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Refractive Lens Exchange

Eliminate the need for glasses or contact lenses. Improve your near-sightedness or farsightedness. 

What is Refractive Lens Exchange?

Refractive lens exchange (RLE), also known as lens replacement surgery, is a common procedure which involves replacing the natural lens inside the eye with a synthetic implant called an intraocular lens. It is performed to correct short-sightedness, long-sightedness and astigmatism to reduce the need for glasses or contact lenses.

What are Refractive errors?

Refractive errors include near-sightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia), or presbyopia. Unlike cataract surgery, RLE is not necessarily addressing a clouded lens; instead, it is performed to improve overall vision and reduce the need for glasses or contact lenses.

Refractive Lens Exchange is also sometimes called:
- Clear Lens Extraction
- PRELEX means Presbyopic Lens Exchange

Lens Exchange is an alternative to LASIK, and PRK laser refractive surgery. The eyes of some patients are not suitable for laser refractive surgery. This may be because of the age of the patient and the fact that they already have some early ageing changes in the natural lens of the eye indicative of early cataract formation. Also as people get into their 5th decade they tend to lose the ability to read without glasses and therefore there may be less reason to preserve the natural lens in favour of a corneal based treatment. One other reason is that the degree of short or longsightedness is too large to be safely or effectively corrected using a laser procedure depending on the individual characteristics of the person's cornea.  In these situations Lens Exchange may be a preferable alternative.Lens Exchange involves a surgical procedure on the eye that is very similar to a small incision cataract operation. It therefore uses tried and tested techniques and technologies. The natural lens is replaced with a lens that can correct both near and distance vision. There are multiple different types of lens that can be discussed at your consultation.


If you are interested in any of the eye treatments we offer, or have any questions or comments, please fill out and our contact form. You can reach Professor James Myerscough’s secretary by phone, email or filling out the contact form on this page.

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