Refractive Lens Exchange

Refractive lens exchange (RLE) is a vision correction option for patients who are frustrated by presbyopia, hyperopia (long-sightedness), myopia (Short-sightedness) or their dependence on contact lenses and glasses.

It is also known by other terms such as Lens Replacement surgery,  Clear Lens Exchange, Natural Lens Replacement (NLR), and Presbyopia Lens Exchange (PRELEX).

It involves replacing the natural lens inside the eye with a state of the art lens implant. There are a variety of different lens implant options available, and the option best suited for you will largely be determined by the health of your eyes and your vision correction needs.

Suitability for Refractive Lens Exchange

Generally, those over the age of 50 with any level of hyperopia (farsighted), and 55 with any level of myopia (shortsighted) and/or astigmatism, may be suitable for Lens Replacement surgery.


Which lens is best?

Choosing the best implant for RLE depends on your eye’s conditions and your individual needs.

At your pre-operative appointment, Mr Voyatzis will discuss the available options with you.

The optimal lens choice and a clear plan of action will be decided based on your requirements and taking into consideration the findings of your detailed eye examination.

Between your initial consultation and your surgery there will be a period where your needs can be further explored to achieve the best possible result.


  • How long does the operation take?

How long does the operation take?

RLE is a day-case procedure. Usually both eyes are operated on on the same day.

The surgery itself usually takes 15 to 20 minutes per eye but you should expect to be in the hospital for 2 to 3 hours.

Does the procedure hurt?

No, this is a completely pain-free the procedure. Anaesthetic drops are used to completely numb the eye before the beginning of the procedure. Additionally, sedation can be given to keep you relaxed during the operation. There is also the option of a General Anaesthetic but it is very rarely necessary.

How long does it take to recover?

Your vision is likely to be better the following day, although it will continue to improve in the days following the operation. It is very important to understand though that the recovery time can vary significantly between individuals and even between the eyes of the same patient.

You may return to work when you feel able.

You may drive once you meet the DVLA standard but we would advise to only do so if you also feel safe to do so.

What are the risks?

Overall, RLE is very safe. Complications rarely occur, with a serious problem such as an infection or bleeding in the eye affecting approximately 1 in 1000 patients. 1 in 100 patients may require a second operation – this could include repositioning or exchange of the lens, clearing lens fragments from the back of the eye or repairing a retinal detachment.

How much does the RLE cost?

For prices and enquiries, please contact:

Miss Ines Ribeiro
+44 (0) 2074594045

Appointments and Enquires

To find out more about our services or book a consultation please use the contact form, or get in touch directly with:

+44 (0) 207 459 4045