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Intraocular Lens Options

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Cataract Surgery Minneapolis, Minnesota

During cataract surgery, the natural, cloudy lens is removed and an artificial lens is inserted inside the eye to take its place. Clear lenses that have not yet developed cataracts are also sometimes electively replaced with an artificial lens to reduce the need for glasses or contacts. This procedure is called a natural lens replacement or a clear lens extraction.

Every patient will have a unique set of needs and desires surrounding their vision following the surgery, and we’re happy to offer an array of options to help each individual reach their visual goal. Some patients will choose the standard monofocal lens for their procedure, while others will opt into a Premium Vision Package to further enhance their vision after surgery. We have the ability to improve vision through Specialty Lens implants, surgical techniques, and post-cataract procedures.

While insurance carriers will typically cover a standard monofocal lens, Specialty Lenses or Premium Vision Packages are elective and considered out of pocket. Discuss your desired visual outcomes with the surgeon at your Cataract Evaluation and find out what lenses and surgical procedures/techniques may benefit you.

Astigmatism Correction

Astigmatism is incredibly common and occurs when the surface of the eye is shaped more like a football than a baseball. When the cornea is perfectly round like a baseball, the incoming light rays fall precisely on one spot at the back of the eye (the Retina) resulting in clear vision. An eye with irregular curvature prevents the light rays from landing on one spot on the Retina and instead spreads the light into multiple surrounding areas, causing distorted vision.

Cataracts correction with various intraocular lenses

Toric Lens Implants (IOL)

A TORIC Lens implant is one option for patients seeking to decrease their astigmatism during cataract surgery. Unlike some of the other specialty lenses, this lens is designed to reduce or eliminate corneal astigmatism and significantly improve distance vision after surgery. Please note, this lens has the ability to correct one visual goal, so patients opting for this lens to best correct their distance vision will likely need to use reading glasses for near and intermediate tasks.

Astigmatic Keratotomy (AK)

Astigmatic Keratotomy (AK) is a procedure often done in both the Operating Room and our Laser Suite to help reduce corneal astigmatism. The surgeon makes tiny incisions in the cornea, changing its curvature by flattening the steep portions, producing a more spherical eye (like a baseball). Corneal measurements offer precise data on where these incisions should be placed along with the eye. AK is best suited for patients who have minimal to moderate degrees of astigmatism and who haven’t had prior major eye problems.

Refractive Surgery Following Cataract Surgery

Refractive surgery such as LASIK or PRK, are often performed to decrease and eliminate corneal astigmatism in patients who are hoping for less dependence on glasses and contacts. This procedure can be performed not long after cataract surgery is complete and may be a great option for some patients.

Your cataract surgeon will discuss which astigmatism correcting option is right for you. To see if you’d be a likely candidate for one of our upgraded lenses or vision packages, you’re welcome to take advantage of our free online screening.

Presbyopia Correction

Presbyopia usually occurs around age 40, often blindsiding individuals with the sudden challenge of blurry near vision. Enter: the ever-so-popular reading glasses. The natural lens is flexible and prior to presbyopia settling in, allows vision to jump back and forth between seeing near objects and distant objects with ease. As the natural lens hardens, it loses the ability to accommodate or focus, ultimately robbing patients of near vision. Presbyopia can affect folks who’ve never even needed glasses or contacts in their life, so it can be quite frustrating.

Multifocal and Accommodative lenses present patients with the opportunity to eliminate the hassle of glasses from their post-surgery life.

The Multifocal Lens can increase your chances for a life free of dependence on glasses or contacts after cataract surgery for near, far and intermediate vision. Designed to give patients back their youthful vision, the TECNIS Multifocal Lens provides qualified patients with high-quality vision at any distance, and in any light condition — even in low light. The technology works by dividing light into multiple zones of focus, to enable clear vision from near to distance. It delivers results superior to those of a standard multifocal lens and offers an excellent chance to become independent of eyeglasses or contact lenses.

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Crystalens IOL ExampleAn Accommodative Lens (or Crystalens) offers a similar increased range of vision following cataract surgery, with the intent to diminish the need for glasses and contacts afterward. The Accommodative Lens has tiny hinges that allow the patients’ eye muscles to change the position of the lens when focusing on objects at near, far, and intermediate distances. This technology is unique, as it’s attempting to replicate the functionality of the natural lens’ ability to flex back and forth, offering clear vision at various distances.

While everyone heals at a different rate, most patients return to their normal work or lifestyle in a day or two. The focusing ability of the lens will not be fully realized for 6 to 8 weeks after the procedure. The eye must re-learn how to focus on objects at various distances in order to see clearly.

To see if you’d be a likely candidate for one of our upgraded lenses or vision packages, you’re welcome to take advantage of our free online cataract screening.

Extended Depth of Focus

Tecnis Symfony IOL

The Tecnis Symfony intraocular lenses (IOLs) are the first (and only) lenses in the United States that provide a full range of continuous high-quality vision following cataract surgery, while also mitigating the effects of presbyopia by helping people focus on near objects. This lens is considered an Extended Depth of Focus (EDOF) IOL, as there is a continuum of vision from the distance to the near focal point.

The Symfony lens is approved in more than 50 countries around the world, and in clinical studies, the Symfony lens:

  • Provided seamless, day-to-night vision. Patients could see objects sharply and clearly at near, intermediate and far away distances, and points in between.
  • Provided high-quality vision. Some IOLs may leave patients with an inability to focus clearly due to competing wavelengths of light passing through the lens at different angles (known as chromatic aberration), or with vision that is not completely focused because of the shape of the lens (known as spherical aberration). The Symfony lens has been engineered to correct these issues.
  • Demonstrated a low incidence of halo and glare, which may be perceived as rings or blurring around bright lights. Glare and halos can sometimes affect an individual’s ability to drive at night or to perform other visual tasks.

The goal of the Tecnis Symfony lens is for patients to have good distance and intermediate/computer vision with less dependence upon glasses. Some patients may still need readers for small print.

Tecnis Sumfony IOL vision results

What it looks like before having the Tecnis Symfony IOL implant, and after the surgery.

Tecnis Symfony Toric IOL

The 2016 FDA approval includes a version of the lens for people with astigmatism, the Tecnis Symfony Toric IOL. This lens offers all the benefits and technology of the Symfony lens above, but it also corrects astigmatism.

To see if you’d be a likely candidate for one of our upgraded lenses or vision packages, you’re welcome to take advantage of our Free Online Cataract Screening.

Light Adjustable Lenses

The new Light Adjustable Lens is the first intraocular lens used for cataract patients, where you can adjust (or fine tune) the prescription after the surgery. This allows patients to ‘test drive’ their vision before locking it in.

After surgery, the lens can be adjusted for both distance and near vision. If the patient doesn’t like it, the lens can be readjusted.

  • Three adjustments can be made before locking the vision in.
  • The initial light treatment occurs approximately 2-3 weeks after surgery.
  • Patients MUST wear special UV protective glasses during all waking hours for up to 6 weeks until his/her prescription has been locked in.
  • This lens is not for everyone and requires up to five extra postoperative exams.

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