Refractive Lens Exchange
Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE) is the procedure of choice if you:
- Wear reading glasses
- Wear varifocals
- Want a permanent cure
- Over 50 years of age
- Cannot / will not have laser eye surgery
- Want a Painless 10 minute procedure with rapid return to work
Viewpoint offers the full range of advanced implants to customise your treatment and to give you the vision you want.
You are a racing driver and need perfect far vision or
You want both, near, far and something in between
We will find a solution to satisfy your needs.
For patients who are presbyopic (aged over 45-50 years) and/or unsuitable for other refractive procedures, refractive lens exchange with advanced lens implants is a revolutionary breakthrough.
The aim of refractive lens exchange is to reduce your refractive error (long or short sight) so that you can enjoy clearer vision without spectacles or contact lenses. The technique is similar to that used in modern cataract surgery. Your own natural lens is removed, and a lens implant is put in its place.
Lens exchange surgery offers the opportunity for you to have a lens implant which can allow you to be independent of glasses for most day to day activities. These ‘State of the Art’ lens implants may be multifocal or accommodative lens implants which can correct presbyopia (the need for reading glasses). Other implants, so called Toric implants can even correct astigmatism. These implants are also suitable for patients having cataract surgery who wish to be free from glasses after their operation.
“I opted for local anaesthetic and must admit nerves kicked in on the day of operation. I should not have worried. …… No pain, No long drawn out operation, No problem. My vision now feels better than with contact lenses However as explained I will need glasses for very close work. I have worn glasses since I was 11 years old. Why did I wait so long (now 56) for refractive surgery?” Jim G from Yorkshire had RLE
This short procedure takes only five to 10 minutes and is done under local anaesthetic. We use numbing eye drops not needles to completely anaesthetize then eye. The surgery is completely painless. Through a small opening (microincision) the natural lens is removed and a replacement lens is slid into its place. The recovery is almost instantaneous with most patients able to watch TV immediately upon return to their rooms.
“It all happens very quickly, perhaps 5 -10 minutes per eye and then you are back in your room. There is absolutely no pain at all as the eyes are under topical anesthetic…. I just wish I hadn’t worried so much before the operation as it was such a simple procedure. I think I worried so much because it was my eyes and they are so precious…..Mr. Chitkara came to my room about 1 hour after surgery and lifted my eye pads. I was asked if I could see anything. There was a clock on the wall and I was asked if I could tell the time. I was able to tell him that it was 11 am. I honestly could not believe that I could see so soon.” Lesley G from Isle of Man
“I was very surprised to see the television on the wall of my bedroom. I was allowed home the next day, and it was all my wife could do to prevent me from driving home. The following day, I did undertake a motorway journey with her by my side….. I lost only one day from my office.”
Michael C, Consultant Surgeon
“I can honestly say that this operation has changed my life. Prior to surgery, I had a restricted pilot’s license. A few months after the operation, the civil aviation authority, awarded me a full license without the need for me to carry spare spectacles. I am a keen amateur musician, and I can read music unaided in most lighting conditions. It is very useful appeal to read music, and watch the conductor at the same time. This is always difficult, wearing reading glasses.” Michael C, Consultant Surgeon had RLE
“I had refractive lens exchange surgery on 16 November 2007. I say that date so clearly as it is a date I shall never forget and my life was totally changed. I am still thrilled each morning when I first peep open my eyes and can SEE. No more bumbling about looking for specs to use until I got up properly and put in my contact lens. For over 37 years these contact lens had been my “eyes” and cannot tell you what a release it is not to have to deal with them or consider them. But best of all, is the fantastic vision that I now have. I am still surprised with the new intensity of colours – that was a totally unexpected bonus. My sight is superb with details apparent to me that I never noticed before. All of this was through the efforts of Mr Deepak Chitkara at Viewpoint Vision. He is totally professional but was also very good at giving me the necessary information to give me the confidence to undergo this operation. Great job, Deepak, thank you very much!” Barbara B, Wiltshire (had RLE)
Small Incision Surgery
Since Refractive Lens Exchange is small incision surgery, it offers many quality-of-life benefits to the patient:
- Early return of good vision (within a few hours in most cases)
- Normal or near normal vision within days of surgery
- Large degree of long sight or short sight can be eliminated
- Astigmatism can be addressed during the surgery
- No postoperative padding of the eye
- Very few restrictions after surgery – i.e., normal household, recreational, and even occupational activities may be resumed within a few days
- Significantly reduced need for aftercare and follow-up visits compared with conventional surgery
- Both eyes can be treated on the same occasion
- Removal of your natural lens means you will not develop cataracts as you get older
- Permanent solution to your focusing problem!
Following removal of your natural lens, an intraocular lens is placed in the same position as your natural lens. It remains there permanently. The intraocular lens offers significant advantages:
- Magnification is at the natural level
- Full peripheral (side to side) vision is retained
- The lens is placed inside the eye during surgery and does not need to be adjusted
Posterior Capsule Opacification
When you have your surgery, the capsule that held your own natural lens is left in place. With time, this can thicken and become cloudy, impairing your vision. All that is required is a few seconds of YAG laser treatment in the clinic to ‘polish’ away the cloudy capsule. This usually restores clear vision within a few hours.