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Refractive Lens Exchange | Cataract Surgery in London

Refractive lens exchange is a type of current visual correction surgery, which uses an ultrasound probe to remove the lens of the eye and replaces it with an artificial lens known as an intraocular lens to minimise the use of glasses and contact lenses.

How Much Does RLE surgery cost?

The cost of RLE in Central London can range anywhere from £2500 to ż4500 pounds per eye. This depends on the hospital where it’s done, the surgeon, the specific needs of a patient and the type of intra-ocular lens used.

Is RLE covered by insurance?

RLE surgery is an elective procedure and is not covered by most insurance companies. It is more expensive than laser vision correction because it must be performed in a surgical centre.

Is our any surgery safe?

RLE surgery is as safe as cataract surgery. There have been numerous studies that have proven that RLE is safe in a wide variety of patients. The possible complications are rare, and if they do occur, most can usually be treated successfully with medication or additional surgery.

What is the success rate of RLE?

RLE is comparable to cataract surgery in terms of success. It is a 15 to 20 minute procedure that it’s usually done on the local anaesthetic and can have success rates of 98 to 99%. There is no surgery that is completely risk free, and the risks of both cataract surgery and RLE can lead to permanent loss of vision which is very rare and typically has less than a 1% chance of occurring.

What can I expect after RLE?

In the majority of patients, they can resume driving and other normal daily activities within a week of the operation. It may take several weeks to experience complete visual correction. During this time, you may experience blurred vision, halos, glare and mild discomfort – most of which will settle with time

What is multi-focal RLE?

RLE multi-focal intra-ocular lenses aim to reduce spectacle dependence for a wider range of activities including intermediate vision (which is used for computer screens) and near (which is for close up reading).

What is the difference between LASIK and RLE?

Refractive lens exchange involves going inside the eye whereas LASIK does not. There is more healing time in RLE compared to LASIK and visual recovery takes a few more days in comparison. LASIK tends not to be performed in patients with cataract, those who are over 50 and those who are unsuitable for cataract surgery.

How long is the recovery from lens replacement?

Depending on the specific procedure that you undergo, the recovery time ranges from two to eight weeks. Certain corrective benefits may not be completely realised until you injure adjust to the new way of seeing and this may involve a period of blurred vision.

What can go wrong with lens replacement?

Refractive lens exchange risks and complications include retinal detachment which is more common in high myopia (short sightedness) a dislocated intra ocular lens infection bleeding inside the eye a droopy eyelid known as ptosis increased eye pressure or ocular hypertension, halos glare and blurry vision from multifocal intraocular lenses.

What are the long term effects of lens replacement surgery?

Blurred vision this will improve over a week or two following the procedure and the glares and halos will also reduce significantly within the first month and continue to diminish over the following three months. There can also be a red eye, which is occasionally due to a blood vessel which is disturbed during the procedure making the eye appear red. some people can develop a secondary blurring caused by clouding of the natural clear capsule inside the eye that supports the eye. This is called posterior capsule opacification or PCO and can usually be treated with a laser procedure if it occurs. There are other effects that can occur but these are less common.

Is refractive lens exchange painful?

The surgery is usually not painful. It is almost exactly exactly like a standard cataract surgery that is performed in older patients. With the exception that in RLE the lens is not yet clouded as in cataract surgery.

Can you have RLE if you have cataracts?

RLE is actually the same procedure as cataract surgery. The difference is that is performed on a patient who may not have cataracts. Since cataracts form to the eyes natural lens, replacing the lens is the only way to treat the cataract.

What is Monofocal RLE?

Refractive lens exchange is the general name for the method where the replacement of the lens without any sign of cataract is replaced with an artificial lens. This method is used in patients with any of: short sightedness, long sightlessness, astigmatism or presbyopia. With monofocal RLE the principle of mono vision is applied. Mono vision is a technique whereby the refractive error in one eye is corrected completely for distance while the other eye is left intentionally slightly short sighted. Using this approach, the eye corrected for distance can see clearly and the short sighted eye sees better close up without glasses. In this way it is possible to combine distance and medium distance or medium distance and close up vision. The combination of distance and close up is not advised because this may disrupt vision with both eyes together.

How long does the lens implant last?

Intra-ocular lenses have been around since the 1940s. Unlike natural lenses, they did not deteriorate over a person’s lifetime. They usually do not be need to be replaced for as long as you live.

Can a lens implant be redone?

Yes, if there is an issue with your intraocular lens it can be replaced with another one. This usually occurs if the lens does not provide adequate visual correction or causes problems with double vision. However, most patients should keep in mind that the need for revision is rare and it is a more complicated procedure.

Can you see without a lens in your eye?

Most people will be unable to see properly without a lens. This is because the lens is used to focus the vision. Without a lens very thick eyeglasses or contact lens need to be used to substitute the focusing power of the missing lens.

What are the symptoms of a dislocated intra-ocular lens?

Patients with a dislocated intra ocular lens may experience double vision glare, a decrease or a change in vision. They may occasionally report pain or headaches from a condition known as intermittent angle closure or from inflammation. Some patients may also report seeing the edge of the intra ocular lens in their vision


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