What Is Refractive Lens Exchange?
Refractive Lens Exchange is also known as RLE, refractive lens surgery, lens replacement surgery or clear lens exchange (CLE).
The various names listed above are rather confusing, but they all refer to the same procedure – removing the natural lens of the eye and replacing it with a new implanted lens that will help or remove the need for glasses. The price of the procedure varies according to the type of new implant used to replace the natural lens.
RLE is a great alternative treatment for patients with presbyopia – the need for glasses when reading (typically from around the age of 45+ years) who are not suitable for the standard LASIK or PRK / LASEK laser eye surgeries, such as LASIK Blended Vision. RLE is usually more expensive than laser correction.
With Refractive Lens Exchange surgery, the surgeon removes your natural lens, which is located in the front part of your eye and replaces it with an artificial intraocular lens (IOL). The procedure is very similar to cataract surgery, where the natural lens becomes cloudy (most commonly due to age) and needs to be replaced with a clear implant. In RLE, no cataract is present and the natural lens being removed is still clear.
Lens replacement surgery is performed solely to correct the need for glasses, most commonly to boost reading vision as well as having clear distance vision. It is only performed privately as a paid elective procedure; it is not available on the NHS.
Refractive Lens Exchange Cost In The UK
The typical Refractive Lens Exchange cost in the UK is around £5,400 for complete treatment to both eyes, using a standard monofocal lens. This includes your FREE initial consultation and all post surgery appointments and eye drops. If you are found suitable at your initial assessment, a second consultation with your treating surgeon will be arranged and costs £100.
More than 95% of people who have had Refractive Lens, are happy with their results.
Is RLE Covered By NHS or Insurance?
Private insurance does not normally cover RLE surgery and usually comes under self-pay treatment.
If you have early or developing cataract that is affecting your vision, private insurance could cover all or part of the cost of surgery. Upgrading to a premium intraocular lens to help reading vision is very common and is typically a paid upgrade from the patient. Your insurer will normally cover the surgeon’s fee, a standard lens implant (IOL) and the theatre fees.
RLE Finance Options
We are able to spread the cost of your surgery with our 24 month 0% interest finance; from just £204 a month. A £500 minimum deposit will be required. Lower monthly payments are available should you wish to pay a higher deposit amount.
Full details on our Refractive Lens Exchange treatment can be found here. Please call us on 0207 307 8250 for more information or to book a consultation, or click the blue button below to send us your contact details and we will be very happy to follow up with you directly.