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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Guide prices are available here. It is important to note that these prices are just a guide and treatment costs will vary according to your unique needs. The full pricing options will be discussed with you during your initial consultation. 

We’d be delighted if you wanted to arrange a consultation with us. Please call the Helpline on 0800 917 4922 for free and professional advice or submit a contact form here for more information.

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