from the membrane shielding the anterior (front) surface of the natural lens.
Step 3: We liquefy the eye’s natural lens and remove it from the lens capsule.
Step 4: We place the new artificial lens inside the eye.
Lens replacement is a very successful treatment both in terms of surgical safety and patient satisfaction.
The surgical risks are very low. However, we will discuss these with you in detail during the initial consultation.
The vast majority of patients are delighted with the results of their lens replacement surgery.