HomeHealthHealth Conditions

Lens Replacement Surgery - your questions answered


26th Jun 2019 Health Conditions

Lens Replacement Surgery - your questions answered

Did you know that over 50% of the UK’s population require corrective eyewear? Yet a large number of these people dislike wearing them. Sound familiar? Read on, we’re here to help and have asked an Ultralase surgeon to answer the most frequently asked questions about Lens Replacement Surgery.

If daily reliance on glasses is starting to restrict your independence, we feel your pain. How often do you ask yourself where you last saw your glasses? Or feel the disappointment when having to skip the swimming pool on your family holiday? 

If this sounds familiar, you’ll be happy to hear that Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE), or Lens Replacement Surgery as it’s more commonly known, offers a permanent solution. If that’s what you’re looking for, you’ve come to the right place. 

We asked Ultralase Eye Clinics’ Medical Director Dr. Ilango the most frequently asked questions on RLE. Here’s what he had so say.

What impairments can lens replacement correct?


Short-sight, long-sight, astigmatism (defect in the lens caused by the abnormal shape of the cornea) and presbyopia (difficulty with near and intermediate vision, due to the natural ageing of the eye after 45).

Lens Replacement Surgery is also used for the removal and prevention of a cataract.

How does lens replacement work?

The natural lens relies on eye muscles to focus. These muscles start to slow down after around 45 years of age, causing reliance on glasses.

Lens Replacement is a simple procedure whereby the natural lens is removed using ultrasound and replaced with an artificial one in order to restore the vision.

Surgery can take as little as ten minutes per eye and is performed under local anaesthetic for optimum comfort. 

Will lens replacement last forever?


What's the difference between going private and having lens replacement on the NHS? 

NHS surgery offers a standard monofocal lens implant which corrects only distant or near vision; meaning you will still rely on glasses for certain activities. 

Additionally, if surgery is required to remove a cataract, you may be asked to wait until vision is virtually impaired until the NHS intervenes.

Private sector however offer multifocal lens implants to correct distance vision, intermediate vision, near vision and astigmatism all at once. This eliminates reliance on glasses.

How much does lens replacement cost?

Prices are fixed at £3245 per eye for a multifocal lens and £2495 per eye for a monofocal lens. 

Ultralase offer four years interest-free credit, as well as several payment plans to suit your budget. Use the finance calculator to determine monthly repayments here.

How long is recovery after lens replacement?

Every eye's healing speed is different. It can take anything from 2 days to 3 months to achieve the full results.

Driving should commence once a registration plate can be read from 20 meters away. This typically takes 2-3 days post-surgery.

The risks associated with Lens Replacement are very low.

Possible but rare risks include infection (following surgeons advice for aftercare is important), night glare from car headlights and dry eyes (this side effect is temporary).

Will I feel the artificial lens inside my eye?

No. Unlike contact lenses, the artificial lens is placed inside the eye; so you won't feel a thing.

Talk to Ultralase if you have any further questions regarding eye health or eye surgery. The friendly team are always on hand to give open and honest advice.


0800 988 6385 

Keep up with the top stories from Reader's Digest by subscribing to our weekly newsletter.