Cataract Surgery Intraocular Lens Choices

cataractAs you get older, the natural lens inside your eye becomes firm and opaque, reducing visual clarity, decreasing contrast details, and causing glare. When the lens begins to reduce vision, it is known as a cataractous lens, or a “cataract,” for short.

During cataract surgery, the lens is dissolved using ultrasound and then vacuumed out of the eye. In its place, Dr. Krawitz places an intraocular lens implant.

Cataract surgery using a no-stitch technique represents a wonderful opportunity for you to improve vision AND become less dependent upon glasses.

Dr. Paul Krawitz is one of only a handful of eye surgeons in New York State who is certified in all intraocular lens types implanted at the time of cataract surgery.

This article explains the advantages, disadvantages, and costs of the basic lens implant and the four VISUAL FREEDOM intraocular lens implants available to you. Based upon your examination findings, Dr. Krawitz will make a recommendation of which lens or lenses are most appropriate for you.

Dr. Krawitz performs over 500 surgeries per year, and our staff members are experts in the latest cataract surgery techniques and intraocular lens technology.

We urge you to carefully consider your options.

When you undergo cataract surgery, you are making an important decision that will affect your dependence on eyeglasses for the rest of your life!

A significant percentage of our patients choose cataract surgery with implantation of one of the VISUAL FREEDOM lens implants described in this booklet. If you too are interested in doing so, we are happy to speak with you about affordable payment options.

Basic Monofocal Lens

monofocal intraocular lensThe prefix, “mono” means one, and a monofocal intraocular lens works best at one distance. In most cases, the lens is calculated to give good distance vision so that the patient will need eyeglasses to see objects that are close. With a monofocal lens, you will likely need eyeglasses for both near vision (reading, needlepoint) and intermediate vision (computer, seeing prices in a store, viewing a picture on a wall).  If you have significant astigmatism (oval shape of eye), you will also need a distance eyeglass prescription to see clearly.

The basic monofocal lens is the only intraocular lens implant that is completely paid for by Medicare and other insurance companies.

Patients who choose this lens do so either because they are cost-conscious or because Dr. Krawitz recommends it due to other ocular health issues.

Multifocal Lenses

multifocal intraocular lensThe prefix, “multi” means many, and a multifocal lens works at many different distances. There are three models of multifocal lenses, the AMO ReZoom, the Tecnis Multifocal and the Alcon ReSTOR. All three lenses have a series of rings in the lens that create different points of focus in the back of the eye.

Patients who have ReZoom or the Tecnis Multifocal lenses implanted are less dependent upon glasses than patients with monofocal lenses. The ReZoom lens works best for distance and intermediate vision, while the Tecnis works best for distance and near vision. Some patients who have ReZoom or Tecnis lenses implanted often require a mild eyeglass for certain distances, while many patients are completely independent of eyeglasses. Because of the ring design, patients often have mild glare at night during the first month or two. It normally resolves completely or nearly
completely thereafter.

Patients who have ReSTOR lenses implanted are also less dependent upon glasses than patients with monofocal lenses. The ReSTOR lens works best for distance and near vision. Some patients who have ReSTOR lenses implanted often require an eyeglass for intermediate vision, such as seeing prices on a store shelf. Additionally because of the ring design, patients sometimes report slightly less contrast on bright days, when their pupils are small.

restor intraocular lensThis lens relies upon the patient having pupils that dilate fully in the dark to provide the best distance vision.

Medicare and supplemental insurers and other insurance companies pay for a portion of the cataract surgery. However, they do not pay for the additional costs associated with implanting the ReZoom, Tecnis Multifocal, or ReSTOR lenses.

Please let us know if you are interested in one of the multifocal intraocular lenses. We are happy to speak with you about affordable payment options.

 Crystalens

Accommodation is the ability to focus on near and intermediate distances due to the actions of the focusing muscle of the eye. And Crystalens is the only FDA approved intraocular lens that is designed with flexibility to provide patients with the ability to focus naturally.

crystalens intraocular lensPatients who have Crystalenses implanted are also less dependent upon glasses than patients with monofocal lenses, although this lens works best at distance and intermediate distances; reading glasses are normally required. The smooth, clear optic of the Crystalens provides undistorted vision, with excellent contrast and outstanding clarity of color and details.

Previously believed to flex during focusing to bring near objects into focus, the optical properties of Crystalens are actually more complex, having to do with its small optic size and aspheric design.

Unlike multifocal lenses which are made of acrylic, Crystalens is made from soft, solid silicone. Because of this, the posterior capsule that holds the lens in place commonly becomes opaque with time, and many patients require an additional procedure known as posterior capsulotomy 6-12 months after the surgery to maintain clear vision.

Medicare and supplemental insurers and other insurance companies pay for a portion of the cataract surgery. However, they do not pay for the additional costs associated with implanting the Crystalens.

Please let us know if you are interested in Crystalens. We are happy to speak with you about affordable payment options.

Toric Intraocular Lens Implant – For Patients with High Astigmatism

toric intraocular lensThe Toric Lens corrects astigmatism, which is the oval shape of the eye that causes visual blurring.

While wearing strong eyeglasses after cataract surgery to correct your astigmatism is an option, cataract surgery with the toric intraocular lens implant provides you with an opportunity to be more independent of eyeglasses after surgery by correcting your astigmatism inside the eye.

Most patients with astigmatism who have the toric lens implanted do not require eyeglasses for distance vision. However, eyeglasses will be required for close and intermediate vision.

Medicare and supplemental insurers and other insurance companies pay for a portion of the cataract surgery. However, they do not pay for the additional costs associated with implanting the toric lens implant. Please let us know if you are interested in the Toric Lens. We are happy to speak with you about affordable payment options.