Lens Replacement Surgery | Anderson Eye Care (2023)

Lens Replacement Surgery, also known as Refractive Lens Exchange, is very similar to cataract surgery but performed before cataracts develop. Book a consultation today and find out if you’re suitable.

Book a Consultation

400+ 5-Star Patient Reviews:

Lens Replacement Surgery | Anderson Eye Care (1)

Lens Replacement Surgery | Anderson Eye Care (2)

Lens Replacement Surgery | Anderson Eye Care (3)

Refractive Lens Exchange

Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE) is the procedure of phacoemulsification performed before a cataract has formed so that a clear lens is removed, it is also called Clear lens Extraction (CLE).

RLE may be performed when refractive errors are too high for laser vision correction e.g. high hyperopia or high myopia or the eye is unsuitable for ICL implantation.

In some cases where the angle of the eye is narrow and there is a risk of angle closure glaucoma (see glaucoma section) RLE may be preferred over laser treatment to the iris or YAG laser iridotomy.

The process of RLE is very similar to cataract surgery but because the crystalline lens is clear, removal of the lens may result in loss of accommodation (the ability to change focus to look at near objects) that most people are able to achieve before the onset of presbyopia.

This means that even if a high spectacle error is treated by RLE, you will still require spectacles for close visual tasks e.g. reading.

Book a Consultation

(Video) What to expect from lens replacement surgery

Refractive Lens Exchange Explained

What Lens Choices do I have?

Patient video from PanOptix: Deborah

At Anderson Eye Care, we are able to offer a wide selection of lens types to suit your needs and the type of eyes you have. All of our lenses are premium products, there are no lenses which are better or higher or lower quality, but different lenses have different functionality and will suit different eyes and different visual requirements.

Monofocal Lenses

Monofocal lenses will give the sharpest image quality but the shortest range of vision or depth of focus so that reading glasses are usually required for intermediate and close visual tasks e.g. reading a newspaper. The focus of each lens can be offset slightly so that a dominant eye is clearer for distance and non-dominant eye for near. This effect called monovision or micro-monovision and you may have tried this using contact lenses before.

Extended depth of focus lenses (EDoF)

Extended depth of focus lenses (EDoF) increase the depth of focus by ‘stretching’ the intermediate zone of focus as well as distance vision correction, low strength readers may be required for close work but most of the time glasses are not required.

Extended Depth of Focus plus (EDoF+)

The first of its kind and arguably the leading extended depth focus lens, AcrySof® IQ Vivity® IOL utilises non-diffractive wavefront-shaping elements to extend the range of vision of a traditional monofocal lens whilst maximising visual quality. Wavefront-shaping elements stretch and shift the wavefront of light entering the eye, creating a continuous extended focal range rather than multiple focal points. This may provide a smoother range of intermediate vision than traditional diffractive EDoF lenses. In conditions where optic nerve or macular function may be compromised, or when the eye has complex optics, this technology utilises all available light energy to focus on the retina and so may maximise the potential vision.Download the Brochure

Diffractive multifocal lenses

Diffractive multifocal lenses will provide the greatest range of vision and therefore the greatest independence from spectacles but this will be balanced against optical quality so that you may experience some glare or halo around lights e.g. head or taillights when driving at night. You may already experience these symptoms because of refractive error or early cataract and most people will adapt to them but they are an important consideration when choosing this type of lens implant.

David Anderson has a wide experience using many different lens types over the last 25 years so depending on your clinical examination and optical preferences can help guide you to the best choice for your particular circumstances.

Can you correct astigmatism?

Yes, there are a number of different approaches to reducing astigmatism from the placement of the entry ports during surgery to the use of toric or astigmatism correcting lenses, or combining lens surgery with laser vision correction also known as Bioptics.

David Anderson has published some of the largest studies on astigmatism in cataract surgery which can be referenced here and can advise you on the best options for your particular circumstances.

  1. https://bjo.bmj.com/content/103/7/993.abstract
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5846755/
(Video) Eye Surgery- Cataract with Lens Replacement

Astigmatism Explained Animation


We are always on hand to answer any questions you may have about your proposed surgery or to provide you with further information. We have addressed some of the most frequently asked questions we receive below but of course, there are many others that you may have so please do contact us and ask!

What are the risks of surgery?

Risks with surgery are low and David Anderson has performed many thousands of operations with excellent results. Surgical procedures do carry risks however and complications can include infection, macula oedema (or swelling), seeing small dots or floaters and retinal detachment. All risks and benefit of surgery will be discussed with you at your consultation, if you are anxious about potential complications please call us so we can help alleviate any concerns that you may have.

Will my eye be sore after surgery?

Your eye will feel slightly gritty and may ache a little for a day or two but should not be painful. Any mild ache should settle with simple analgesia e.g. paracetamol. In many cases, people do not experience any discomfort.

When can I return to work after surgery?

We usually suggest a week or so off work and can provide medical certification if required. There are no restriction on using screens so if you would like to work from home using screens you can do so as soon as you wish. You cannot ‘strain’ your eyes by using them to watch the television, read, use a screen or a smartphone.

Can both eyes be treated at the same time?

Our usual practice is to proceed with second eye surgery within a few days or a week of the first. Cataract surgery is very safe however, and there are circumstances in which surgery can be performed immediately sequentially on both eyes, particularly if a general anaesthetic is required.

How long will the new intraocular lens (IOL) last?

The IOL implants are designed to be left in place for life, they do not wear out so do not need to be replaced after a period of time. They are made from biologically inert acrylic polymers.

Can an intraocular lens (IOL) be replaced?

Yes. IOLs or artificial lenses can be replaced but rarely need to be as they do not wear out, are not load bearing and do not move within the eye.

How soon can I fly?

You can fly on the day of surgery but it is advisable to remain local to the hospital for the first few weeks after surgery in case you need advice or additional treatment.

When can I wear make-up?

Please avoid wearing eye make-up, particularly mascara for a week following surgery. Any other face make-up can be worn after 48 hours. We ask that you be careful not to rub or apply pressure to your eyes during this time.

When can I go back to the gym / yoga / Pilates?

We encourage you to be active but please avoid exercise for the first week after surgery and vigorous exercise for a second week. Taking walks can resume the next day and stretching or mobility within two or three days as long as it is gentle. Yoga and Pilates are fine to resume after a week but please avoid standing on your head!

When can I resume swimming?

If you have comfortable, well-fitting goggles you can swim after two weeks but ideally we would like you to avoid swimming pool water entering your eyes for a month following surgery. Many of our patients swim in the sea which is often cleaner and we recommend a two week period provided goggles are worn. After one month there are no limitations on swimming in freshwater or swimming pools.

5-Star Lens Replacement Surgery Reviews


Lens Replacement

Read More

Extremely pleased with the result of having the multi focal lens replacement surgery. The procedure was carried out very professionally along with the aftercare.


Lens Replacement - Excellent results

Read More

This operation has changed my life after many years of being unable to see or read without glasses. I can now read , drive and work without them. Mr Anderson delivered this procedure with courtesy, compassion and great skill. The results are wonderful and I would recommend it to anyone who is suitable.


Refractive Lens Exchange

Read More

I was referred to Mr Anderson by my optician. I found him to be extremely personable and professional and was immediately reassured by his calm manner. He recommended refractive lens exchange, in both eyes. I was a little apprehensive pre op, but all the staff were reassuring, and the op itself was painless, and over very quickly. (probably around 15 minutes) I could see the results almost immediately. 4 weeks on and after 55 years of spectacle wearing the results are amazing. From a prescription of +9.5 I am now completely glasses free even for reading. Thank you

Five Star experience from start to finish. Service provided was professional in every way and the whole Team involved during the Procedure were reassuring and exuded confidence. The end result was amazing and Mr Anderson called personally the day after surgery, to show concern and enquire if all was well. Of Course it was...Many thanks.


Top quality service from start to finish.

Read More

(Video) What to expect DURING and AFTER your cataract and premium lens replacement surgery -2022

I have been very short sighted {minus 9-minus 10} all my life and have needed to wear contact lenses or glasses all day. Amazingly now ,at the age of 55 , I do not need to wear glasses at all, not even for reading. My life {as well as my sight} has been changed completely. I would recommend David Anderson to anyone thinking of having treatment on their eyes. Everything was explained very clearly and everything happened exactly as he said it would. The care throughout was professional and thorough.


Professional and friendly service

Read More

Brilliant results, wish I'd had the interocular lenses years ago for my shortsightedness, rather than wait till cataracts prompted me. Felt very confident in the treatment and advice given by Mr Anderson.



(Video) Cataract and lens replacement day of surgery and postoperative instructions. 1-9-2018

Book a Consultation

Book a medical consultation with Mr. David Anderson at one of our clinics.

Book Consultation

Call Us

Book a consultation by calling the number below or ask us any questions you may have.

02380 258421

Download a Free Infopack

Not ready for a consultation but would like to learn more? Download a free infopack.

(Video) Cataract Surgery with a Multifocal Lens

Download Now


What can you not do after eye lens replacement? ›

What can you not do after lens surgery?
  1. No makeup for 2 weeks - Avoid wearing eye makeup two weeks after you've had your surgery.
  2. Avoid rubbing your eyes for two weeks - You should completely avoid rubbing your eyes for the first two weeks and minimal touching of your eyes during the 4 weeks after surgery.

How long is recovery from lens replacement? ›

On average, eye lens replacement surgery recovery time is about two weeks. To aid recovery you'll have anti-inflammatory and antibiotic eye drops. A few days of slight discomfort and glare or blurred vision is completely normal while you recover from lens replacements and your eye settles down.

Can I wear glasses after lens replacement? ›

It's a good idea to wait until six to eight weeks after your cataract surgery before getting a new pair of glasses — your surgeon will advise you on this.

Can you rub your eyes months after cataract surgery? ›

As uncomfortable as your eyes may be, remember that you should not rub your eyes after cataract surgery until you have fully recovered. Rubbing your eyes can harm you as you are healing, and can have negative effects on your vision.

Can I watch TV after lense replacement? ›

Can I watch TV after lens replacement surgery? In general, you should be able to watch TV after a few hours of returning home after your procedure. It is, however, recommended to give your eyes time to rest and recover on the day of surgery.

How long after lens replacement can I wash my face? ›

Your surgery should not come at the expense of your hygiene, however you should avoid exposing your eye to direct water contact for at least a week. You can resume washing your face the day after your surgery while being careful to not touch your eye.

Is it normal to have blurry vision after lens replacement? ›

Blurry vision

It is very common to have blurry or unclear vision in the days and sometimes even weeks after cataract removal. Most of the time, this is caused by normal swelling in the eye which occurs as a part of surgery.

How long do you wear eye shield at night after cataract surgery? ›

take it easy for the first 2 to 3 days. use your eye shield at night for at least a week. take painkillers if you need to. bathe or shower yourself as usual.

What happens if I get water in my eye after cataract surgery? ›

Exposure to water can put your eyes at risk of infection or irritation until your eye has healed from surgery. “Give yourself at least one night of sleep before showering, and prevent the stream of water from hitting your eyes directly,” says Eghrari.

How long do I need to wear dark glasses outside after cataract surgery? ›

Wear sunglasses outdoors for one week after surgery. It is optional to wear them indoors.

How do I keep my eyelids clean after cataract surgery? ›

The eyelids and lashes may be gently cleaned using a clean washcloth & warm tap water. This may be done as often as needed. You may watch TV, use the computer or read. Showering is permitted, as well as washing your hair, but try not to get soap into the operated eye.

How long after cataract surgery Can I watch TV? ›

You can read or watch TV right away, but things may look blurry. Most people are able to return to work or their normal routine in 1 to 3 days. After your eye heals, you may still need to wear glasses, especially for reading.

How soon can I wash my hair after cataract surgery? ›

It's usually considered safe to wash your hair 24 hours after you have cataract surgery. However, you should keep your eyes closed and avoid getting any water or shampoo in your eye, and, it's advised that you use a mild or baby shampoo. You should also avoid rubbing your eye.

Why can't you drink water before cataract surgery? ›

So why do you need to fast? Fasting before cataract eye surgery reduces the risk of stomach contents/acid going the wrong way down into your lungs while you are asleep.

Can I sleep on my side after cataract surgery? ›

In addition to wearing your eye shield at night, you will also want to avoid sleeping on the side that has been operated on. By reducing irritation, you can decrease your risk of infection and speed your recovery process. This is why your doctor tells you not to sleep on your side after cataract surgery.

Why is my night vision worse after cataract surgery? ›

Sometimes after surgery, blood vessels in the retina leak. As fluid collects in your eye, it blurs your vision. Your doctor will treat it with eye drops, and it could take weeks or months to heal. It usually gets completely better.

What happens if you don't use eye drops after cataract surgery? ›

If someone didn't use their eye drops the best-case scenario would be that their eyes would take longer to heal, and may develop some scarring tissue. The worst-case scenario would be an infection – one that could end in loss of eyesight if not caught quickly.

Why are my eyes still blurry after 2 months of cataract surgery? ›

Is it normal to have blurred vision after cataract surgery? Yes, blurred vision is normal after cataract surgery. It takes time for your eyes to heal and to adjust to the new lens that has been implanted. Not everyone will recover from cataract surgery at the same pace.

Can you bend your head down after cataract surgery? ›

Although patients undergoing cataract surgery may believe that they should not bend down after their operation, modern microsurgery produces a secure wound which is resistant to the changes in intraocular pressure which may occur with changes in posture.

What happens if you rub your eye a week after cataract surgery? ›

Rubbing your eye can lead to bacteria or an infection, and the pressure is also bad for the healing incision. Your eye may itch sometimes, but rubbing it will only make things worse— you must resist the urge! Keeping your eye as clean and clear of contact as possible will lead to faster healing.

Can I wear my own sunglasses after cataract surgery? ›

When getting sunglasses after cataract surgery, be sure to get ones that block 100% of UVA and UVB rays. It would be best if you also got glasses that block light from getting in on the sides of your face. You want to keep sunlight out of your eyes as much as possible while they heal.

How can I wash my hair after cataract surgery without getting water in my eye? ›

However, you may shower and wash your hair as soon as the day after your surgery. Just keep your eyes closed during hair and face washing to avoid getting any product in the treated eye.

How do you wipe your eyes after surgery? ›

Use a tissue or cotton bud dipped in the cool boiled water to wipe across the eye lashes from the inner corner to the outer corner. Be careful not to press onto the eye. 4. Repeat this using a clean tissue or cotton bud to remove any sticky deposits from your lids and lashes.

Can I use eyelid wipes after cataract surgery? ›

Thus, perioperative eyelid hygiene using preservative-free disposable sterile eyelid wipes is needed to improve subjective symptoms and prevent blepharitis and MGD exacerbation after cataract surgery.

Can I clean my house after cataract surgery? ›

Keep your home clean and dust free in the first few weeks post-op. Avoid doing any cleaning around your home where dust and irritants could find their way to your eyes. Avoid rubbing and scratching your eyes, at all costs! Do not submerge your head underwater for at least a week post-op.

Can you look at a computer screen after cataract surgery? ›

Several hours following the surgery, most patients are able to watch some television or look at a computer screen for a short period of time. It's important however that you don't over-exert your eyes during the first 24 hours post-surgery. You can expect to return to most normal activities during the first week.

What activities should be avoided after cataract surgery? ›

What Activities Should Be Avoided After Cataract Surgery?
  • Driving. For at least 24 hours after cataract surgery, you shouldn't drive. ...
  • Wearing Makeup. Makeup is so much fun, but it is also full of bacteria. ...
  • Performing Strenuous Activities. ...
  • Going Near Dirty or Dusty Areas. ...
  • Swimming. ...
  • Forgetting Your Sunglasses. ...
  • Rubbing Your Eye.

Can I change lenses but keep frames? ›

Reglazing your glasses is the most cost-effective way to replace your lenses and keep your existing frames. Your lenses may need to be replaced for a number of reasons, whether that be due to damage, prescription change, or the budget constraints of buying a whole new pair of glasses.

Can I use both lens and glasses? ›

Yes. You can wear glasses and contact lenses at the same time. [toc]Many people do this because it fixes multiple issues they might have with their vision. The glasses might help with reading while the contacts improve farsightedness.

How many times can you replace lenses in glasses? ›

There's no hard and fast rule of how often you need to replace your prescription glasses, although most optometrists recommend you do so every one to three years. If your vision hasn't changed and your glasses are in good condition, you may be able to keep the same pair for a long time.

Can you have lens replacement more than once? ›

Absolutely. This involves a short operation, in which a second lens implant – called a piggyback implant – is inserted on top of the already existing lens implant. The piggyback lens allows us to modify either the toricity or/and power of the original implant.

Who will put new lenses in my old frames? ›

Typically, optical shops will replace the lenses for you if your frames are in good condition and the shape of the lenses isn't too complicated. Other options include online retailers Lensabl and EyeglassX, which specialize in prescription lenses for existing glasses.

Which is better lens or glasses? ›

Contact lenses conform to the curvature of your eye, giving you a wider field of vision and causing fewer vision distortions and obstructions than glasses.

What happens if you only wear one contact lens? ›

Using a single contact lens won't hurt your eyes if that's what your prescription calls for. However, if you're not wearing both contacts because you lost one of them, you may experience vision loss symptoms in the unprotected eye. Blurry, distorted vision and other side effects of uncorrected vision can return.

Can we use same lenses daily? ›

The short answer is no. You shouldn't wear daily disposable contacts more than once. However, you can safely re-wear daily extended-use lenses for up to a month (or however long your optometrist recommends).


1. Intraocular Lenses - Mayo Clinic
(Mayo Clinic)
2. THE MOST COMMON COMPLICATION AFTER CATARACT SURGERY: What is Posterior capsular opacification.
(Good Optometry Morning: Youtube Eye Doctor)
3. What is Refractive Lens Exchange Surgery?
(EyeSmart — American Academy of Ophthalmology)
4. Over 45 and considering LASIK, Lens replacement or Cataract surgery? All you need to know.
(Shannon Wong, MD)
5. How is lens replacement surgery different to standard cataract surgery?
(Top Doctors UK)
6. Single Multifocal Lens Replacement Surgery. Why, How and WOW!
(Clough Reviews)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Rueben Jacobs

Last Updated: 03/12/2023

Views: 5620

Rating: 4.7 / 5 (57 voted)

Reviews: 88% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Rueben Jacobs

Birthday: 1999-03-14

Address: 951 Caterina Walk, Schambergerside, CA 67667-0896

Phone: +6881806848632

Job: Internal Education Planner

Hobby: Candle making, Cabaret, Poi, Gambling, Rock climbing, Wood carving, Computer programming

Introduction: My name is Rueben Jacobs, I am a cooperative, beautiful, kind, comfortable, glamorous, open, magnificent person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.