WHAT ARE PREMIUM INTRAOCULAR LENS IMPLANTS?
Premium lens implants are one of the options available at Shenandoah LASIK and Cataract Center to improve the quality of your vision after cataract surgery or with refractive lens implant surgery for those patients who are not good candidates for iLASIK.
As we age, or after cataract surgery with traditional intraocular implants, our eyes change and lose their ability to focus, at a close distance. With new advances in intraocular lenses, patients with cataracts or presbyopia are now able to enjoy full vision correction for near and far, by having a single surgical procedure that replaces the eye’s natural lens with a premium lens implants. Premium lens implants have a multifocal optical system, which allows patients to replace their poorly functioning natural lens with a lens implant that corrects both near and far vision and minimizes the need for glasses for most visual tasks.
When a cataract-clouded lens is removed, it needs to be replaced by an artificial lens. These are called intraocular lenses (IOLs). Prior to 2005, patients had to choose a single distance where these artificial lenses would focus, either distance or near. The patient would then wear glasses to correct the vision distance not addressed by the monofocal lenses, usually for up-close vision.
THE BENEFITS PREMIUM IOLS PROVIDE
Premium IOLs allow you to see at all distances without glasses. This means you won’t have to constantly have glasses with you to correct for whichever option you chose not to correct with monofocal IOLs. Premium IOLs also now can correct for astigmatism and presbyopia, actually improving the patient’s refractive vision from what it was before the cataracts were removed.
WHO ARE CANDIDATES FOR PREMIUM LENS IMPLANTS?
These multifocal and accommodating IOLs are also known as “premium” IOLs. This is because they are more expensive than monofocal IOLs. While every cataract patient needs to choose some type of IOL (you cannot remove a cataract-clouded lens and not replace it), there can be resistance to choosing the more expensive multifocal or accommodating premium IOLs.
At Shenandoah LASIK & Cataract, we believe these IOLs are worth the investment as they enable our patients to basically live without glasses. The newest multifocal and accommodating IOLs even correct for astigmatism and presbyopia, so even reading glasses aren’t necessary.
The only people who aren’t great candidates for multifocal IOLs could be those in professions that require excellent distance vision. They may still need to have monofocal IOLs placed to optimize distance vision, understanding they will need reading glasses for up-close vision.
WHAT IS THE PROCEDURE DR. JOHN STEFANO USES FOR PLACING THE IOL?
You need to remember that the cataract is your eye’s natural lens that has become cloudy due to the buildup of proteins. Cataract surgery removes the clouded lens, but then the eye is without a lens. That’s why inserting an artificial intraocular lens is necessary.
Cataract surgery is one of the most successful surgical procedures in the world. Amazingly, it takes just 10 minutes or so. Once the cataract is broken up and removed, the IOL is folded and inserted through the same small incision used to break up and remove the cataract. The lens is opened and the legs, haptics, hold the lens in place. That ends the procedure. Sutures are not needed.
THE TYPE OF IOLS SHENANDOAH LASIK AND CATARACT CENTER OFFERS
All IOLs have a central optical zone, with peripheral “legs” (called haptics) that secure the lens implant inside the lens capsule of the eye.
These are your basic categories of current IOL options:
FIXED-FOCUS MONOFOCAL IOLS
Fixed-Focus Monofocal IOLs have a single focus strength for distance vision. You will still need reading glasses for up-close vision and probably watching TV if you choose this IOL.
Accommodating IOLs can respond to eye muscle movements and shift focus to near or distant objects. They can do this because the haptics of these lenses are flexible, allowing the optical portion of the IOL to move slightly forward to focus up close.
This is similar to how your eye’s natural lens changes for different focal ranges. There are only two accommodating IOLs that have been approved by the FDA: Crystalens IOL and Trulign Toric IOL. Other models are currently in clinical trials.
Multifocal IOLs are similar to glasses with progressive lenses. Different areas of the lens have different focusing strengths, allowing for near, medium, and far vision. With multifocal IOLs, both near and far objects are in focus at the same time, so the wearer has a little bit of an adjustment period.
But the brain quickly learns to select the visual information needed to form the proper image, whether near or far. Some patients feel that multifocal IOLs provide somewhat better up-close vision than accommodating IOLs. There are a wide variety of multifocal IOL brands and models.
Toric IOLs can be fixed focus, accommodating, or multifocal, but they have the added benefit of correcting for astigmatism.
ARE THERE RISKS WITH CATARACT SURGERY AND PLACEMENT OF IOLS?
Cataract surgery is so common that eventually over half of the population will likely have it. Complications are very rare, and if any of these happen they can usually be successfully treated. These are the risks:
- Drooping eyelid
- Dislocation of the IOL
- Retinal detachment
- Loss of vision
WHAT WILL MY RESULTS BE AFTER SURGERY AND RECEIVING AN IOL?
Compared to the cloudy vision that you had been living with due to the cataract, you’ll enjoy your new crystal-clear vision. Cataract replacement lens surgery is permanent. The IOL in your eye will not cloud as your natural lens did. Also, depending on which IOLs you chose, any former vision problem, such as farsightedness, astigmatism, and presbyopia, could now be corrected. By choosing a premium IOL, you probably will not even need reading glasses any longer.
At the time of your visit, Dr. Stefano will recommend which type of premium implant is most appropriate for your eyes and will advise you or the possible need for postoperative laser correction.
“The doctors and staff are very helpful and try really hard to help me get all my procedures done in a limited amount of time that I have and I am grateful!!! – Rex Bixler“
“I recently had the refractive lens surgery; I am over 50 and wore progressive lenses with bifocals. I could not see without them at all. It was so bad; I couldn’t see faces clearly on the TV screen without them. I even had to buy an alarm clock with the BIG numbers. After the surgery I now have 20/20 vision. I am one happy camper. This is the best thing I could have ever done for myself. Dr. Stefano and his staff were wonderful. I would recommend this surgery to all. – Kelly“