Refractive Lens Exchange

What is Refractive Lens Exchange?

As we age, the natural crystalline lens inside the eye loses its ability to focus on close objects resulting in a condition called presbyopia. If this cannot be corrected with laser vision correction, then the natural lens can be replaced with an Advanced Technology Lens to help see clearer and reduce the need to wear glasses or contact lenses. Once you have had refractive lens exchange, you will not develop a cataract later in life.

RLE can also be combined with laser vision correction to correct any residual refractive error using a procedure called bioptics.

What is the difference between RLE and cataract surgery?

Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE) is identical to modern cataract surgery. Both operations involve replacing the natural lens with a synthetic lens implanted through a tiny incision in the eye.

The only difference is that cataract surgery is performed mainly to correct blur or light scatter caused by a misty natural lens whereas RLE is performed to reduce the dependence on glasses or contact lenses.

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Refractive lens exchange helps you see clearer and prevents the development of cataracts.

Mr Tariq Ayoub, consultant ophthalmologist and founder of Oculase – The Eye Clinic, offers expert care through every step of your eye health journey. He has received Specialist Certification in Refractive Surgery (Cert-LRS) from the Royal College of Ophthalmologists.

Put your eye health into the hands of experts. Book a consultation today to get started.


    If you are over 45 years of age and have a glasses prescription higher than the normal range for laser eye surgery

    The surgery is generally pain free as anaesthesia in the form of drops is used during the surgery to numb the eye.

    Yes you have the option of having both eyes done on the same day. Mr. Ayoub will discuss this option with you during the consultation

    Use of a Trifocal Advance Technology Lens generally reduces the dependence on glasses or contact lens. During your consultation, Mr. Ayoub will discuss the various lens options available to you and advice you on the suitability of each lens for your eye.

    • Severe infection or bleeding that can permanently affect your vision
    • Raised intraocular pressure
    • Retinal tear/detachment

    Generally most people are ready to return to work/general day-to-day activities 3 days after surgery. However, heavy lifting and strenuous activity should be avoided for 2 weeks after surgery.

    Mr. Ayoub will discuss your personal circumstances with you during your consultation.

    Driving can be resumed when the legal standard is met, typically one week after surgery. Mr. Ayoub will discuss your personal circumstances with you during your consultation.

    The alternatives to RLE are Laser Vision Correction and ICL surgery.

0330 128 1616

Our clinic sites are regulated by
The Care Quality Commission (CQC)

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