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Refractive Lens Exchange Refractive Lens Exchange
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Refractive Lens Exchange 

Reflective lens exchange is a surgery also called PreLex (presbyopic lens exchange), Permanent Lens Replacement Surgery, and Clear Lens Extraction (CLE). It is a surgery used to treat people who have difficulty with their reading vision. Refractive lens exchange offers a way of improving vision and reducing dependence on glasses for people who have problems with their reading vision and who aren't suitable for laser vision correction.

What is involved in refractive lens exchange?

Refractive lens eye surgery is similar to cataract surgery. It involves the surgeon removing your natural lens and implanting an intraocular lens of high-definition. Surgeons perform this procedure to correct presbyopia (reading vision problems), short-sightedness (myopia), long-sightedness (hyperopia), and astigmatism.

For correction of vision problems related to reading, refractive lens exchange (RLE) is the most common surgery performed by surgeons. Refractive lens exchange is the same as cataracts in terms of the safety and the technique used. Cataracts are a well-established and advanced surgical procedure, and millions of persons worldwide have undergone cataracts surgery.

In a refractive lens exchange, the surgeon places an extended depth of focus intraocular or trifocal lens within the eye, and this helps the patient see distant and near objects without using glasses. With refractive lens surgery, you will not need to undergo a cataract surgery later in life, and this is the benefit most people take advantage of.

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Book a Consultation Today

or call: 020 7183 3725

Cost of refractive lens exchange 

When it comes to caring for the eye, no cost should be too much to pay. However, we try to make our refractive lens exchange affordable for most persons. 

Our refractive lens exchange costs from £3000 for one eye, and we offer a transparent pricing system. You may decide to opt for our zero percent interest credit plan for payment which allows you to pay for your treatment over 12, 10, or 6 months after you make an initial deposit of 10%.

The table below gives the average cost of our refractive lens exchange

Refractive lens exchange treatment option


Premium multifocal lens 

£3600 for an eye, or £270 for 12 months 

Premium toric multifocal lens 

£4100 for an eye, or £308 paid for 12 months

IC-8 lens

£4300 for an eye, or £322 for 12 months

Premium monofocal lens 

£3000 for an eye, or £226 for 12 months

Premium toric monofocal lens 

£3500 for an eye, or £262 for 12 months 

Femtosecond laser-assisted surgery 

£500 for an eye, or £38 for 12 months

What makes our refractive lens exchange unique

Bespoke treatment

We always create a treatment plan suitable for each patient by first considering the patient's visual needs and preferences. This ensures that every patient gets an outstanding result. 

Top-rated healthcare professionals

We are known to have top-rated surgeons who are known worldwide for the exceptional surgeries they perform. We aim to be the best and always employ only qualified doctors and anaesthetist who understand the importance of rendering outstanding services. 

You can rely on us to properly carry out any ophthalmic surgery and guide you through to aftercare and beyond.

Sophisticated technology 

Eye surgeries require a combination of precision and accuracy to be successful. We understand this and have taken the necessary steps by getting the most advanced and latest technology for our eye surgeries. 

Types of lens used in refractive lens exchange

Trifocal and Multifocal IOLs

Trifocal and Multifocal IOLs are sectioned into different zones which enables the patient to see near, intermediate and distant objects. These IOLs are advanced and allow the patents to be independent of glasses.

Premium IOLs

Premium IOL Implants (IOLs) in this procedure have extra refractive properties which are higher than the regular monofocal intraocular lens. Premium IOLs have refractive properties and are particularly built on a surface of the optical IOL.

IC-8 pinhole IOLs

This IOL ensures that only focused light is permitted to enter into the eye. It uses a pinhole design and takes away the need for glasses to see near, intermediate and distant objects. People who have had radial keratotomy (RK) surgery or laser eye surgery in the past can use it. It is also suitable for people with irregularly shaped corneas.

IOL blended vision

These IOLs correct vision in the eye that is dominant, making it perfect for distant vision while it corrects the non-dominant eye to accommodate reading and intermediate vision. The surgeon customises the optics of the lens to fit the natural imperfection, and this helps to give the patient better eyesight without the need for glasses except if and when close reading is required.

Toric IOLs

They help correct astigmatism, hyperopia, and myopia. The surgeon needs to implant them in the area of the cornea with the most significant curvature. 

Procedure for refractive lens exchange 


You need to consult us before your surgery. We have experienced consultants who would examine your eyes and access your visual need to determine if refractive lens exchange is the most suitable course of treatment for you. Your refractive lens exchange will not be on the same day as your consultation if we find you suitable for the procedure because we would order the lens that will fit your eyes perfectly to give you a better vision.

We advise all our patient not to drive to the clinic while coming for their consultation because we may use eye drops to dilate the pupils which enables us to examine the back of the eyes. The drops may cause you to have blurred vision for a small amount of time.

During your refractive lens exchange consultation, our technicians will perform some diagnostic tests on your eyes, and then our consultant will carry out a complete eye examination.

After you conclude your necessary tests, your consultant/surgeon will check your results and discuss the right lens and treatment options that are suitable for you. 

After this, you may decide to book for your refractive lens exchange. Before you go home, you will be given the procedure's consent form, which you will return on the day of the surgery. We will also give you a pack that contains the necessary information about the procedure. Feel free to call us for clarification about our information pack and other requirements for the procedure.

Recommendations for the surgery

We advise that you stop wearing your contact lenses before your consultation and surgery. This enables us to correctly measure your eyes. It's best to stop wearing soft lenses three days prior to your consultation and gas permeable lenses four weeks prior.

The surgery 

  • When you arrive at our clinic on the day of your surgery, our nurse will put drops into your eyes to dilate the pupils, then discuss your aftercare routine with you. This will include how to care for your eyes right after your treatment and a few days/weeks after.
  • Your consent form will be received by our nurse before you can see the surgeon who will talk you through the procedure. 
  • Our surgeon may perform both refractive lens exchange surgeries on the same day if you are up to it, or you can have the second eye done on another day if you choose.
  • Before the surgery, our anaesthetist will put eye drops into your eyes to numb the surface. Most of our surgeries require local anaesthetic, but in a few cases, we sedate the patient or use general anaesthetic. 
  • Refractive lens exchange takes about 10 to 15 minutes per eye, and then you would need to rest for 15 to 20 minutes before you can go home.

Immediately after the surgery

Before you are allowed to leave our clinic, the surgeon will examine your eyes first, and you would go home wearing protective shields or sunglasses. We usually advise our patients to come to the clinic with a family member or friend who will either drive them home or make the journey home more safe. You may experience grittiness in your eyes for a few hours of that day, which may require you to rest at home all day. You can see after the surgery, but your vision may be cloudy for the first 48 to 72 hours. You may notice your vision improve drastically, immediately after the surgery, depending on how poor it was before.


Our team will advise you about the correct ways to care for your eyes. We will also give you antibiotic and anti-inflammatory drops for use while you are at home. We will also give you clear eye shields and instructions on how to use them for the initial 2 nights following your surgery. We will also give you printed instructions of your aftercare, and you are free to call us if you have questions concerning your refractive exchange recovery.

Generally, refractive lens exchange is a low-risk surgical procedure usually performed in a single day, but it is important to bear in mind that you’ve had a surgery and you still have to be careful with any specific tasks you do afterwards while you recover. We will give you a list of activities you can and can’t do along with your aftercare sheet and anything more specific the treating surgeon can advise you on.

You may be able to perform light exercises after about three days but you may need to wait for about 2 weeks before engaging in your routine workout depending on how strenuous your routine workout is. You may not be able to go swimming for about 2 weeks after your surgery, and if you do go swimming between week 2 - 4 you also need to use goggles until after 4 weeks.

As soon as your vision is clear, you can start driving, and for a majority of patients, this is within a few days. You will have to wait for about a week before you can apply make-up, specifically eye make-up.


You may resume desk duty and computer work a week after your surgery. 

After about a month, you may be able to carry out all your regular activities.

You should be able to see clearly by this time without the help of glasses or contact lenses. You can be sure that your life will return to normal within a short while. 

Book A Consultation
With Ophthalmic Consultant
Book a Consultation Today

or call: 020 7183 3725

Why choose us 

  • We have outstanding professionals
  • Consultant-led treatments
  • We use state-of-the-art technology
  • We provide 0% finance options

Contact Optimal Vision now on 020 7183 3725 to book an appointment for your refractive lens exchange.

Dr Amir Mani - Specialist refractive surgeon

One of the most experienced refractive surgeons in London

Dr Mani has performed more than 20,000 ophthalmic procedures, including LASIK, LASEK, PRK, Femto Cataract, RLE, Lens ICL and Phakic IOL Surgery

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