What is premium cataract surgery?

If you would like to reduce your dependence on glasses following cataract surgery, now there are more options than ever before. While many patients are suitable for premium lens implants, many are not. The goal of premium lens implants is to reduce your need for glasses for far and near vision following cataract surgery, but not necessarily eliminating this need

Intra-Ocular Lenses (IOLs) Options:

Standard (Monofocal)IOL's

There are excellent standard lens implants which works by focusing the light at one point. In most occasions it is focused so that it can allow good distance vision with minimum need for glasses at distance. However, these lenses don’t correct astigmatism or presbyopia (inability to perform near activities as we get older)

Mini-Monovision (Blended Vision)

Mini-monovision can provide improved vision and less dependence on corrective glasses for many cataract surgery patients. Mini-monovision involves the implantation of IOLs that correct one eye — usually the dominant eye — for distance vision and the other for intermediate and near vision. When monovision is obtained, one eye learns to provide distance vision, while the other focuses on medium- and near-distance objects. There is usually an adjustment period that may last for a few weeks. This process is relatively smooth because the disparity between the two lens implants is quite small. Patients may still need to wear eyeglasses for intensive reading, sewing and other activities that require excellent or sustained close-up vision.

There are no extra costs to obtain monovision unless toric lens implants are required to correct astigmatism alongside with monovision

Toric IOLs:

Astigmatism is a common condition that can make your vision distorted or blurred. The distortion is caused by the eye’s cornea or lens has an oval instead of the preferred round shape. Astigmatism is a very common eye condition and does not always require corrective lenses. Many people have some degree of astigmatism that requires no correction. Patients with moderate to high degrees of astigmatism almost always experience blurred or distorted vision unless the astigmatism is corrected. In some cases, patients do not realize they have astigmatism prior to cataract surgery because the cataract masks the astigmatism; but in this case, when the cataract is removed, it will become evident and toric lens implant will be required.  

The TECNIS® Symfony Extended Range of Vision IOLs

The TECNIS® Symfony Extended Range of Vision IOLs The TECNIS® Symfony Extended Range of Vision IOLs have the same materials and overall design as the TECNIS® Multifocal 1-piece IOLs. The TECNIS® Symfony Extended Range of Vision IOLs give you a continuous range of clear vision at far and intermediate. The IOLs also provide improved near vision compared to a monofocal lens. For small print, you are likely to need reading glasses. Multifocal IOLs give you good vision at distinct far and near points. Examples of intermediate vision activities are seeing where your drive lands and sinking your putt while playing golf. Examples of near vision activities are reading the aisle signs and the package labels, and counting your change when shopping. You may notice halos, starbursts, glare and other visual symptoms. There are five different TECNIS® Symfony Extended Range of Vision IOLs. All models give similar distance and better intermediate and near vision, compared to a monofocal lens. The toric models also correct different amounts of astigmatism. It is important to choose the lens that is appropriate for your needs and your lifestyle. Talk to your eye doctor to determine which IOL option is right for you. 

Multifocal Lens Implants:

Multifocal lens implants are an expensive but innovative technology. They are designed to reduce your dependence on eyeglasses as compared to if you had a single focus lens implant. When you are not wearing glasses, a standard lens implant will provide your eye with optimum focus set at one particular distance that does not change. You would then wear glasses in order to change this focus (e.g., moving the focus farther away or closer up).

The multifocal lens implant is engineered so that its optic provides both a distance focus, and a near focus at all times. Your brain will learn to automatically select the focus that is appropriate for the task at hand. An analogy might be having background music playing in the room during a conversation. Your brain might “tune out” one to listen to the other. There can be a brief learning curve for using this unique optical system. For example, you will need to learn the optimal distance to hold reading material. For this reason many patients report that their ability to function without glasses continues to improve over time.

For the majority of patients, multifocal lens implants won’t entirely eliminate eyeglasses. There may always be situations where the print or the images are simply too small or too far away to see without the help of glasses. The print quality, your pupil size, and the amount of available light will make a difference. In addition, your retina must be completely healthy to achieve the optimum results. However, when compared to the standard single-focus lens implant, you would require spectacles less often with a multifocal lens that provides you with focus at more than one distance (“multifocal” means more than one single focal point).

Multifocal lens implants offer the convenience of less dependence on reading glasses compared to standard lens implants. Most people with multifocal lens implants can enjoy the convenience of performing simple near tasks without putting on reading glasses. Examples of common momentary near tasks that you would be able to see without glasses are looking at mobile phone, a menu, a boarding pass, a price tag or receipt. You might still, however, prefer eyeglasses for prolonged reading.

Am I suitable for premium cataract surgery?

Most patients are suitable for these lens implants, however, clinical assessment and measurements are mandatory to check suitability and to chose the approach that best meets your individual needs

How much does it Cost?

Unfortunately, the cost of the premium lens implants is not covered by medical insurance companies, however, the cost of cataract surgery should be covered as per your plan. We recommend that you check with your individual insurance company before undertaking the surgery

What are the risks associated with premium lens implants?

In addition to the risks of the standard cataract surgery, there are risks associated with the use of the premium lens implants: 

1. Residual refractive error that may require corrective glasses or laser corrective surgery

2. Postoperative misalignment of the toric lens implant and need for rotating the lens implant to realign to its original position. This is another short surgical procedure

3. Haloes, glare and decreased contrast sensitivity in multifocal lens implants. These, in some instances, are so troublesome that another surgical procedure may be required to remove and exchange the multifocal lens implant