What is Lens Replacement Surgery? | Cathedral Eye Clinic |

What is Lens Replacement Surgery?

Lens replacement surgery is one of the most common forms of refractive surgery offered to patients and can treat a range of eyesight conditions. This is a particularly popular treatment path, with data from the Royal College of Ophthalmologists demonstrating that over 95% of patients are satisfied with the outcome of their procedure.

CEC Lens replacement image
What is Lens Replacement Surgery (Image Source: Kugler Vision)

Lens Replacement Surgery

Lens replacement surgery comes in a variety of forms. However, all forms of this treatment can reduce your dependency on prescription glasses or corrective contact lenses, whilst guaranteeing the highest levels of safety.

Lens replacement surgery is a particularly popular treatment path and can treat myopia (also known as ‘short-sightedness’), hyperopia (also known as ‘long-sightedness’), presbyopia (short or long-sightedness caused by ageing) and cataracts (a cloudy obstruction in the lens of the eye). However, whether or not you are a suitable candidate for lens replacement surgery depends on a range of factors, including any eye surgery history you may have, your age and the general health of your eyes.

Determining suitability for lens replacement surgery, including clear lens extraction, is done via an extensive pre-assessment examination at Cathedral Eye Clinic, which includes the use of an advanced 11-dimension eye scanner. Whilst identifying any vision problems and medical conditions, our meticulous examination can determine if you are suitable. If you are unsuitable, don’t fret – our dedicated team of optometrists, surgeons and our Patient Care Team can assist you in identifying what treatment path is best for you and your precious eyes.

Cathedral Eye Clinic offer a range of surgeries and treatment options, including lens replacement surgery. Each of these offer a variety of pricing plans to suit every budget.

Types of Lens Replacement Surgery

There is a variety of lens replacement surgery procedures on offer to patients at Cathedral Eye Clinic. However, the term is usually used to refer to one of three treatments: RLE (Refractive Lens Exchange), ICL (Implantable Contact Lenses) and Cataract Surgery. These treatments are similar in nature and boast an impressive patient satisfaction rate.

  • Refractive Lens Exchange: This form of treatment is also referred to as Refractive Lens Replacement, Clear Lens Surgery or Clear Lens Exchange (CLE). This treatment can be used to treat myopia (short-sightedness), hyperopia (long-sightedness) and presbyopia (age-related long-sightedness and short-sightedness). This treatment path is particularly suitable for patients with a thin cornea. It is also a common alternative for patients over the age of 40 who are deemed unsuitable for various laser eye surgery procedures such as LASIK and PRK, and can reduce or eliminate the need for glasses or contact lenses. In a nutshell, this particular procedure entails the surgical replacement of the eye’s lens with an artificial intraocular lens (IOL). Whilst substantially improving the visual quality of the patient, refractive lens exchange guarantees that cataracts form (this is because cataracts cannot form on artificial lenses).
  • Implantable Contact Lenses (ICLs): Rather than removing and replacing the natural lens (such as in the case with refractive lens replacement surgery), ICL surgery involves implanting contact lenses in the eye. Advanced Phakic intraocular lenses are inserted over the eye’s natural lens and behind the iris. This treatment path is notable in that it can be totally reversed at a later date.
  • Cataract Surgery: Cataract surgery is remarkably similar to refractive lens surgery. In this case, the lens affected by cataract (indicated by a cloudy appearance) is surgically removed and replaced. Depending on their eye type and the severity of their condition, patients will be offered a choice of multifocal, monofocal and trifocal lenses), dramatically improving their quality of vision whilst reducing any dependency on prescription glasses.


Refractive Lens Exchange Pros and Cons

Whilst Refractive Lens Exchange Surgery is remarkably safe, patients must consider the benefits and potential risks entailed by the procedure:



  • Effective in the treatment of cataracts, astigmatism, dry eye syndrome, myopia, hyperopia and presbyopia.
  • The best-known treatment for severe cases of hyperopia.
  • Reduces dependency on prescription glasses and contact lenses.
  • Reduces the likelihood of developing eye infections in life.



  • Patients suffering from myopia can increase their risk of retinal detachment during Refractive Lens Exchange Surgery. This may require further eye surgery to correct.
  • Depending on your payment plan, RFE can be more expensive than other treatments, such as LASIK.


Lens Replacement Surgery Recovery Time

One of the major benefits of Lens Replacement Surgery is the speedy recovery it offers patients. Indeed, the majority of patients note that they achieve optimal results after only one or two days, with some mild blurred vision in between.

At Cathedral Eye Clinic, we pride ourselves on the unrivalled standard of aftercare that we offer to all patients. Our dedicated and experienced optometrists, surgeons, nurses and Patient Care Team are on-hand to guide you through your recovery.

In the majority of cases, patients can return to work around 3 days following their procedure. However, the team at Cathedral Eye Clinic will recommend a recovery period based upon your own eyesight profile.


Learn more about Cathedral Eye Clinic with our Advanced Laser Technology article.

Bring your world into focus. To hear more about our treatments, our free suitability assessments or to book a consultation, get in touch with Cathedral Eye Clinic today.

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