Refractive lens exchange

Refractive lens exchange is offered by The London Clinic as an alternative to laser eye surgery for patients who are not suitable for LASEK/PRK or LASIK, or for people who need eyesight correction and who are already starting to form cataracts.


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What is it for?

An alternative to LASEK/PRK treatment

Treatment overview

What is refractive lens exchange?

Refractive lens exchange is a more extensive form of eye surgery than laser eye surgery. If you have refractive lens exchange, your natural eye lens is removed, and then replaced with an artificial lens made from silicone or high-grade plastic.

The optical properties of the inserted lens can correct almost any refractive defect, including short-sightedness, long-sightedness and astigmatism in some cases. Who benefits from refractive lens exchange?

Your sight can be corrected successfully by having the lenses inside your eyes replaced if you are:

  • Aged over 40.
  • You have the early signs of cataract formation.
  • Your short or long sight is too marked to make you a good candidate for laser eye surgery.

Bioptics at The London Clinic

Bioptics is a technique used to solve more complex refractive eye problems; it involves having more than one technique. Patients will typically undergo refractive lens exchange to correct the majority of the refractive defect that is impairing their vision.

Then, once the eye has healed sufficiently, we can use LASEK/PRK or LASIK laser eye surgery to remodel the cornea to treat any residual refractive error.

This does mean multiple procedures and a more complex treatment plan for individual patients, but even those who thought their sight could not be improved by surgery can end up with 20:20 vision without glasses or contact lenses.

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Refractive lens exchange: the procedure in detail

The patient experience with refractive lens exchange is very similar to that for cataract surgery. The operation is done as a day case procedure and you will not need to stay in hospital overnight. We will only perform refractive lens exchange surgery on one eye at a time, with the other eye done one to 2 weeks later.

Lens choices in refractive lens exchange

The lens choices available for refractive lens exchange are the same as for cataract surgery:

Monofocal lenses, which mean that you would still require glasses for certain tasks

Multifocal lenses, which allow you to see distance and near from each eye

Lens choice is very individual and will be dependent on your requirements and on our assessments of your eyes. Your consultant will discuss everything in detail before you need to make your decision.

Why choose The London Clinic

Excellence in one place

We operate as teams of experts with world-class resources dedicated to maintaining the highest standards of medical care. You are surrounded by the latest treatments and advice with everything you need to get back to your best health.

Personal care, every time

Exceptional patient care is a way of life for us. Our nurses, clinicians and support teams are dedicated to the care of a very small number of patients, so have more time for you. They’ll be with you every step of the way, tailoring your care around you and giving the peace-of-mind that comes with knowing you’re in the best hands.

Effortlessly simple

We work together as one to guide you through each step of your experience, with complexities unravelled and answers readily to hand. Your personal treatment plan will be laid out for you, with all the details taken care of so you can focus on you.

What's included in your package?

Choosing The London Clinic means your treatment plan will be laid out for you, with all the details taken care of so you can focus on you.


Your treatment package will include:

  • Enhanced pre-admission assessment
  • Your treatment with our complete care team at your fingertips
  • Personalised aftercare and follow-up

We want you to be in control of your health. That’s why we also offer optional services such as comprehensive recovery packages and extra touches for you to choose from during your stay with us.

How to pay

  • You can use private medical insurance (PMI) to access this treatment. We work with all major PMI providers in the UK and many internationally
  • You can pay for yourself (self-pay)
  • If you’re paying for yourself, we have finance options available with Chrysalis

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