The Future of Denver Cataract Lens Implants
If your doctor has told you that you are in the early stages of developing cataracts or has suggested that refractive lens exchange would be a good vision correction option, you might want to research the new emerging lens implant technology in the field of ophthalmology. If you are nearing the age for cataract surgery and want a reliable vision correction solution premium lens implants might be a good idea. Premium lens implants have been helping people over 40 and cataract aged patients have the active lifestyle they had when they were younger. Imagine playing golf or being able to read the newspaper with a dependency on glasses. Life without glasses could dramatically impact your overall happiness. This is why the doctors at Hines-Sight have been trained in the latest intraocular surgery techniques involving lens implantation with multifocal, accommodating, and toric lens implants also referred to as premium lens implants.
This intraocular lens technology of modern day ophthalmology has recently made some swift advancements that can dramatically improve a patient's ability to see with lens implants after cataract surgery or even after refractive lens exchange before the development of cataracts. Some of these new intraocular lens implants might even be a better vision correction option than LASIK eye surgery depending on your prescription and age. In the past with LASIK eye surgery our doctors could correct myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism. Now with the advent of premium multifocal IOL lens implants the giant burden of presbyopia can now be corrected. Presbyopia affects a vast part of our aging population and often requires bifocal glasses. People in their mid forties that have trouble with reading are typically experiencing the first effects of presbyopia. Presbyopia is an accommodation problem with the lens of the eye. As the lens hardens and becomes inflexible with age it becomes more difficult to focus.
Traditional Lens Implants
Prior to the new premium lens implant technologies enabling people to see at all distances the only option for lens implants after cataract surgery was known as MONOFOCAL. This meant that the lens implant is only capable of one distance (FAR, MIDDLE, OR NEAR). For years patients would have monofocal lens implants but then require eyeglasses after Denver cataract surgery. In many cases patients would option for a good distance lens and just use glasses for reading or when needed in close proximity.
Before selecting your premium lens implant make sure to consult your eye doctor. Although one lens may appear better to you the guidance of your ophthalmologist is crucial in this decision making process. Before we examine your actual lens choices we are going to first discuss the function of the lens and the surgical process involved. Dr. Hines is conservative with his approach to lens implantation and will provide this option only if it is right for his patients.
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The modern day cataract surgery technique is routinely performed with small incision microsurgery through a process known as phacoemulsification. The cataract removal and surgical process is actually done using the smallest possible incision, and removal of the lens material is accomplished using an ultrasonic probe. Before a new man made intraocular lens can be implanted the hardened cataract needs to be removed. After the eye is cleaned and proper dilation of the pupil has been achieved the surgeon is ready to make the incision. A micro-incision about the size of 3 millimeters is created at the junction of the cornea and the white part of the eye known as the sclera. The lens capsule is then opened and the ultrasonic probe is inserted so that the cataract can be removed. The ultrasonic probe pulverizes the cataract and suctions out the cataract material
After the cataract is removed the surgeon is ready to implant a man made intraocular lens. This is a crucial point of understanding for patients. Patients can either have a monofocal Medicare lens which will only correct vision for one distance or they can opt for an upgrade Multifocal IOL that can reduce or eliminate their need for glasses after cataract surgery. Please see our section below regarding lens implant options for more information about the tremendous lifestyle advantages that the premium lens implants offer.
The intraocular lens is a foldable lens that slides through a tube like a fruit roll-up and unfolds in the capsular bag. The surgeon may center the new lens with the lens capsule if necessary. Once the lens is centered, the surgery is complete. In most cases no stitches are required to seal the incision due specifically to the 3 mm size. This is why many eye doctors call it microsurgery.
Depending on your specific vision needs, there are several types of multifocal lens implants that your ophthalmologist might suggest. Each of these lens implants (IOLs) works in a different way to help achieve vision correction goals. Ultimately, your doctor will know which lens is best suited for your eye. In order to get a better understanding of which lens options you may want to be familiar with we have separated the lens options into three categories.
The ReSTOR® lens is an artificial lens implant that is designed to replace the natural lens of the eye. Made of a soft, flexible plastic material, the ReSTOR® lens has a patented design that allows it to focus light on the retina for clear vision at near, far, and intermediate distances. In just a few hours, the ReSTOR® lens can be inserted in the eye, then quickly and easily unfolded to restore vision during a brief visit to our Denver, Colorado office. The result is a remarkable improvement in both the quality (sharp, clear images at all distances) and quantity (a full range) of vision.
The ReSTOR® lens is FDA approved for the treatment of cataracts. ReSTOR® lens implants are available at our Denver, Colorado eye center to all patients with cataracts and/or presbyopia (difficulty with close-up vision). The ideal candidate for the ReSTOR® lens is someone who is seeking better vision at all distances – near, far, and intermediate – without the hassle of glasses or contact lenses.
An accommodating intraocular lens is one that can move or change its shape in the eye. By doing this it changes its power so that it can focus from far to near. The only accommodating lens currently available is Crystalens made by Eyeonics. This is wonderful technology and is especially useful in those people who want the crispest distance vision as well as an excellent ability to see intermediate distance which includes things like computer, grocery shelves, auto gauges. In fact much of our time is spent looking at things in the intermediate range. Most people who receive Crystalens in both eyes are thrilled with the quality and range of vision. The one drawback of this lens is that some people will still need glasses for very close vision and when trying to read the smallest print.
Many cataract patients suffer from astigmatism and have required glasses or contact lenses to drive or read for much of their adult lives. Toric lens implants correct for astigmatism when positioned in the eye. Toric IOLs are placed in the patient’s eye during routine cataract surgery just as the other intraocular lenses used at Hines-Sight.
In the same way that Toric contact lenses reduce or correct astigmatism, patients can receive Toric intraocular lens implants to restore sharper distance vision. When the eye’s natural lens (cataract) is removed and replaced with a Toric IOL, imperfections in the eye’s shape are improved, resulting in clearer vision without the need for multiple incisions, as is common in other astigmatism surgeries. In addition, recovery time is shorter and more comfortable than with older methods.
PRECAUTIONS: As with any type of surgery there are risks involved including disturbances and secondary surgical intervention. The effect on vision with the Alcon Toric IOL in subjects with hereditary color vision defects and acquired color vision defects secondary to ocular disease (e.g., glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, chronic uveitis, and other retinal or optic nerve diseases has not been studied.
1. What types of people and distinct ages should consider an IOL?
ANSWER: Candidates for lens implants may vary from patients over the age of 40-45 to those suffering from cataracts. Most people seeking lens implants desire a full range of vision not just vision at one distance. Monofocal lens implants are typically not attractive to these candidates who desire this full range of vision.
2. Is lens implant surgery safe and what is the track record of success?
ANSWER: The process for inserting these premium lens implants is basically the same process as cataract surgery. SEE our detailed explanation in the above section regarding the surgical process. This process, known as phacoemulsification, has been performed for over 25 years and on millions of eyes.
3. Is there an additional cost to get a premium lens implant?
ANSWER: There is an additional cost with premium lens implants including multifocal, accommodating or toric lens implants. Medicare will pay the standard cataract fee and you will be expected to pay an additional charge for the lifestyle lens and related technical services. Please consult Dr. William Hines regarding these additional charges and he will be happy to explain the process.
4. When can I return to work or start regular lifestyle activities after this surgical process?
ANSWER: Please consult Hines-Sight doctors directly regarding post-operative Instructions. Many people can drive and return to work after only a few days. Your eyes may still be sensitive to light after the lens implantation process and sunglasses are recommended for outdoor activity.