Cataract Surgery

Refractive Lens Replacement Surgery London

Refractive lens exchange or lens replacement is an advanced form of vision correction that is typically recommended to those over 50 years old who need spectacles or contact lens for good distance and near vision. Whilst no treatment can rewind the clock to restore the vision you had in your twenties, lens replacement is a safe and effective treatment to reduce dependency on glasses.   

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How Is Lens Replacement Different From Cataract Surgery?

Cataract surgery and refractive lens exchange are essentially the same operation, the only difference being in lens replacement that the natural lens is still clear and has not yet developed cataract.

In lens replacement the surgery is performed to correct the focus of the eye (short or longsightedness) where either laser eye surgery is not able to be performed, or where you are expected to develop cataracts within the next few years.

Premium Intraocular Lens

In the lens exchange the most commonly used intraocular lens is a premium Extended depth of focus (EDoF) lens. These provide greater spectacle independence than standard monofocal lens, but with less optical side effects such as glare and halos that traditional multifocal lens have. Extended depth of focus lens work best with femtosecond laser assisted surgery as the laser can be used to reduce any pre-existing astigmatism. Mr Alex Day’ preferred extended depth of focus lens provides excellent vision for everyday activities such as driving and also computer work, using a mobile or reading price tags. Glasses may still be needed for night driving and for reading small print or other near tasks. Multifocal lens are not suitable for everyone, and for those with eye conditions such as retinal problems macular degeneration, or diabetic retinopathy, or those with glaucoma, monofocal lens are preferred.

Mr Alex Day will specifically advise you about your situation and the lens choices available.

Femtosecond Laser Assisted Lens Replacement

Some of the stages of lens exchange surgery can be completed more precisely using a femtosecond laser than can be done by the surgeon’s hand.

Femtosecond laser assisted lens exchange surgery also allows for correction or reduction of mild to moderate astigmatism at the time of surgery. This is done by making femtosecond laser intrastromal astigmatic keratotomies in the cornea, these result in precise flattening of the corneal where they are located so correcting the astigmatism. The gas bubbles disappear within a matter of minutes and their effect remains.

The laser part of the procedure only takes a few minutes and is painless, and the remainder of the procedure is then completed as usual in theatre.

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Lens Replacement Surgery Outcomes and Complications

Lens exchange surgery is an effective operation and greatly improves visual quality in the vast majority of patients. Whilst it is a low risk procedure, it is not zero risk and surgeon experience and the number of cases performed per year are the biggest determinants of surgical outcomes. The majority of complications are minor and are treatable with the overall rate of significant vision loss due to a surgical complication that cannot be corrected by glasses or contact lens is about 0.1% (1 in 1000 operations).

More detailed, transparent information about possible complications relevant to your individual situation will be provided at your consultation.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Safe Is Lens Replacement Surgery?

Lens replacement is a low risk procedure, but not a zero risk procedure. The level of surgeon experience and number of surgeries performed per year are the two biggest factors determining surgical outcomes. The vast majority of complications are minor and treatable by eye drops. The average risk of a complication causing significant vision loss that cannot be treated by glasses or contact lenses is about 1 per 1000 cases.

How Much Does Lens Replacement Cost?

Lens Replacement Surgery Pricing – Click Here

What Is The Difference Between Lens Replacement & Cataract Surgery?

Lens replacement surgery and cataract surgery are technically the same procedure (termed phacoemulsification and IOL), the difference is the indication for surgery – in lens replacement the natural lens is still clear and a cataract has not yet developed.

Is Lens Replacement Permanent?

Yes the lens implant is designed to last for your lifetime. Very rarely the lens may need replacing due to an unexpected manufacturing defect, this is estimated to be less than 1/10,0000 cases.

Will I Need Glasses After Lens Replacement?

The aim of surgery is to maximise spectacle independency. Unfortunately there is no treatment yet that can essentially rewind the clock and give you the vision you had in your 20s or 30s. However, modern advanced multifocal or enhanced depth of focus intraocular lens are such that glasses may only be needed for certain tasks such as night driving or fine near work.

Which Lens Is Better Monofocal or Multifocal?

A monofocal lens has a single point focus and this is typically chosen for clearest distance vision. A multifocal lens has more than one point focus and so gives a range of focus, this is such that the distance vision will be similar to, but not quite as clear as if a monofocal lens is used. The advantage is you will have a range of vision from far to some near, so reducing glasses dependency. Enhanced depth of focus lens are available and these essentially bridge the gap between monofocal and multifocal lens.

How Long Does It Take To Recover From Lens Replacement Surgery?

Immediately after surgery, the vision is soft focus and takes a couple of days to settle. Most people can restart their normal work and driving within a week of surgery. Eye drops are needed for one month.

Does Insurance Cover Refractive Lens Exchange?

Most private health insurance does not cover refractive lens exchange and you will need to check your policy level.

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To arrange a consultation call my team at Moorfields Private Eye Hospital, 9-11 Bath Street, EC1V 9LF, London, or complete the contact form.

020 7100 5468