NuVu™ – Refractive Lens Exchange

NuVu™ can correct any prescription error including long-sight, short-sight, and astigmatism.

NuVu™ Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE) or PRELEX is the alternative solution to laser eye surgery for those who are are over the age of 40 and want a permanent solution for vision correction. With major advances in lens technology, this procedure involves removing the natural lens of the eye and replacing it with an artificial lens to restore vision.


More Information about NuVuTM

For more information regarding this treatment as well as any frequently asked questions, please see below.

NuVu™ Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE) or PRELEX is the alternative solution to laser eye surgery for those who are are over the age of 40 and want a permanent solution for vision correction. With major advances in lens technology, this procedure involves removing the natural lens of the eye and replacing it with an artificial lens to restore vision.

The artificial lens can be of the correct focusing power to correct the vision and reduce or alleviate the requirement for glasses. The procedure is more advanced form of cataract surgery as the lens inserted is more technologically superior and the results more accurate.

NuVu™ can correct any prescription error including long-sight, short-sight, and astigmatism.

The NuVu™ procedure is a routine procedure which takes between 5 and 15 minutes to perform. At LaserVision, we normally perform this surgery whilst you are awake. The anaesthesia required is only eye drops though you may be given a mild sedative if you are anxious.  A small proportion of patients prefer to be fully asleep during surgery, and with the back up of full hospital facilities, we are able to offer general anaesthesia. Surgery is performed on an day care basis.

During the procedure the natural lens is gently removed and a new permanent, artificial lens is inserted to replace the natural lens. The lens chosen is specific to meet your requirements after surgery.

There are several advantages to NuVu™ Refractive Lens Exchange:

  • It is a permanent vision correction solution
  • The procedure improves the perception of colours and contrast sensitivity
  • It results in clearer unaided vision
  • Prevents cataract formation and can be performed to clear cataract already present
  • Fast recovery with almost immediate improvement
  • The procedure is painless

What are the risks and complications?

The aim of the surgery is spectacle freedom. This is obtained in the vast majority of patients. However there are some risks and these will be discussed with you in consultation and again prior to your operation.

Although refractive lens exchange is a very successful technique, it is a surgical procedure. All our surgeons are experts in intra-ocular surgery and have considerable experience with this technique.

Our team operates from state of the art hospitals where the equipment and the products used are of the highest standard.  Every effort is made to minimise risk and ensure your operation is safe.

Serious problems during or after surgery are very rare; however every surgical procedure has risks and potential complications.

Single focus lens implants

Monofocal lenses have a single focus that is normally set for distance vision. Used for over 50 years in eye surgery, they are an excellent and reliable method of improving the distance vision. Glasses are rarely required for distance vision, they have few unwanted side effects, but spectacles will almost certainly be needed for near and middle range vision.

Multifocal lens implants

These provide a great solution for people who prefer not to wear spectacles for most activities but who accept they may be needed for visually demanding tasks such as reading very small print or reading in dim light.

Accommodative lens implants

These lenses adapt within the eye depending on the distance viewed, reducing the need for glasses after surgery. The degree to which they adapt can vary from person to person and therefore the result can be less predictable than multifocal lenses.

Toric lens implants

These lenses are an excellent way of treating high degrees of astigmatism. “Toric’ lenses can be either monofocal or multifocal in design.

Blended or Monovision

It is possible to gain a large degree of spectacle independence by implanting a lens to correct distance vision in one eye and a lens to correct near vision in the other eye. This option is best tolerated by individuals who have previously enjoyed monovision with their contact lenses, and a trial of this situation is advised beforehand.

You will be shown to your private room.  A nurse will perform some routine investigations including checking your pulse and blood pressure.  The nurse will also record details of any medications you are taking and ask questions about your general health.

Once this has all been completed, the nurse will instil the drops, which dilate your pupil in preparation for the operation. You will also have another chance to discuss the operation with your consultant surgeon. You will be asked to sign a consent form which states that you have been provided with and understand all the information given relating to the operation (including the risks and benefits of surgery) and that you agree to the proposed treatment.

The ophthalmic nurse will come to see you to explain what will happen during and after the operation, and to answer any further questions you may have.

You will be taken to the operating theatre in your own clothes, so it is important to wear something comfortable.

During the surgery, you will be lying down and a theatre assistant will hold your hand at all times for comfort and reassurance. The procedure takes between 5 and 15 minutes and during this time, you will see some lights and feel some water. The procedure is painless.

After the operation you will be taken to the recovery room, and then back to your private room. Whilst resting after the operation you will be offered refreshments.

You will be given a combination antibiotic and anti-inflammatory eye drop to take home, with written instructions on how to instil these and the frequency with which they should be used.  They are usually to be used four times a day for two weeks and then twice a day for two weeks. You may leave the hospital when you feel ready.

Your vision will improve almost immediately. The vision will continue to improve until your pupil returns to its normal size.  Thereafter the operated eye can take time to settle but you should start to notice an improvement in your vision within a couple of days.

It is not advisable to drive until you feel confident to do so.  Your ability to drive may be dependent upon a number of factors, including the vision in your other eye and the quality of your vision when using both eyes together.  This will be discussed with you prior to discharge from hospital.If you are in any doubt regarding your visual status you should refrain from driving until you have been seen for review in the clinic.

It is acceptable to travel (including by air) following lens surgery.  However, please remember that you will need to continue putting drops in the eye for approximately four weeks.

After the first operation, many people find they can go without glasses and use the operated eye; others will use their glasses and use the unoperated eye. Sometimes, if the lens is removed from the operated side of the pair of spectacles this will help. However if the prescription is strong this may not be comfortable due to the imbalance between the two eyes.

If you wear contact lenses the best solution is to wear the contact lens in the unoperated eye only.

A follow-up appointment in the outpatient clinic is usually arranged a week later, and the second eye operation is done two to four weeks later.

Our Locations

LaserVision was initially founded in Guildford, Surrey. Now with clinics in over 6 locations, we are able to treat the eye conditions of patients nationwide. This treatment is available at:

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