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What is lens 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. An added advantage of this treatment is that a cataract cannot form at a later stage.


Types of Lens Surgery

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

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.

Lens Types

What lenses do we use for surgery?

There are many types of lenses which suit different people, depending on your lifestyle and prescription. At Optimax, we offer a range of monofocal, multifocal or trifocal lenses. These allow you to have sharp vision for multiple distances, eliminating the need for reading glasses. During your consultation, the best lenses and your options are explained to you. Some complex lenses can be custom-made for you at an additional cost.


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Call us on 0800 093 1110


Can I have Lens Surgery?

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.

Which prescriptions can lens surgery correct?


How much does lens surgery cost?


Lens surgery at Optimax costs between £3,495 per eye (£6,990 for both eyes) and £3,995 per eye (£7,990 for both eyes), depending on the type of lens needed. Our prices are fixed, no hidden costs or extra payments, interest-free and interest-bearing credit available for up to 48 months.


Aftercare & Recovery

What aftercare is there?

After your treatment we will provide you with drops to keep your eyes hydrated, reduce discomfort, and help with the healing process. 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.

Visit us for a Free, No‑Obligation Consultation

Call us on 0800 093 1110



Why should I come to Optimax for my lens surgery procedure?

The Facts

What Our Customers Say About Us

"Having treatment has given me so much confidence, I feel like anything is possible now."

Terry Hollingsworth, Company Director, Lens Surgery

Frequently Asked Questions

Below you’ll find answers to some of the most common questions we receive. We are constantly keeping track of what information our patients are interested in and aim to provide it in the simplest form possible. If you cannot find the answers you are looking for within this section, please don't hesitate to get in touch with one of our advisors who are on standby to discuss your visual requirements and respond to your queries.

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.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.

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.

he 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.

We only use the best phakic machines available on the market, such as Alcon, Nidek, Zeiss, Johnson&Johnson, Leica. All manufacturers use world-class technology, providing high-quality outcomes, and are involved in ongoing research to bring safer, more accurate lasers to market.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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