Refractive Lens Exchange

As we age, the lens in the eye can deteriorate leading to myopia (short sight) or hyperopia (long sight). RLE surgery aims to reduce the need for glasses or contact lenses by replacing the eyes natural lens. In essence RLE is like building your glasses or contact lenses into your eyes. Refractive Lens Exchange enjoys very high success rates- according The Royal College of Ophthalmologists, around 4 in 5 patients are completely free of visual aid following surgery.

"From my initial enquiry right through to undergoing surgery I was both impressed and reassured that I was in safe hands with Mr Hamada and his team. I would absolutely recommend."
A McIndoe Centre Patient

What Does This Surgery Involve?

Refractive Lens Exchange is when the natural lens is removed from your eye and replaced with a lens implant that permanently corrects your focus. The operation is performed under a local anaesthetic, and takes about 20 minutes.

What Are The Benefits Of This Surgery?

The implants mean that you can never develop cataracts after this procedure. Implants can correct both near and distance vision and astigmatism. Your surgeon will advise on the best lens for your eyes, you can read more about the different lenses available below.

As RLE is designed to make you less dependent on glasses and contact lenses, the surgery makes living an active lifestyle much easier- many describe the surgery as life-changing.

Your surgeon will only carry out RLE surgery on one eye at a time, but you would be able to have surgery on the second eye the week after.

Lens Options

With modern surgical techniques, it is possible to tailor the lens to the patient’s level of short sight or long sight and lifestyle. The lenses available are as follows:

  • Multifocal lens – contain two or more lens powers to enable you to see at all distances
  • Trifocal lens – these lenses have three regions which correct the distance, intermediate and near vision
  • Toric lens – a lens with different optical power and focus length in two orientations that are perpendicular to each other.

Paul Banwell

"Quote from Consultant."

Paul Banwell BSc MB BS FRCS (Eng) FRCS (Plast)
Consultant Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon

Recovery After Surgery

You can go home straight after the operation and you should be able to resume light activities within a few days. You will have eye drops to use after surgery.

What Are The Possible Complications Of This Surgery?

As with all surgical procedures, there is an element of risk. At The McIndoe Centre, we do everything we can to minimise risk of complications. Your surgeon will talk to you about any possible specific complications before you decide to have your operation. Your consultant will discuss all the benefits and risks of the operation with you in full before you decide to proceed.

How to Find Us

See directions from our most popular locations: London, Tunbridge Wells, Reigate, Redhill, Haywards Heath, Horsham, Dorking.

For more information, we would be delighted if you wanted to arrange a consultation with us. You can call the Helpline on 01342 488054 for free and professional advice.

This article was written by The McIndoe Centre, in collaboration with Samer Hamada MD, MSc, DO(hons), FRCSEd, FRCOphth Consultant Ophthalmic, Corneal and Refractive Surgeon. All information, advice and procedures were updated on 17th September 2019.