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Lens Implants during Cataract Surgery

Why is a new lens implanted during cataract surgery?

Cataract surgery removes the cataract in your eye by breaking up the lens and removing it with a machine powered by ultrasound.  This is called phacoemulsification.  Since the cataract is simply your own lens which has become cloudy, your lens is in fact being removed during the surgery.  Your lens helps focus the light into your eye.  Without it, your vision would be very poor and you would need very thick glasses after surgery.

Do you always put a lens in during cataract surgery?

Almost always.  The only time we do not put a lens in the eye is when there is no supporting structures in the eye.  This almost never occurs.  Sometimes, if there is not enough support, a second surgery may be required to adjust or suture a lens in place.

What are the lenses made of?

Lenses are made of acrylic or silicone.

What are the different types of lenses?

Standard lens:

The standard lens is a monofocal lens.  This means the lens focuses your vision only at one distance. This type of lens has been used for the last 30 years.  We aim to correct your vision either for distance (>3m) or for near (reading), and you need glasses for the other distances.  Most people are corrected more for far away/ driving.  We aim to decrease your reliance on glasses for distance, but some patients have astigmatism, which is not corrected by the standard lens.  For those people glasses will be needed for all distances and near.  The standard lens is covered by insurance.

Astigmatism Lens (Toric Lens):

The toric lens is also a monofocal lens, but it also corrects for astigmatism.  What that means is your vision will be clear at distance, but you will still need glasses for reading and possibly computer work.  Your vision will be clearer than a standard lens.  This lens is not covered by insurance.

Multi- Focal or Depth-of-Focus Lens (Panoptix, Vivity, or Symphony Lens):

Advanced technology artificial lenses focus your vision for both near and far.  It reduces the need for glasses even further.  For Panoptix or Symphony there are rings built into the lens which focus light into your eye from both near and far.  For a vivity lens, it is shaped differently on the front and back side of the lens to focus from far to near. These lenses are not covered by insurance.  Theses lenses are not recommended for people with dry eye, macular degeneration, glaucoma, or for people with any other retinal or corneal disease, because the retina and cornea have to be completely normal for vision to be clear.  The disadvantages of these lenses are haloes at night around lights, loss of contrast sensitivity, and lack of focus at every range of vision.

 
Too many choices?
These lens options are all offered by Dr.  Emily Velotta.  She will recommend the right lens for your lifestyle at the time of your office visit.
 

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