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The lens replacement surgery procedure

Lens replacement surgery, also sometimes called refractive lens exchange, involves surgically replacing the eye’s natural lens with an artificial implant, or IOL (intraocular lens). At OCL, it can be carried out manually or with the use of a high precision femtosecond laser.

Lens replacement surgery is also sometimes referred to as clear lens extraction or presbyopic lens exchange, where the crystalline lens is removed through a small incision.

If the lens replacement is taking place in conjunction with cataract surgery, the surgeon will also remove the cataracts before inserting the new lens.

All forms of the surgery is carried out using anaesthetic eye drops to numb the eye. The lens replacement takes just 10-15 minutes per eye, and patients can go home the same day.

Types of implantable lens

The type of IOL implanted will depend on many factors, including the condition being treated and the patient’s personal preferences. Today’s premium lenses are available in a wide range of prescriptions and materials, for every type of vision correction, including multifocal lenses that can be used for both close-up and distance vision. Toric lenses are available to treat astigmatism by altering the shape of the cornea to correct the way the eye focuses light.

You can read further on the types of IOLs here. Ask your surgeon’s advice on which types of intraocular lens are suitable for you.

premium lenses

Looking for more information on what sets our lens exchange surgery apart? Our refractive lens exchange surgery brochure contains all the information you need. View our brochure page to receive your free download.

Visit our brochure page

Why opt for lens replacement surgery?

With laser eye surgery widely available, you may wonder if there is any advantage to lens replacement surgery. However, for many patients, lens replacement surgery is the ideal treatment.

  • Cataract patients will undergo lens replacement surgery as part of their treatment. 
  • Patients who are not eligible for laser eye surgery can look to lens replacement surgery as an effective alternative. This includes individuals with thin corneas, high prescriptions or other complications.  
  • Older patients aged 50+ may choose lens replacement surgery as they are at a higher risk of developing cataracts; by opting for lens replacement, they won’t need to undergo cataract surgery in future. 

How much does lens replacement surgery cost?


RLE – Premium Monofocal lens

£3000 per eye

RLE – Premium Toric Monofocal lens

£3500 per eye

RLE – Premium Multifocal lens

£3600 per eye

RLE – Premium Toric Multifocal lens

£4100 per eye

RLE – IC-8 Lens

£4300 per eye

Femtosecond Laser-Assisted Surgery

£500 per eye

For more information on the cost, please see our prices page or contact us for more information.

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What are my treatment options?

Try our Vision Correction Calculator.
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Enter your right and left eye details below to the nearest value:

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Thank you. Based on your responses:

Will my healthcare insurance cover the cost of lens replacement surgery?

For some lens replacement surgeries such as cataracts, insurance companies tend to cover the cost of the surgery itself, but not the cost of multi-focal lenses.

Refractive lens exchange is not covered since it is considered to be a cosmetic procedure. To get full details on what’s covered in your plan, it’s best to speak with your insurance provider.

If you would like to discuss more about lens replacement surgery, make an enquire or call us on 0203 369 2020

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What makes our lens replacement surgery unique?


Treatment tailored for you

You are always at the centre of everything we do. We do not offer a one size fits all approach but rather customise every single treatment to your individual visual needs, so you’ll always get the best procedure for your eyes and your vision


The choice for healthcare professionals

Our surgeons are known the world over and are some of the best in the country, with over 30,000 completed surgeries between them. We treat many surgeons, doctors and anaesthetists who also refer their friends and family to us as they know they will be in safe hands with our expert surgeons.


State of the art technology

We have spared no expense. Eye surgery requires perfect precision, that’s why we have invested in only the latest and most advanced technology. We are not tied into any particular company or manufacturer which means we have complete freedom to chose the best from the many options


Experts you can trust

Patients need to be able to trust us with their eyes. We are honest with our approach and offer the very best evidence-based treatment with your best interests always at heart. We pride ourselves on recruiting and retaining the best staff in the business to ensure that you are supported throughout every step of your journey.