Refractive Lens Exchange

Refractive Lens Exchange

Refractive Lens Exchange

Refractive Lens Exchange, or Natural Lens Replacement, is a process where the natural lens is replaced by an advanced lens Implant to correct vision. This same procedure is branded by some companies and clinics as Clarivu or NuVu or PreLex.

We are one of the original clinics offering this revolutionary treatment for Presbyopia or age-related loss of reading vision with over 25 years’ experience.

Viewpoint offers the full range of advanced implants to customise your treatment and to give you the vision you want.

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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.

This short procedure takes only 5-10 minutes and is done under local anaesthetic. We use numbing eye drops, not needles, to completely anaesthetise 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.

Intraocular Lenses

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.

Multifocal and other premium implants

Multifocal Implants have the ability to split the light that enters your eye into two or more images. This allows you to focus far away as well as close up. Newer implants such as the Fine Vision Trifocal and extended depth of focus TECNIS® Symfony IOL deliver a continuous full range of high quality vision with reduced incidence of halos and glare comparable to older multifocal IOL such as the Restore and Rezoom lens. Numerous clinics offer these lenses but give the standard procedure with their own proprietary names such as Clarivu, etc. We are not tied to any such lens manufacturer or technique. Each lens has its advantages and disadvantages. The choice of implants will be discussed with you and most appropriate lens to suit your specific needs will be recommended for you.

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The consultant will discuss the choice of lens used and the technique which will be most appropriate for your needs during consultation.


Add on Lenses

If you have undergone cataract surgery or lens exchange but have not achieved the desired visual outcome, or if you want to be able to read close up without glasses, there is now a solution to ‘fine tune’ your result. You may have undergone the implant surgery recently or years ago.

Special intra-ocular lenses designed for implantation on top of the previously placed lens are available, so called ‘Add-On’ lenses are available. This allows your vision to be fine-tuned at a secondary procedure and is a safe and highly effective way to give you reading vision.


Piggy Back Lens Exchange

Viewpoint Vision was among the first centre in UK to offer this ground-breaking treatment. Piggy Back Lens Exchange is an extremely delicate procedure requiring exceptional surgical skills. We have carried out many successful piggy back lens implants treatments since 1996.

Piggy back lens implant treatment is used for complex prescriptions where a single implant is not enough to correct vision. A combination of two implants, both custom made for your prescription, is implanted within the eye – one inside the human lens capsule and one in front of it. This is similar to the principles described above for Add-on Lenses but here the procedure is done in one go.

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!

Accommodating Implants

Surgeons at Viewpoint Vision were one of the first in UK to offer these lenses to certain, suitable individuals.

These new lenses are now available which promise some degree of focusing for near and far distance – so called ACCOMMODATING lenses.

The accommodating lenses are more flexible, like your natural lens. Like your natural lens they can move or alter shape within your eyes to alter your focus from far to near. Mr Chitkara was the first surgeon in the world to use the Tetraflex accommodating lens and in fact helped to design the lens. The Tetraflex lens is now the most popular accommodating lens in use within the UK.

During consultation, we will discuss with you in detail the choice of lens used and the technique which will be most appropriate for your needs.

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