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Clear Lens Exchange

Treatment for people over the age of 40 that have developed a reading prescription.

About


We have all been in that situation where we have forgotten our reading glasses and can’t read a menu in a restaurant and need borrow a pair. Or you just can’t get along with varifocal glasses or multifocal contact lenses. Imagine if this could be a thing of the past and be glasses free for the rest of your life. No more hassles with glasses or contact lenses!

Clear Lens Exchange is also known as Lens Exchange (LE), Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE), Natural Lens Replacement (NLR), or presbyopic lens replacement surgery. It involves removing your eye’s natural crystalline lens and replacing it with an artificial intraocular lens (IOL) to correct your vision.

If you need glasses for seeing things up close, such as reading, as well as for distance, it is not possible to correct both issues with laser eye surgery, instead Lens Exchange would be the ideal option. It also has the added benefit that by performing this procedure you will never develop cataracts in the future.

The procedure is very similar to Cataract surgery, which is the one of the most commonly performed medical procedures worldwide, and according the World Health Organisation (WHO), is also one of the safest. However, instead of removing a cloudy lens (cataract), a clear lens is removed and exchanged with an IOL that corrects your prescription. Hence why we have aptly named the procedure Clear Lens Exchange (CLE).

This procedure not only offers full correction of all fields of vision but also ensures that cataracts will never develop in the future, meaning you can enjoy the rest of your life glasses free!

Suitability

As we age, the natural lens in our eye gradually weakens, causing difficulty focusing on objects up close and problems reading, eventually leading to the need for reading glasses after the age of 40. This is called presbyopia, and everyone develops it at some point. For this reason Clear Lens Exchange surgery is ideally suited for patients over the age of 40 who are already having reading problems.

To be eligible for lens replacement surgery, you must:

  • Must be over the age of 40
  • Have developed presbyopia (a reading prescription)
  • Any prescription range
  • Healthy eyes, which must lack any significant eye disease like glaucoma
  • Good general health
  • Lack any existing eye infections
  • Not be allergic to anaesthetic

Contraindications

Although we are passionate about correcting the sight of all those we possibly can, AVC neither provides experimental treatments nor operate on those who suffer from conditions that prevent safe and ethical treatment.

Common reasons patients are found unsuitable for treatment include:

  • Under the age of 40
  • Unusually large pupils
  • Specific medication
  • Certain health conditions: this includes autoimmune disease
  • Certain occupations involving the need for critical night vision (eg. HGV drivers, commercial pilots, etc) if wanting Trifocal lenses
  • Pregnancy or breastfeeding
  • Previous instance of serious eye trauma or retinal detachment

With the best international surgical team in the UK, our combined expertise in non-laser treatments is without precedent. We take great pride in having the skills to help even those who have been turned down by other clinics. Book a consultation now to learn how Advanced Vision Care can perfect your sight and improve your quality of life today.

Treatment


The main treatment necessary to correct multiple points of vision is Clear Lens Exchange Surgery, this is the same procedure as our Cataract procedure. At Advanced Vision Care, our treatments are bespoke and are always tailored to the personal needs of every individual patient.

This procedure involves removing the natural crystalline lens and replacing it with an intraocular lens (IOL) implant to correct the vision. There are different types of intraocular lenses and the type of lens determines whether a patient will be completely glasses free, the lens that is best suited to each individual is decided by the surgeon.

Clear Lens Exchange treatment will take less than 20 minutes per eye and each eye is treated separately over consecutive days. This treatment can be used to completely restore your vision and free you from the need of multiple pairs of glasses and contact lenses and it is one of the most commonly performed procedures in the world, with over 300,000 performed in the UK every year.

It is considered by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as one of the safest treatments available in the world today. The be suitable for treatment you must have developed presbyopia (prescription for reading vision).

Benefits

  • Does not induce dry eye syndrome
  • Adequate vision at all distances (distance, intermediate, near)
  • Freedom from multiple pairs of glasses
  • Suitable for patients with thin or abnormal corneas
  • Treats a wide prescription range
  • Clear Lens Exchange procedure takes less than 30 minutes per eye and most people are able to resume daily activities in just a few short days with clearer vision

This treatment can successfully treat a wide range of eye related conditions including; cataracts, presbyopia, astigmatism, long sightedness and short sightedness.

After the surgery has taken place, you can look forward to a life with a lessened or entirely removed dependence on visual aids like glasses and contact lenses.

Due to these merits, the surgery can give you greater confidence for the long term.

Never develop age-related cataracts

This treatment removes the natural lens of the eye and replaces it with an artificial lens, which means that the lens doesn’t change with age. By having CLE treatment you will never have to experience the gradual loss of vision and colour that occurs as a cataract develops and changes your life. It is often chosen as a preventative measure for patients whose family has a history of cataracts.

When arriving at the clinic on the day of surgery our friendly and experienced clinical team will guide you through every step of the way. The treatment will take less than 20 minutes per eye and each eye is treated individually, one day after the other.

  • Anaesthetic drops are used to numb the eye.
  • A sedative is given and the pupils are dilated using drops.
  • An eyelid guard is used to prevent blinking.
  • A micro incision is made at the edge of the cornea.
  • The phacoemulsification probe is used to break up and remove the natural lens.
  • The tailor-made intraocular lens is placed in the capsule where the natural lens used to be.
  • There is no need for stitches due to the micro incision being self-sealing.
  • Our specialist nurse will go through the precautions and medications that are needed to aid recovery.
  • Your aftercare will begin the next day with a check-up for the treated eye.

Intraocular Lens Implants (IOLs)


Usually NHS providers only offer the basic type of intraocular lens (IOL) implants: Monofocal lenses which only correct distant vision. However, at AVC we only offer truly bespoke treatments and we provide you with intraocular lenses best suited to your needs. The type of lens that you will be suitable for is dependent on your lifestyle and visual needs and will be determined by your surgeon after a comprehensive consultation.

When multifocal IOLs were introduced, they were heralded as a means of improving both distance and near vision. However, with the nature of our work in this day and age, we continually demand better intermediate vision, and it could be argued that intermediate vision is even more crucial than near vision what with the use of computers, tablets, smart phones, etc. Trifocal IOLs are the latest generation of multifocal IOLs and improve vision across all spectrums, correcting all fields of vision; distance, near and intermediate, enabling our patients to be glasses free for the vast majority of their tasks after receiving eye lens replacement surgery.

Rest assured that Trifocal IOLs do not work like varifocal glasses or multifocal contact lenses and adaptation is much easier and occurs completely naturally. These next generation trifocal IOLs offer a better quality of vision because the transmittance of light through the lens implant is extremely efficient, this improves intermediate vision with minimal glare and halos at night. Published reports indicate higher levels of patient satisfaction, better quality of vision (especially at night) and more freedom from glasses. Imagine having clear vision at all distances!

Here at AVC we use these revolutionary Trifocal lenses and because we have no affiliation with any lens manufacturers we are able to correct any prescription range and are renowned for being able to treat patients found unsuitable by other clinics.

Clear Lens Exchange is not only able to correct all fields of vision, but also ensures that cataracts will never develop in the future, meaning you can enjoy the rest of your life glasses free!

Types of IOL Implants

We offer different types of IOLs, which can give you clear vision at different distances:

  • Monofocal: Available in both spherical and toric (for astigmatism) designs, this is single focus intraocular lens (IOL) which gives clear distance vision, and glasses are needed for reading and computer use.
  • Trifocal: Available in both spherical and toric (for astigmatism) designs, these lenses are able to correct more than one field of vision by using layered concentric circles, enabling for simultaneous correction of near, distance and intermediate vision leaving patients largely glasses free.

Lenses available at AVC

Advanced Vision Care is a completely independent surgeon led clinic and have no affiliation with any manufacturers or paid consultants enabling us to choose the best lenses to fit our patients’ visual and lifestyle needs. We have access to the three most widely used Trifocal (intraocular lenses) IOLs:

  • AT LISA (Carl Zeiss Meditec, Jena, Germany) – available in spherical and toric designs.

  • FineVision (PhysIOL, Liege, Belgium) – available in spherical and toric designs.

  • PanOptix (Alcon, Fort Worth, Texas) – available in spherical and toric designs.

Technology


This is used to capture a digital reference image of the eye during the initial assessment which is used to create a surgical plan. This equipment is also used throughout the treatment allowing the surgeon to see all incisions and alignments in real time, improving accuracy and minimising errors especially whilst correcting an astigmatism.

 

RLE / CLE and Cataracts Technology - The VERION Image Guided System

AVC is the first clinic in the UK to possess this equipment and it is the newest phacoemulsification system available (this breaks up and removes the natural lens). It allows for smaller incisions and is able to optimise every phase of the lens removal. The device also controls the intra-ocular pressure throughout the treatment and enhances the control of the surgeon, consequently improving the patient’s outcome and accelerating the recovery process.

CLE and Cataracts Technology - centurion vision system

The Lux-OR LX3 with Q-VUE Ophthalmic Microscope is designed to provide superior visualisation throughout the surgical procedure, this microscope is able to expand the visual field with a highly stable, 6x greater red reflex zone, providing excellent visual detail with superior visualisation of the retina.

CLE and Cataracts Technology - ophthalmic microscope

Why choose AVC for a CLE treatment?


First Class Treatments

Treatments are bespoke and customised to each individual to achieve outstanding results. AVC was the first clinic in the UK to the have to the latest and most advanced non laser theatre in the UK; The Alcon Refractive Suite. Advanced Vision Care is one of the only clinics in the country to not have any affiliations with any manufacturers meaning we provide truly bespoke treatments with no hidden restrictions.

First Class Surgeons

Our world class non laser surgical team have over fifty years of combined experience, they are the world renowned Dr Goran Helgason and Professor Martin Filipec. These surgeons are supported by a handpicked team of highly experienced NHS consultants to treat our privately insured patients. AVC is a surgeon led clinic that is completely independent, no affiliations with any manufacturers enables our surgeons to choose the best to lenses for our patients visual and lifestyle needs.

First Class Service

We provide our patients with the best possible care, and constantly surpass expectations. All appointments from the consultation to treatment and aftercare can be performed at the AVC clinic on Harley Street and for those that would prefer to have their check-ups closer to home we have the largest independent optometrist network in the country, so you can enjoy incredible aftercare at a more convenient location.

Your 4 step treatment plan


Our 5 star treatment is all about what is best for you

Prior to your consultation

How to prepare for you initial assessment

Consultation

What to expect at your initial assessment

Treatment

What to expect on your treatment day

Aftercare

What to expect from your comprehensive aftercare

Price Guide


  • Consultation – £200* (non-refundable)
  • Monofocal Lens – £2950 per eye (deposit of £1250 per eye – deducted from final cost)
  • Monofocal Toric Lens – £3350 per eye (deposit of £1250 per eye – deducted from final cost)
  • Trifocal Lens – £3650 per eye (deposit of £1250 per eye – deducted from final cost)
  • Trifocal Toric Lens – £3950 per eye (deposit of £1250 per eye – deducted from final cost)
  • Complex cases – From £350 extra per eye
  • Private Consultation – £250* (non-refundable)

Our CLE surgery package includes:

  • Cost of the surgery
  • 1 year aftercare including all check ups
  • 24 hour emergency phone service
  • 1 month supply of drops
  • Free fine tuning (if necessary) in the first year
  • Access to the largest independent optometrist network in the country

An annual follow up is advised once the aftercare program is completed (charged at £100 per visit)

*Fee includes comprehensive testing with the latest technology and the opportunity to meet with the AVC Medical Director and Lead Surgeon, Dr CT Pillai either at initial consultation or at a later date. We ensure everybody benefits from his expertise, has a definitive answer about suitability and is given a bespoke treatment plan.

Interest Free Finance

To make vision correction treatment more affordable, we provide flexible interest free finance plans. Using our flexible finance options, you can spread the cost of your surgery with interest free monthly repayments, meaning you don’t pay more than the actual cost of your surgery.

At AVC, we value flexibility and give our patients the option to pay a larger deposit to reduce the cost of the monthly repayments. We have partnered with Hitachi Finance to provide finance plans that are not only interest free but can be paid off early without being penalised.

From

£141.67 (per month)

12 months interest-free finance

is available starting from just £141.67 per month for complete treatment per eye, with a deposit of £1250 (APR 0%) per eye, subject to application. If you wish to pay a larger deposit, even lower monthly finance rates are available, all interest-free.

FAQ's

Please scroll within the section faqs

CLE treatment is suitable for those over the age of 40 whose natural lens has started to age and will naturally deteriorate over time. There is no upper age limit and no prescription limitation. The only requirement is that your prescription has stabilised and that it is not currently in the midst of a decline.

CLE is suitable for patients who have very high and complicated prescriptions that cannot be treated by Laser Eye Surgery or Implantable Contact Lens treatment.

The CLE procedure is virtually identical to cataract surgery. The only difference is that a clear lens is removed in the CLE treatment and a cloudy lens is removed in cataract surgery.

Traditional intra-ocular implants are Monofocal lenses which focus light to only one point, meaning they correct distance vision only and glasses will be needed for near vision. This is the type of lens that is typically used by the NHS.

A Trifocal intraocular lens has more than one point of focus, enabling clear distance, intermediate and near vision. It has revolutionised the results of treatment and allows for patients to be glasses free.

The optical design of intraocular lenses are completely different to varifocal spectacles. Instead of a patient needing to move their head to adjust the focus, they will be able to comfortably see distance, intermediate and near without having to make any movements. Layered concentric circles are used to correct each form of prescription issue allowing for simultaneous correction of all fields of vision.

AVC provide lenses from the following companies:

Suitability for treatment and the type of lens is determined at your consultation.

If you are unsuitable for Trifocal intraocular lenses, Monofocal lenses are available. These can be used to either aim for monovision (one eye for distance, one eye for reading), or to correct your distance vision in both eyes and glasses will be needed for near vision. This will all be explained in detail during your consultation

Once the natural lens has been removed and replaced with lens implants patients will likely never require surgery again. The materials from which the lenses are made from have been subject to accelerated ageing tests. Results have demonstrated that the lens material will last in excess of 150 years before showing signs of degradation.

No pain is felt as anaesthetic drops are used to numb the eye. However some discomfort or pressure can be felt during the procedure.

Most patients notice a difference to their vision immediately after the procedure. Distance vision is the first field of vision to settle, typically taking 24 to 48 hours. However, it can take slightly longer to adjust to the new reading vision.

Generally you will need 3-5 days off work (for most office jobs). Two for the treatment and one or two days afterwards to rest. Patients are able to perform most day to day tasks one day after surgery without any difficulty. Your working environment will also be taken into consideration and our surgeon will advise on what precautions should be taken at your consultation.

There will be a few restrictions after treatment. Examples include avoiding sports that may cause trauma to the eye, avoiding dusty environments and lifting heavy weights. At your consultation we will take into consideration your lifestyle and hobbies and advise you accordingly.

There is a small risk of infection with these types of procedures. To minimise the risk, each eye will be treated on a separate day.

All our treatments are carried out at our AVC clinic on 77 Harley Street. AVC are one of the very few clinics in the UK where everything from consultation to surgery and aftercare is conducted under one roof.

The Refractive Lens Exchange procedure involves removing the natural lens where a cataract would have developed. When a patient undergoes CLE treatment, it means that they will never develop a cataract in either eye at any point in the future.

Posterior capsular opacification (PCO) can sometimes occur after CLE. Sometimes you can develop a thickening of the back (posterior) of the lens capsule which holds your artificial lens in place. This thickening of the capsule causes your vision to become cloudy but it can safely and easily be treated with a quick YAG laser procedure.

The lens implant is inside the eye where there are no nerves or sensation, so it cannot be felt. It will not feel like a contact lens and you will be completely unaware that it is there, apart from experiencing greatly improved vision.

Your consultation, treatment, one day post op, two week and the six week aftercare appointments are carried out at AVC’s Harley Street clinic. After this time, we can hand you over to the care of one of our nationwide independent optometrist partners, allowing you to stay closer to home for the remainder of the follow-up appointments.

"Having worn glasses and contact lenses for many years, my new lenses have given me such freedom and I feel very privileged to have had the opportunity to have this procedure."

Anne Brown

"I now have 20/20 sight (from approx. -8.00) and am extremely happy.
A big thank you to everyone at Advanced Vision Care."

Phil Scott

"My vision has improved by the day. I have so much more confidence in myself and it’s all thanks to the surgery and people behind it. I could not be more happier."

Marium Hussain

"I couldn’t have picked a better clinic to take care of me and my eyes, and would like to thank everyone of you for making this happen. I have been recommending AVC even before the surgery and will continue to do so."

Sinduja Chandrapalan

See the world as it's meant to be seen.

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