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Lens replacement surgery

Lens replacement surgery, also known as refractive lens exchange, is a common procedure which involves replacing the natural lens in the eye with a synthetic one. This new intraocular lens corrects short-sightedness, long-sightedness and astigmatism, reducing the need for contact lenses and glasses. This procedure can also improve vision for those suffering from cataracts.

  • During your initial consultation, your specialist consultant eye surgeon will scan and test your eyes to determine your suitability for lens replacement surgery. They will also discuss the procedure’s benefits and potential risks, as well as agreeing on a personalised plan with you. Surgery is usually performed on one eye at a time, typically one week apart. Same-day surgery for both eyes may be appropriate for some patients.

    On the day of the surgery, anaesthetising eye drops and a mild sedative will be administered to ensure the procedure is painless. Your surgeon will soften your existing lens using a ultrasound. This is then removed and replaced with an intraocular lens implant (a clear artificial lens), which is held in place by the back membrane of the lens.

    The procedure takes between 15 to 30 minutes and you will be able to go home the same day.

  • When you choose Moorfields Private for your surgery, you can rest assured that you will receive the highest quality of care from some of the finest surgeons in the country. You can choose your own consultant who will supervise you at every stage of your procedure for service with complete continuity. This way, you can feel comfortable, confident and completely taken care of from start to finish.

  • If you are unable to have laser eye surgery, then lens replacement can be a good option. The procedure is suitable for patients over 40, as well as those with cataracts, astigmatism, very high prescriptions and glaucoma (as long as the condition is stable). Your surgeon will scan and test your eyes during your initial consultation to assess your suitability.

  • Recovery times for this type of surgery vary but typically take between three to four days. It is normal for you to experience blurred vision and glare during this time, along with sensitivity and discomfort in your eye, but this will only last a few days. You will be given antibiotic and anti-inflammatory drops to help with this.

    You should be able to return to work a few days after the operation and will be able to drive after your consultant has confirmed your vision meets the standard in your follow-up appointment. Following recovery, you will benefit from improved focus, reduced glare and clearer distinction between colours.

    How safe is lens replacement surgery?

    Lens replacement surgery is one of the safest and most common procedures in the world, with more than 3 million surgeries being carried out each year in Europe alone.

    However, as is the case with all operations, there are risks involved. Complications are rare and most can be successfully treated with medication or a follow-up procedure. Your specialist consultant eye surgeon will discuss the risks with you during your initial consultation.

    How successful is lens replacement surgery?

    There is a high success rate with lens replacement surgery, with 95% of patients achieving vision of driving standard or better following the procedure.

  • If you choose to have lens replacement surgery at Moorfields Private, you will need to book an initial consultation. Prices for consultations start from just £200 and the full price of your onward treatment will be confirmed once you have agreed on a personalised plan with your consultant.

    As a guide, the cost per eye for this procedure starts from around £3,500. This includes your consultant’s professional fees, as well as your post-operative consultations and take-home medication.

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Lens replacement surgery consultants

A picture of Miss Linda Ficker

Miss Linda Ficker

Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

A picture of Ms Laura de Benito-Llopis

Ms Laura de Benito-Llopis

Consultant Ophthalmologist

A picture of Professor David Gartry

Professor David Gartry

Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

A picture of Mr Mark Wilkins

Mr Mark Wilkins

Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

A picture of Mr Julian Stevens

Mr Julian Stevens

Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

A picture of Mr Daniel Gore

Mr Daniel Gore

Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

A picture of Mr Martin Watson

Mr Martin Watson

Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

A picture of Mr Alexander Ionides

Mr Alexander Ionides

Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

A picture of Mr Vincenzo Maurino

Mr Vincenzo Maurino

Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

A picture of Mr Bruce Allan

Mr Bruce Allan

Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

A picture of Mr Romesh Angunawela

Mr Romesh Angunawela

Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon


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Paying for treatment

Private Medical Insurance

If you are covered by private medical insurance, please verify the details with your insurer prior to arrival and if possible, obtain a pre-authorisation number.

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Self pay

You don’t have to be insured to come to Moorfields Private. Many of our patients pay for their own treatment.

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Third party sponsorship

​If a company, employer or other third party agrees to settle your account, they will be required to provide a letter of guarantee along with a deposit.

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