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Refractive surgery is the term used to describe surgical procedures that correct common vision problems near sightedness, far sightedness, astigmatism and presbyopia to reduce your dependence on prescription eyeglasses and/or contact lenses.


Vision correction surgery alternatives RLE is one of three main categories of operations to correct vision. The other two are laser vision correction and phakic intraocular lens (PIOL) implantation.


  • Laser vision correction does not require a lens implant, and works by altering the curvature and focusing power of the front surface of the eye.

  • PIOLs are lens implants that sit in front of the natural lens rather than replacing it.

  • Laser eye surgery or PIOL implantation are generally better options than RLE for younger patients who still have a clear, flexible natural lens


  • About four out of five patients are completely free of glasses after RLE with widely used contemporary multifocal IOLs.                        

  • Approximately 95% of patients are satisfied with the outcome of surgery, and many describe it as life changing.                                 

  • Although RLE is often bracketed with cosmetic surgery procedures, the benefits are mainly functional. It is designed to make you less dependent on glasses and contact lenses, helping you to lead an active lifestyle more easily.                                         

  • RLE eliminates the need for cataract surgery in later life, and it is often preferred to laser vision correction for patients in the retirement age group in whom the early stages of cataract formation are often already present.                                                 

  • In the absence of a new health problem in the eye, vision normally remains good, and your spectacle prescription normally remains stable after RLE. If you do experience any deterioration in vision in the years after surgery, it can often be reversed with a one-off minor laser procedure called YAG capsulotomy.

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