Lens replacement surgery

Lens Surgery

Say goodbye to glasses and contacts with the most advanced lens surgery at Optimax

In the event that you’re unsuitable for laser eye surgery, you may find that lens surgery offers you the perfect solution. We’re proud to call on 30 years of expertise and experience in the industry, so you can rest assured that by coming to us you’re dealing with the very best in the business.

As medical technology continues to improve, intraocular lens surgery has become one of the most commonly performed and lowest-risk procedures. However, we understand that there are many factors to take into consideration before undergoing an operation of this nature – for example cost, recovery time and any potential after-effects. On top of all that, there are two types of lens surgery for you to think about: lens replacement surgery and implantable contact lens surgery.

But don’t worry, we’re on hand to answer any questions you may have. Here, we’ll aim to satisfy any queries regarding lens replacement surgery.

What are the different types of lens surgery?

The term ‘lens surgery’ covers two separate treatments: implantable contact lenses (ICL), and refractive lens exchange (RLE, also known as lens replacement surgery).

Both types of treatment involve the insertion of an artificial lens, known as an intraocular lens because it is placed inside the eye (commonly abbreviated as IOL). These treatments can correct myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism.

ICL surgery simply involves placing an artificial contact lens into your eye to correct your prescription. It is generally recommended for patients who are under the age of 40.

What is lens replacement surgery?

Refractive lens exchange surgery is the same process as cataract surgery and involves removing your eye’s natural lens and replacing it with either a monofocal lens or multifocal lens. It is generally suitable for patients over the age of 40.

Each lens is specially selected for the patient to ensure the best possible visual outcome. This procedure can correct presbyopia (the need for reading glasses) if a multifocal lens is used (see types of lenses). An added advantage of this treatment is that a cataract cannot form at a later stage.

Treatment Cost

Transparent prices, no hidden costs.

We don't vary our prices according to prescription. We've made it simple, our lens surgery costs are fixed so there are no surprises.

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Patient Journey

We’re with you every step of the way.

Follow the patient journey, from the initial consultation through to treatment day. Achieve the vision you deserve!

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Lens Surgeons

Meet Optimax's Lens Surgery team.

Our surgeons are qualified medical practitioners with a special interest, and decades of experience, in refractive surgery.

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Types of Lenses

Custom-made lenses for your prescription.

We offer many types of lenses and the best option for you is determined by your lifestyle and prescription.

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Aftercare for Lens Surgery

One year’s free aftercare for lens surgery

We want to ensure that you are satisfied with the results of your procedure and with your overall Optimax experience.

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Lens Surgery FAQs

Have you got an important question?

Chances are it’s been asked before, so check our FAQs for answers to the essential things you need to know.

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What are the risks of lens replacement surgery?

The process for refractive lens surgery is exactly the same as cataract surgery, which was undertaken approximately 434,000 times in England and Wales in 2017-18, according to the National Ophthalmology Database. The risks of serious complications from cataract surgery are described by the NHS as “very low”.

The risk of infection after RLE and cataract surgery occurs in less than 1 in 1,000 people (0.1%), and you will be subject to careful checks both before and after your RLE surgery, so you can rest assured that you’re in the very safest hands with us here at Optimax.

What is the success rate of refractive lens exchange surgery?

We’re pleased to say that 95% of people who rely on Optimax for this type of lens surgery come away having achieved driving standard vision or better.

What are the benefits of refractive surgery?

Undergoing lens replacement surgery means that cataracts cannot form at a later stage, and you should be able to see things much more clearly and in greater focus. The operation itself only lasts approximately 15 minutes and the results are permanent, while recovery is usually swift. Opting for Refractive Lens Exchange RLE with multifocal lenses may eliminate the need for reading glasses.

Does refractive eye surgery hurt?

Most patients say that the RLE procedure is comfortable. We administer numbing eye drops before treatment so that you won’t feel pain during the surgery, although you may feel some pressure. Afterwards, there may be some mild discomfort as your eyes begin to heal, but this can usually be managed with eye drops.

How much does lens replacement surgery cost?

Our prices are fixed, regardless of your prescription, so you can rest assured that there are no hidden fees or nasty surprises when you come to us for replacement of your natural lenses. The cost of RLE treatment ranges from £3,495 to £3,995 per eye, depending on whether you opt for monofocal, extended depth of focus (EDOF) or multifocal lenses.

We also offer 0% APR finance* available for up to 24 months, as well as other payment plans for up to 48 months, so you can cover the cost of your surgery over a period that best suits you and your financial situation.

* Optimax Clinics Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and is the broker and not the lender. Our registration number is 723835. Optimax Clinics Limited offers credit products from Secure Trust Bank PLC trading as V12 Retail Finance. Credit is provided subject to affordability, age and status. Minimum spend applies. Not all products offered by Secure Trust Bank PLC are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

How long does the refractive lens exchange procedure take?

The surgery itself only lasts around 10 to 15 minutes, although you may be in the treatment room a little longer than that. You should plan to be at the clinic for up to four hours, as there will be preparation time as well as conversations with a patient advisor to take into account.

Is lens replacement surgery permanent?

Your lenses are designed to last for approximately 100 years, so you can be confident that they will continue to work effectively for the remainder of your lifetime.

How long is the recovery time for lens replacement surgery?

Your vision may be slightly blurred for a few days following refractive surgery, but will gradually improve over the next few weeks. Your final result may be achieved a couple of months after the procedure as your eyes continue to heal following treatment.

Can I have RLE surgery on both eyes at once?

We can perform bilateral procedures (both eyes treated on the same day, one after the other) but this will need to be discussed with your treating surgeon. If you prefer, you can also have your eyes treated separately, a week apart, diary permitting.

What aftercare will I receive following RLE?

You can rest assured that by coming to Optimax, you’ll be well cared for long after undergoing lens replacement surgery. We offer one year of free aftercare, which includes a number of appointments as we continue to check on your progress and recovery. Your first visit will take place a day or two after the procedure, with another scheduled in for a week or so later. We’ll also ask you to come back in around 4-6 weeks down the line and, if everything seems satisfactory, you will be discharged after 3-6 months.

Click here for more information on our excellent refractive eye surgery aftercare programme.

Will I still need reading glasses after lens replacement surgery?

By opting for RLE surgery with multifocal lenses, your eyes will be able to focus at various distances, removing the need for reading glasses. We also offer monovision treatment, where one eye is long-sighted and one is short-sighted. In this case, the eyes balance each other out and you will no longer require reading glasses.

How soon can I drive following refractive lens surgery?

The answer to this question will depend on how quickly your eyes recover after the lens replacement surgery. You may be able to get back behind the wheel after a couple of days, or it may take a week or two. During your aftercare appointments, your optometrist will be able to advise you when it is safe to drive again.

Why should I choose Optimax for my refractive lens exchange?

These are just some of the reasons why Optimax have become the leading providers of lens replacement surgery in the UK:

  • Experience: We have been providing lens surgery for almost 30 years, with thousands of procedures performed during that period, so you can be confident that our highly skilled surgeons are the best available.
  • Fixed costs: Our prices for refractive lens exchange (£3,495 to £3,995 per eye, depending on whether you choose multifocal, monofocal, or EDOF lenses), will not change, regardless of your prescription. There are no additional or hidden charges, and we offer interest-free payment plans for up to 10 months, so you can spread the cost of your treatment over a manageable period.
  • Success rate: We’re proud to report that 95% of Optimax patients achieve driving standard vision or better following their refractive eye surgery.
  • Convenience: We have 19 clinics in a range of locations up and down the UK, with lens replacement surgery performed in seven of those, including London, Leicester and Liverpool.
  • Trustworthiness: We boast an ‘Excellent’ rating from more than 1,800 customer reviews on Trustpilot, so you can rest easy in the knowledge that you’re dealing with a team of reliable, accomplished professionals. Furthermore, all Optimax lens replacement surgeons are registered with the General Medical Council and are Fellows/Members of the Royal College of Ophthalmologists or Fellows of the Royal College of Surgeons.
  • Aftercare: We provide a free aftercare programme that covers you for up to one year following your refractive lens replacement. During that time, you will have a number of appointments with us, where our expert team will continue to check on your health and recovery before eventually discharging you once the desired results have been achieved.

How do I know if I’m eligible for lens replacement surgery?

This type of lens surgery tends to be suitable for patients who are over the age of 40, but please note that we will not perform the operation on anyone who is pregnant or breastfeeding, as the fluctuating hormones can affect your vision.

There are also a number of other factors which may affect your eligibility for lens replacement surgery, such as the strength of your prescription, your pupil size, corneal thickness and any dryness of the eyes. If you are unsure whether you will be suitable for this particular procedure, all you need to do is get in touch and our friendly, professional team will help to guide you in the right direction. 

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How do I book lens replacement surgery?

If you’d like more information on lens replacement surgery, you can request a call back, book a consultation or ask for a free info pack. Your consultation appointment will be comprehensive in its detail and we only ask you to pay a fully refundable deposit of £10 (£30 on weekends).

Should you decide to go ahead with having refractive surgery, there will be an assessment a week beforehand, just to make sure your surgeon is happy to proceed. Usually, the time between your initial enquiry and having the operation is around one month, while the treatment is available at half a dozen of our clinics up and down the UK, so there should be a location that’s convenient for you.


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