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Intraocular Lenses
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Intraocular Lens Options

Dr. Shannon Wong’s Symfony Lens Experience! The doctor is the patient.

Intraocular lenses (IOLs) are soft, foldable lenses that are inserted into the eye in order to replace the natural aging lens. These lenses are viable options for patients who have presbyopia and/or cataracts and want to optimize their vision.   Cataract surgery and Laser Lens Replacement are identical procedures. Laser Lens Replacement corrects vision when the  natural lens is still mostly clear.  Cataract surgery corrects vision when the natural lens become cloudy.

IOLs are available with optics that provides patients with a wide range of visual clarity and focusing capability.  Our goal is to give your 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 with basic monofocal, astigmatism-correcting, multifocal, or extended depth of field optics.

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

Astigmatism-correcting lens implants or laser cataract surgery can be used for patients to reduce or eliminate their astigmatism.  Astigmatism-correction surgery will enable you to see clearly far away without glasses.  Most patients with astigmatism-correction will achieve clear vision far away and be able to drive safely without glasses.  Patients who choose the astigmatism-correction package will need reading glasses to see the computer and to read up-close.

Lastly, premium multifocal and extended depth of field IOLs are designed to provide the widest range of vision with minimal, if any, need for glasses or contact lenses to see clearly far or near.

The lens that is right for you will depend on your ocular health, your occupational needs and your lifestyle. We use laser techology with our astigmatism-correction package or premium package to provide the safest and most precise outcomes possible.

It is important that you consider your options thoroughly as you only have lens replacement or cataract surgery one time in your life and the decision you make will affect how you see for the rest of your life.

 

Your Laser Lens Replacement or Cataract Treatment Options

Most patients having laser lens replacement (LLR) have two lens options – A premium multifocal or extended depth of focus lens implant that will correct and optimize your vision without glasses at all distances or the astigmatism-correction package to see clearly far away (Eg Driving vision without glasses).  Patients choosing the astigmatism-correction option will use glasses to see mid-range (computer) and near (reading a document).

Because it is not possible to guarantee 100% independence from glasses with any surgical procedure, we advise our LLR patients that “you may still wear some glasses, some of the time, for some activities.”

Insurance Considerations

Fortunately, Medicare and most insurance carriers consider cataract surgery, for a visually significant cataract, 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 cataracts deemed medically or visually significant, Austin Eye will file your cataract surgery to your medical insurance.  You will be financially responsible for any elective portion of the procedure as well as any copayments, deductibles or coinsurance dictated by your medical insurance.  At Austin Eye, we provide affordable financing and monthly payment options to suit your budget and to make seeing clearly affordable.

Laser Lens Replacement and Laser Cataract Surgery

Laser Lens Replacement (LLR) and Laser Cataract Surgery (LCS) with a premium lens implant is the latest and best ophthalmic technology used  to achieve your personal best vision at all distances without glasses.  Laser Lens Replacement or Cataract Surgery patients are able to see well far and near with minimal use of glasses.

This option includes:

  • Use of the femtosecond laser, which allows your surgeon to achieve greater precision while using less ultrasonic energy at the time of surgery
  • A premium technology intraocular lens to provide the greatest range of clear vision for long-distance tasks such as driving, watching TV or outdoor activities AND near vision tasks such as reading or computer work without glasses, in most instances
  • Treatment of any astigmatism with the femtosecond laser
  • Enhancement procedures 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) when indicated to improve the accuracy of your surgical result

Video Simulator – Cataract IOL

Austin intraocular lens implant

Laser Lens Replacement with Astigmatism-correction and Laser Cataract Surgery with Astigmatism-correction

Laser Lens Replacement with Astigmatism-Correction and Laser Cataract Surgery with Astigmatism-correction uses the best technology to achieve your personal best vision to see clearly far away without glasses.   Patients are able to watch TV and drive without glasses.  Glasses will need to be used for mid-range and near tasks such as computer and reading.

This option includes:

  • Use of the femtosecond laser, 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. Reading glasses are required.
  • Enhancement procedures 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) when indicated to improve the accuracy of you surgical result

Basic Cataract Surgery

Basic Cataract Surgery (BCS) will improve your vision at all distances with the use of glasses. Patients will wear glasses full-time to correct any residual nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism following cataract surgery.

This option includes:

  • Manual cataract surgery performed at our outpatient surgery center
  • A monofocal, aspheric lens implant which will improve your vision with the use of glasses at all ranges

The Laser Lens Replacement and Laser Cataract Surgery Procedure

Laser Lens Replacement (LLR) and Laser Cataract Surgery (LCS) are performed in our own, dedicated and fully-certified ambulatory surgery center. You will be in our office for approximately 2 hours, although the surgical procedure itself only takes between fifteen to twenty minutes.

In addition to using the femtosecond laser to accomplish many of the surgical steps that were traditionally performed by hand, we use the best and latest innovations in cataract surgery, such as topical eye-drop anesthesia (no shots, IV or anesthesiologist), suture-free incisions, and foldable intraocular lenses. The precise, reproducible steps performed by the laser means better lens positioning, less trauma to the eye and more predictable visual results which allows you to see your best with minimal reliance on glasses.

To begin, an incision is created with the laser instead of with a blade. The incision is precise, 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 or natural lens. 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

Astigmatism is present when the cornea, or front 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.  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.

When the lens or cataract is removed, if you have any remaining astigmatism, you will experience blurred vision that will require you to wear glasses full-time to see clearly at all distances.  You may opt to have your astigmatism corrected during your cataract or lens replacement procedure to reduce your dependence on glasses.

Both of our laser lens replacement or laser cataract surgery packages involves the use of the femtosecond laser and/or astigmatism-correcting lens implants to help reduce or eliminate your astigmatism so you see more clearly without glasses.

Austin toric lens implant

After Laser Cataract Surgery

Laser lens replacement and cataract surgery is an outpatient procedure.  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.

Our eye care team at Austin Eye strives to provide you with the best possible patient experience, highest level of care and visual outcomes possible.  We are always available to answer any questions you may have or to provide you with additional information regarding the risks associated with your surgery.  We appreciate your trust and confidence in choosing Austin Eye!