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Who can have Lens Exchange (ICL/CLE)?

A refractive lens exchange is a procedure that involves a surgeon removing the original lens of a patient’s eye and replacing it with a new one. The aim of this replacement is to improve their sight, bringing clarity to their vision. This article takes a look at the kind of patients who may well be able to benefit from a refractive lens exchange.

Long or short sightedness

People who are particularly long and/or short sighted may well be able to benefit from a type of refractive lens exchange known as a piggy-back lens exchange, particularly if they have been deemed unsuitable for laser eye surgery. Depending on the patient’s prescription and the specific procedure that they have, this could involve either a multifocal or a single lens exchange.

For example, let’s say that a patient has a complicated prescription and they have got issues with both long and short sightedness. Because of this, it might be recommended that they have a multifocal lens exchange in order to correct both of the conditions. This is able to be done because the procedure calls for tailor made implants.

By contrast, it is also possible to have a single issue corrected through a lens exchange. If this is something that might be suitable for you, your AVC surgeon will discuss the options and what this means when you come in for a consultation.

Abnormal corneas

This sort of procedure can also be used to treat people who have got abnormal corneas, such as people who have astigmatism. Again, this is a procedure that you will need to be approved for to make sure that you are suitable.


Cataracts are something that quite a few people start to suffer from as they get older, and in some cases, a refractive lens exchange could be used to treat the condition. Cataracts are where the natural lens of the eye becomes cloudy and as a result, it is more difficult to see. The type of refractive lens exchange that is performed as part of cataract surgery is a common procedure that many people are suitable to have.

By contrast, some other forms of lens exchange are much rarer and therefore more specialised. This is why it is so important that you are assessed properly before any decision is made on your treatment, as it might be that something else is deemed to be more suitable for you. If you want to know more about refractive lens exchange and the conditions it can treat, feel free to browse our website or get in touch to arrange an AVC consultation.

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