Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE)

Lens replacement – Give your eyes an upgrade

Lens replacement (RLE) - what is it?

In this video, Prof Mohammed Muhtaseb explains what you need to know about lens replacement


Lens replacement (RLE) - how does it work?

The eye’s natural lens is removed and replaced with a clear plastic lens. This is very similar to a cataract operation but is undertaken before a cataract develops.

The lens implant that is inserted into the eye can be chosen from a variety of types, and is chosen on the basis of your requirements and the examination findings at the consultation.

Multifocal Intraocular Lenses (mIOL’s) employ new technology to mimic the process of accommodation – they are sometimes called pseudo accommodative IOL’s. They create focal points for light coming from far, intermediate and near objects – but you will only sees the object of interest.

Watch this video on how refractive lens exchange works.

Lens replacement (RLE) - results

Refractive lens exchange (RLE) is a very successful intervention both in terms of surgical safety and patient satisfaction. The surgical risks are very low, and I will discuss these with you in detail during the initial consultation.

The vast majority of patients are very satisfied with the results of RLE surgery and the published literature on the subject shows consistently positive results. Patients consistently report greater freedom from needing glasses than before RLE, including for reading if a multifocal lens implant was chosen.


What you need to know about having lens replacement

Upgrade your eyes

You have embraced modern vision correction, and in just 15 minutes, you have fantastic unaided vision at all distances.

Feel fantastic

You no longer feel annoyed, anxious or limited by reading glasses or varifocal spectacles. You’re liberated from squinting and headaches, and this has lifted your mood and general well-being.

Save time

You never thought you’d see the day where you could leave the house without your glasses. You’re so pleased that you took the opportunity when you had the chance, and now you can enjoy the remarkable results for that much longer.

Be you

Glasses were so deeply ingrained into your life that you accepted them as your identity. The new you has arrived, and it’s inspiring for everyone to see.

Refractive lens exchange has given you a new lease of life. Your eyes finally see as young as you feel.


Lens replacement (RLE) - FAQs

What is Lens replacement's suitability criteria?

Lens replacement, also known as Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE), is a great way to achieve freedom from glasses.

You could be suitable for lens replacement if you:

  • are 50 years or over (although exceptions to this may be considered depending on individual circumstances)
  • have a spectacle prescription for distance or near vision, or both
  • wish to become less reliant on their glasses or contact lenses
  • want to be free from glasses and contact lenses
How do I get a diagnose for RLE treatment?

Step 1: The first step towards achieving freedom from glasses with lens replacement is to arrange a consultation with us. You do not need a referral, but it is always helpful if you can bring the report from your latest optician’s eye test.

Step 2: After a thorough consultation and examination, we may ask you to have further tests if we think it’s necessary.

Step 3: Once we have agreed to a personalised treatment plan for you, we will offer you a range of dates for the surgery and plan your post-operative care in line with your specific circumstances.

Step 4: When you arrive in the surgical centre, you will be greeted by the team. The day will go very smoothly and you will leave the hospital having received the very best care and attention throughout your time with us.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of RLE?


  • Lens replacement allows a choice of visual outcomes. Namely, to either correct for only distance vision, or to correct for distance, middle and near vision. The wide variety of lens implant types allow for a tailored approach to visual correction.
  • Lens replacement also prevents cataracts from developing in future. This is because the eye’s natural lens has already been removed and replaced with a lens implant. Therefore, unlike with other methods of visual correction, a further operation to remove a cataract will not be needed.


  • Lens replacement tends to be a little more costly than laser vision correction
What are RLE risks?

Lens replacement is a very safe procedure.

Like all types of surgery, lens replacement carries some risk of unexpected events occurring either during or after the operation. These risks are usually 1% or less, and the vast majority of patients are very happy with the results of their surgery.

Are there any alternatives to RLE?

Lens replacement allows a choice of visual outcomes. The wide variety of lens implant types allow for a tailored approach to visual correction.

IOL types include the following. The visual outcomes detailed are target outcomes, not guarantees. There is a possibility that glasses may still be required to achieve best vision, whatever the type of IOL that is used.


You will see in the distance but uses glasses for middle and near.

Enhanced Monofocal

You will see in the distance and have some functional middle distance vision, but will require glasses for finer middle distance vision and for near.

Multifocal / Trifocal

You will see clearly in the distance, middle and near.

Multifocal – Extended Depth Of Focus (EDOF)

Lenses that combine multifocal and EDOF technology add to the range of multifocal lens options.

Alternatives to lens replacement include:

  • Laser correction with both eyes corrected for distance
  • Laser correction with both eyes corrected for monovision
  • Laser correction with both eyes corrected with a multifocal corneal ablation

Discover the number one mistake patients make when choosing cataract surgery

Most people have cataract surgery without knowing about all the options they actually have surrounding cataract surgery. Unfortunately, most people only find this out after having cataract surgery. The information in this Wales Cataract Guide could save you frustration and worry. Simply click the button below to give us your email and we’ll send you this life changing guide:

Download our Cataract Guide

When might you need our treatment?

You’re over 45 and would love to read again without glasses

Unfortunately, reading glasses or varifocals get in the way of many of the things you most enjoy. Yes, spectacles help, but they are annoying little appendages that you lose or must clean to see clearly.

If you feel annoyed, anxious and limited by reading glasses or varifocal spectacles, we can help. Don’t let your favourite hobbies become tiring chores.

Be free from reading specs for good. Experience the liberation from squinting and headaches that you might have already begun to accept as part of life.

Instead, look forward to enjoying everything that your vision has to offer. Whether you enjoy reading, gardening, or the great outdoors, everything looks better when your eyes see as young as you feel.

Get a new lease on life. Contact us today and take the first step towards a better life.


Your vision is yellowing, duller, and cataracts are forming. You feel like your eyes are letting you down

The effect on your life can vary from being slightly frustrating, through to significantly affecting your ability to function independently, or even causing a devastating reduction in vision.

Before you developed cataracts, you were living a full life. You may enjoy the outdoors, have indoor hobbies or enjoy travelling. Or, perhaps you have finished working and are now taking the time to enjoy everything you may have missed when you were busy making a living.

Sadly, your eyes now dull the shine of life’s beautiful landscape. The trees, the flowers and even the sky don’t seem as bright as they used to look.

Get your life back without the compromise. Experience what life used to look like. Even better, if you’ve worn glasses or contact lenses, discover the incredible once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that modern cataract surgery affords.


Hear from our patients

With over 6300+ surgeries performed hear from just a few of my happy patients.

It’s been incredibly liberating to wake up in the morning and be able to see without reaching for my glasses.


I can go any anywhere and see anything near and far. I can see now as well as I could when I was 18 years of age which is incredible and I’m looking forward to clear vision for the rest of my life.

Kevin Taylor

“No. 1 – My advice would be do it. No. 2 – See Mohammed if you can. I made the decision to not go down the NHS route because I wanted to see the best consultant – probably in the UK… It was absolutely worth it… because you can’t really put a price on your sight.”

Martin Harris
Cataract Surgery & Keratoconus Treatment

“I don’t wear glasses at all now. I don’t need them. I was impressed by his professionalism, his calmness. He explained everything clearly and in layman’s language… I would say to anyone considering treatment: just do it. Don’t be afraid of it. It’s painless and it works.”

Martin Power
Refractive Cataract Surgery with multifocal toric lenses

“I can’t speak highly enough of (Prof Muhtaseb). Nothing was too much trouble, you could phone anytime, day or night. I wish I had done it when I first started wearing reading glasses and just gone to Prof Muhtaseb then and got it done. I would do it all over again, but do it much faster.”

Ann Edworthy
Refractive Cataract Surgery & Piggyback Lenses

“I would definitely recommend the professor. I think his approach is perfect! If you have any anxieties at all – just check with someone who’s had the procedure done. I had no pain at all. I expected a little bit of discomfort – but no pain, that was good. It’s life-enhancing and that’s not something you can put clearly enough. I didn’t realise how green the trees were! It’s lovely!”

Sue Sargeant
Cataract Surgery with a Duet multifocal lens

Enjoy a life free from cataracts, glasses and contact lenses in three easy steps

Talk to us

Request your consultation online or call us on 02922 550 201 and we’ll guide you towards an initial assessment.

Meet your consultant

I’ll see you before treatment to ensure you’re a good candidate and treat you at one of my facilities in South Wales or Bristol.

Revitalise your eyes

I’ll supervise your aftercare as you begin to experience a life free of cataracts and glasses and contact lenses.

Guides & articles

Learn more about eye conditions and eye treatments

“I’m scared”

Prof Mohammed Muhtased discusses how his patients overcome anxiety about
Read More

“I’m not sure this is the right time to do this”

In this video, Prof Mohammed Muhtaseb explains the nature of
Read More

“Oh, that sounds expensive”

In this video, Prof Mohammed Muhtaseb discusses the value of
Read More

“I’d like to think about it”

In this video, Prof Mohammed Muhtaseb explains that a consultation
Read More

Educate yourself further about lens replacement by reading the links below

NHS – Lens replacement vs. Laser eye surgery

The NHS has compared laser eye surgery and lens replacement, and is worth a look. Click here for more information.

Royal College of Ophthalmologists – Refractive lens exchange

This 12-page guide provides you with the benefits of refractive lens exchange, as well as the risks and alternatives. Click here for more information.

Mayo Clinic – Presbyopia

Presbyopia is a condition that can make patients undergo a lens replacement – but what exactly is it? Click here for more information.


We are proud to be a part of these professional bodies

About the expert

Prof Mohammed Muhtaseb, FRCOphth

Consultant Cornea, Cataract and Refractive Surgeon

Based in South Wales, he is one of the very few ophthalmologists working in the UK who is a fellowship-trained specialist in Cornea, Cataract and Refractive Surgery. He holds full specialist registration with the General Medical Council and was appointed as a Consultant in the NHS in 2006.