Cataract Surgery & Implant Options

Cataract Surgery may seem like a scary prospect to many, but it can also be a very exciting time as there are many choices that now are available.

When the clear natural lens inside the eye has lost its clarity, it is called a cataract.  Cataract surgery will remove this cloudy lens, and replace it with a clear plastic implant called an IntraOcular Lens or an IOL.

IOLs can have a wide range of capabilities.  Given as they are a lens, they can have different focusing properties.  IOLs can be correcting for a single focus point, correct for astigmatism, or correct multifocally.

Standard, Single focus implants

Standard, single focus implants are the implant used for many patients.  The do not correct for astigmatism and are covered by all insurances at the time of the cataract surgery.

The single focus implants are ones that can correct one's vision to either near or far, but not both.  Most patients prefer having their vision best corrected for distance. 

Monovision is also an option that can be done with single focus implants for some patients.  In cases of monovision, these patients have had monovision contact lenses used for many years.  Trying this option anew is strongly discouraged.

Astigmatically Correcting Implants, Toric IOLs

The toric IOLs are also single focus implants, but they also correct patients' corneal astigmatism.  Many patients have always had astigmatism and the standard implant will improve their vision with the aid of glasses.  The Toric IOL will allow for these patients to be able to see clearly at a set distance without the aid of glasses (most patients choose distance).

Multifocal Implants

The Multifocal implants correct for vision at all distances - near, intermediate, and far.  These lenses allow for many patients to be free of spectacles.  Their advantage is the true capacity to provide a much more functional ability; ability to drive, read a cell phone, read the dash, read a note.  For more strenuous activities such as doing taxes, or prolonged detailed work, at times, a minor pair of corrective lenses may also make such tasks more comfortable.

There are several types of these implants that are FDA approved: PanOptix, Vivity, ReSTOR, ReZoom, and the many new ones on the market - Tecnis Multifocal that is imaged on the left.

Simulated view from a monofocal implant.  The view is clear in the distance, but the near view is not clear.
Simulated view from a multifocal implant.  The view is clear in the near, intermediate and the distance.

In the early days after the implantation with the Multifocal implants many patients notice some glare and halos.  These are a direct result of the concentric rings of the implants that also produce the near and the distance image. 
After a period of adjustment, most patients' glare and halos subside significantly, although they will always be there if one looks for them.

It is very important to note that the multifocal implant may not be the best choice for all patients.  Some patients with some eye conditions, such as macular degeneration, may be better candidates for monofocal implants.  Dr. Ash has performed thousands of cataract surgeries and implanted hundreds of multifocal implants.  There a several different types of multifocal implants, PanOptix, Vivity, ReSTOR 4.0 Clear, ReSTOR 4.0 Yellow, ReZoom, ReSTOR 3.0 Yellow, Tecnis Multifocal 3 piece, and the Tecnis Multifocal Single Piece implant.  Dr. Ash has had experience with all of these implants.

Before you commit to cataract surgery, it is best if you explore what great options lie ahead.  Discover your choices by setting up a consultation.  We look forward to seeing you, examining your eyes and making the recommendation for the best possibilities.



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