During cataract surgery, the surgeon will remove the lens that has been clouded by a cataract, and replace it with a new crystal-clear lens.
Before surgery, you will be asked to select the type of lens you want to have implanted. Relax...there are no "bad" choices; each of the lenses you will be offered will give you clear vision. The choice you make will be affected by, among other things, how you feel about remaining dependent on reading glasses or bifocals after cataract surgery.
One of your choices is a monofocal replacement lens. You will have clear vision, but this lens cannot compensate for age-related loss of reading vision ("presbyopia"), so those who opt for this type of replacement lens usually need glasses to improve near vision or to fine-tune distance vision. Most monofocal lens recipients are quite happy with their choice. However, if you are very bothered by your need for reading glasses or bifocals, you may want to consider another type of lens.
You may find an advanced multifocal replacement lens implant (what we call a "premium lifestyle implant") a more appealing option if being less dependent on from bifocals and reading glasses is important to you. The revolutionary design of a premium lifestyle replacement lens implant makes it possible to take vision correction to a new level by restoring youthful ability to focus on objects at varying distances. These lenses are engineered to provide a full range of quality vision and may reduce your dependence on glasses or contacts.
If you want to be less dependent on glasses, your surgeon may recommend either a Crystalens® or ReSTOR® premium lifestyle replacement lens implant. While each brand of lens is designed to provide a full range of quality vision (near, far, and in-between), ReSTOR is known to have a slight advantage when it comes to near vision, and Crystalens often performs better for distance vision. Your surgeon will carefully evaluate the visual demands of your individual lifestyle before recommending a particular lens.
Which replacement lens is right for me?
This question can be answered only after careful consideration of the health of your eyes, your individual lifestyle, and the demands of your occupation and hobbies.
Before advising you, your eye surgeon will want to know more about…
- the kind of work you do
- how many hours a day you read and what types of reading you do
- how many hours a day you use a computer
- the types of outdoor activity you enjoy
- your hobbies, and whether you do close work, like sewing or knitting
- how much driving you do at night
- whether you like to travel
- how bothered you are by wearing glasses
If you opt for a premium lifestyle replacement lens, your surgeon will select the technology that best meets the visual demands you face.
What does the implantation procedure involve?
A premium lifestyle replacement lens is implanted on an outpatient basis in less than 20 minutes. Topical eye drops are administered to anesthetize the eye and dilate the pupil, and medications are given for relaxation. Your eye surgeon removes the cataract and implants the lens. You will feel only slight pressure. After the procedure, drops will be administered to control inflammation and prevent infection. The very small incision requires no stitches and heals quickly.
While many of these premium lifestyle lenses are implanted during cataract surgery, they are sometimes used to correct presbyopia in patients who do not yet have cataracts. These patients will never face cataract surgery because, unlike the eye’s natural lens, a premium lifestyle replacement lens implant will never develop a cataract.
Who should consider having premium lifestyle replacement lens implanted?
Candidates for these advanced-technology lenses include patients over age 45 who desire a full range of vision in each eye without corrective lenses, as well as individuals with cataracts that impair vision. Patients with health problems, such as diabetes or a chronic infection, should wait until those conditions are under control before scheduling this procedure. Your doctor will perform a careful examination before making any recommendation.
When can I resume normal activity?
Most patients are able to drive and return to work after only two to three days. The eye may still be sensitive to touch and to light, and sunglasses are recommended for outdoor activity. Your doctor will advise you as to when you can resume the use of eye makeup and will answer your questions as to other activities you should avoid while the eye is healing.
Can lenses be implanted in both eyes on the same day?
Generally, a premium lifestyle replacement lens is implanted in one eye first, then monitor the healing and vision of that eye before scheduling the procedure for your other eye.
Is the procedure to implant an advanced multifocal lens safe?
The implantation procedure is virtually identical to the cataract correction procedure that has been performed safely for the past 25 years on more than 65 million eyes in this country alone.
Which lens is right for ME?
For cataract patients, the choice is between a monofocal lens plus glasses or a premium lifestyle lens based on advanced multifocal technology. Patients without cataracts can choose bifocals or the chance to recapture a full range of vision with less dependence on corrective lenses.
Ultimately, the decision is yours. Ask yourself, “What would my life be like without glasses?”