Lens Replacement Surgery Explained
If you are not sure about lens replacement surgery, then you have come to the right place.
Lens replacement surgery is also known as refractive lens exchange (RLE) or natural lens replacement (NLR). RLE is typically used in patients who are presbyopic (lost the ability to read without reading glasses due to the ageing of their natural crystalline lens. The aim of this treatment is to help improve your vision and to reduce reliance on glasses and contact lenses.
What does the procedure involve?
RLE involves removing the natural lens in your eye and replacing it with a premium synthetic lens. This is identical to cataract surgery but in cataract surgery, the reason for the surgery is that the natural lens has become cloudy (cataract) whereas in RLE the natural crystalline lens is still typically clear. Also, when cataract surgery is done in the NHS a mono-focal lens is inserted normally aiming to give good distance vision. In RLE a premium lens is inserted, typically one that gives distance, intermediate and near vision (tri-focal). Mr Hove will discuss your visual requirements with you and guide you on the different lenses available. A video of the surgery done by Mr Hove is available to view here.
Why you may want to choose lens replacement surgery instead of laser eye surgery
In patients under 40 laser eye surgery is typically the procedure of choice. Most patients become presbyopic from about 45-55 years old and at this point lens replacement becomes preferable as it still gives them good distance vision, but also restores near and intermediate vision as well. Laser eye surgery can still be used in this age group depending on how much accommodation you have left or alternatively, one eye can be focused for distance and the other for reading. Lens replacement, however, would give a clear distance, intermediate and near in both eyes. However, if you wish to find out more about laser eye surgery then find out more here.
Did you know there are two types of lens replacement surgery?
The procedure can be done manually like we typically do when doing cataract surgery or with the assistance of the femtosecond laser. The laser does some of the steps of the operation before Mr Hove starts the operation. The laser is very accurate and there are ongoing studies to validate if it uses gives better visual outcomes. You can see a video of Mr Hove doing femto-second laser here, and a video of RLE in an eye that has had femtosecond laser performed by Mr Hove here.
Will I have any pain during the procedure?
No. Your eyes will be made numb with drops before the procedure and anaesthetic into both eyes during the procedure. Mr Hove typically does both eyes on the same day. It takes about 20 mins to do both eyes. You can generally expect a quick recovery time, with most patients returning to work in 2-3 days after the procedure.
If you are particularly anxious a mild sedative can be administered during the procedure. This will make you relax, and typically you won’t remember much of what happened in the theatre. You will not see anything being done to you, just the bright light of the microscope. After the procedure, back to the ward where a scrumptious three-course meal will be waiting for you and your companion. If you want to see pictures of the hospital please click here.
Does it work?
Yes. Mr Hove has done over 2000 RLE procedures and achieves very high levels of spectacle independence and patient satisfaction. He has over 350 verified patient reviews on Doctify. The best way to see what the patients who have had the procedure have to say about it is to read their own words by clicking here.
Book A Consultation
Hopefully, now you understand more about lens replacement surgery now. If you have more questions or just want to discuss this surgery with Mr Hove for recommendations, get in touch.
We look forward to hearing from you.