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Intraocular Lenses
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Intraocular Lens Options

Lens Option Sheet Page 1
 
Lens Option Sheet Page 2

IOLs are soft, foldable lenses that are inserted into the eye that replace the natural lens once it has been removed. These artificial lenses are also viable options for some patients who have not yet developed visually significant cataracts but still want to reduce or eliminate their need for glasses. This is done with a procedure known as Refractive Lens Exchange, or RLE. Cataract surgery and Refractive Lens Exchange are identical procedures. The only difference between the two procedures is that RLE is performed when a patient’s natural lens is not cloudy enough to be considered visually significant.

IOLs are available with optics that are able to provide patients with a wide range of visual clarity and focusing capabilities. Our goal is to give you the best overall quality of postoperative vision with the lens that is best suited for your visual needs.

Made of plastic or silicone materials, IOLs come in a variety of options including basic monofocal, astigmatism-correcting (also known as toric lens implants), multifocal, extended depth of field, or accommodating optics.

Basic monofocal IOLs provide clear vision with the use of spectacles. Most individuals with basic lens implants will need bifocals and/or reading glasses to see optimally far and near. The basic monofocal IOLs are used in our basic cataract surgery package.

Astigmatism correcting lens implants or laser cataract surgery can be used for patients to reduce or eliminate their astigmatism in our astigmatism correction package. Astigmatism correction surgery will enable you to see clearly far away without glasses.

Multifocal (Tecnis multifocal, Restor lens), extended depth of field (Symfony and Symfony Toric lens), and accommodating IOLs (Crystalens and Trulign) are designed to provide a fuller range of vision with minimal, if any, need for glasses or contact lenses after surgery. The lens that is right for you will depend on your ocular health, your occupational needs, and your lifestyle. We use laser cataract surgery with our astigmatism correction package as well as for patients who select an advanced IOL in order to provide a broader range of adjustable focus to reduce or eliminate reliance on glasses.

Cataract surgery is only done once in a person’s lifetime, so it is important that you consider your options thoroughly. The decision you make will affect how you see for the rest of your life.

Cataract Treatment Options

Austin Eye offers a range of treatment options to suit your vision goals.
Your eyes are unique. Based on the distinctive anatomy of your eyes, we will work with you to help you achieve your “personal best” vision. Since no two people are the same, our surgeons will evaluate your eyes to determine if you are a candidate for Laser Cataract Surgery, assess your desired visual outcome, and help you decide which cataract treatment option will be the most likely to help you achieve your vision goals. We offer three surgical options: Laser Premium Cataract Surgery, Laser Astigmatism-Correction Cataract Surgery, and Basic Cataract Surgery.

Insurance Considerations

It is important to note that Medicare and most insurance carriers consider cataract surgery a medically covered procedure. They do not, however, consider reducing your dependence on glasses to improve your vision as a “medical necessity,” and therefore will not cover the cost associated with any of the intraocular lenses or procedures that are used to reduce your dependence on glasses. If you have a medically qualifying cataract, your insurance company will be billed and you will be financially responsible for the elective portion of the procedure along with any copayments, co-insurance, or deductibles. At Austin Eye, we provide access to a number of financing options to suit your budget and to make seeing clearly affordable.

Laser Premium Cataract Surgery

With our “Laser Premium Cataract Surgery” option, your surgeon uses the latest ophthalmic technology to achieve your personal best vision and help you reduce or eliminate your dependence on glasses at all distances. Most Laser Premium Cataract Surgery patients are able to see well far and near with minimal use of glasses.

This option includes:

  • Laser cataract surgery, which allows your surgeon to achieve greater precision while using less ultrasonic energy at the time of surgery
  • An advanced technology intraocular lens which may be a multifocal, extended depth of focus, or accommodating lens implant to provide the greatest range of clear vision.
  • Treatment of any astigmatism with the femtosecond laser combined with an advanced technology IOL to optimize vision for long-distance, mid-range, and near tasks.
  • Laser vision correction enhancement at a reduced cost after surgery to fine-tune your vision, if determined necessary by your surgeon
  • Advanced diagnostic testing before surgery to image the retina and optic nerve
  • Intraoperative aberrometry (ORA) to improve the accuracy of your surgical result

Video Simulator – Cataract IOL

Laser Astigmatism-Correction Cataract Surgery

With our “Laser Astigmatism-Correction Cataract Surgery (LCS-A)” option, your surgeon will tailor your visual outcome to meet your personal desire for decreased dependence on glasses. Laser astigmatism-correction cataract surgery provides good long-distance vision without glasses. Patients are able to watch TV and drive without glasses. Glasses will still need to be used for mid-range and near tasks, such as computer and reading.

This option includes:

  • Laser cataract surgery, which allows your surgeon to achieve greater precision while using less ultrasonic energy at the time of surgery
  • Treatment of any astigmatism with the femtosecond laser combined with an aspheric lens implant or an astigmatism-correcting implant to optimize vision for long-distance tasks such as driving, watching TV, or outdoor activities
  • Performed in our in-office surgical suite
  • Laser vision correction enhancement at a reduced cost after surgery to fine-tune your vision, if determined necessary by your surgeon
  • Advanced diagnostic testing before surgery to image the retina and optic nerve
  • Intraoperative aberrometry (ORA) to improve the accuracy of you surgical result

Basic Cataract Surgery

With our “Basic Cataract Surgery” option, your surgeon will help you achieve improved quality of vision. Basic Vision is for those patients who don’t mind wearing glasses full time to correct any residual nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism after cataract surgery.

This option includes:

  • Manual cataract surgery performed at our outpatient surgical center
  • A monofocal, aspheric lens implant which is chosen based on the shape of your eye
  • Advanced diagnostic testing before surgery to image the retina and optic nerve

Laser Cataract Surgery Procedure

Laser Cataract Surgery is performed in our own dedicated and fully-certified ambulatory surgical center. The surgical procedure itself takes only fifteen to twenty minutes, although you should plan on being in the office for two hours total on the day of the procedure. In addition to using the femtosecond laser to accomplish many of the surgical steps that were traditionally performed manually by hand, we use the best and latest innovations in cataract surgery, such as “drops only” anesthesia (no shots), sutureless, small incisions through the clear cornea, foldable intraocular lenses, and use of medicines placed into the eye at the time of surgery to reduce the use of postoperative eyedrops.

The precise, reproducible steps performed by the laser means better lens positioning, less trauma to the eye, and more predictable visual results, which are especially important with advanced IOLs.

To begin, a stair-step incision is created on the edge of the cornea with the use of a laser instead of with a blade. The incision is self-sealing and rarely needs suturing.

The laser then creates an opening, called a “capsulorhexis”, in the thin capsular membrane that surrounds the natural lens. This provides us an opening to remove the cataract. Studies have shown that less than 10% of manual capsulorhexi, which are made with a bent or shaped needle, have been able to achieve the same accuracy that is produced with Laser Cataract Surgery.

In order to remove the cataract, the lens must be divided into manageable sections. This critical step is also performed by the laser, which causes less stress to the delicate fibers which surround the capsular membrane that hold the lens in place.

Treating Your Astigmatism

Many people have astigmatism. You may have astigmatism and not even know it. It can occur along with nearsightedness and farsightedness, and if present, will blur your vision at all distances.

Astigmatism is present when the cornea, or outer window of the eye, is curved into an oval rather than spherical shape. A spherical cornea allows your eye to see images crisp, clear and sharp. A cornea with astigmatism will cause blurred or shadowed images at all distances.

When the lens is removed, patients with corneal astigmatism will experience blurry vision that will require glasses, unless they have their cornea treated for astigmatism during their cataract procedure.

At Austin Eye, during Laser Cataract Surgery we use our femtosecond laser and/or astigmatism-correcting lens implants to help reduce or eliminate your astigmatism so you see clearly without glasses.

After Laser Cataract Surgery

Cataract surgery is an outpatient procedure. Your eye will not be patched, and typically patients are able to see improvement in their vision almost immediately. Complete visual recovery varies from patient to patient, but most patients return to their normal daily activities within a day or two.

Cataract surgery is performed on one eye at a time. If cataracts are present in both eyes, the second procedure may be scheduled within one week of the first eye. Serious complications are extremely rare, but there are still potential risks involved.

Our technicians and doctors at Austin Eye will provide you with additional information regarding the risks associated with cataract surgery, as well as answer any questions you may have. We appreciate your trust and confidence in choosing Austin Eye!