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Refractive lens exchange

Refractive lens exchange (RLE) involves replacing the natural lens inside the eye with a synthetic implant called an intraocular lens. It is performed to reduce the need for glasses or contact lenses.

RLE is suitable for people over 50 years of age and have a glasses prescription higher than the normal range for laser eye surgery.

  • Lens clarity and flexibility diminish with age, and many older patients who would like their sight corrected actually have the beginnings of a cataract. Replacing the natural lens is often therefore the best option for sight correction, even for patients with a lower spectacle prescription, particularly if they are longsighted. When cataract surgery is performed primarily to correct the need for glasses, it is called RLE.

    RLE and cataract surgery are exactly the same operation. The surgery is normally performed under local anaesthetic, and you can go home straight after surgery. Recovery is quick, aftercare is simple, and there are few restrictions on activity after surgery. You can normally work or fly from the next day. Surgery is normally performed on one eye at a time, with the two operations typically one week apart.

    The latest multifocal lens implant options are available at Moorfields Private to aid reading vision and provide greater spectacle freedom.

  • Moorfields Private has a worldwide reputation for providing the highest quality treatment and care for private patients looking to improve their vision.

    All of our surgeons hold accredited consultant positions at Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, working at the very top of their profession.

    We pride ourselves on offering a service with complete continuity. At each visit, you will see the surgeon of your choice who will supervise every aspect of your care from start to finish.

  • Refractive lens exchange surgery at Moorfields Private is more affordable than you might think. The fee for your first consultation will be from £200.

    The full cost of any onward treatment will be confirmed once you have agreed your personalised plan with your consultant. As a guide, this will be from £3,500 for per eye, inclusive of your consultant’s professional fees.

  • There is a small risk with all forms of eye surgery, and these will discussed with you in detail at your consultation. However, your chances of having problems are significantly reduced when you put yourself in expert hands and an approved clinical environment.

  • Please refer to the Refractive lens exchange leaflet developed by the Royal College of Ophthalmologists.

We have temporarily postponed our usual New Patient appointments, however we are here to help you and if you would like further information regarding our services please call us.
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Refractive lens exchange consultants

A picture of Professor David Gartry

Professor David Gartry

Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

A picture of Miss Sharmina  Khan

Miss Sharmina Khan

Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

A picture of Mr Romesh Angunawela

Mr Romesh Angunawela

Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

A picture of Miss Linda Ficker

Miss Linda Ficker

Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

A picture of Mr Julian Stevens

Mr Julian Stevens

Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

A picture of Mr Mark Wilkins

Mr Mark Wilkins

Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

A picture of Mr Vincenzo Maurino

Mr Vincenzo Maurino

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 Ms Laura de Benito-Llopis

Ms Laura de Benito-Llopis

Consultant Ophthalmologist

A picture of Mr Bruce Allan

Mr Bruce Allan

Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

A picture of Mr Alexander Ionides

Mr Alexander Ionides

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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​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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