Cataract Surgery Lenses

Cataract surgery lenses are known as pseudophakic intraocular lenses or pseudophakic IOLs for short. These lenses replace the natural crystalline lens, so the natural lens must be surgically removed before implantation.

Most of the time, pseudophakic IOLs are put in place because the natural lens has become cloudy (i.e. cataract surgery), but more and more, they are also being used purely for vision correction purposes, even though the natural lens is still clear.

Removal of the natural lens


Pseudophakic IOL implantation

Here's a closer look at our preferred lenses:

Alcon ReSTOR Lens

In the past, pseudophakic IOLs did not have the ability to provide clear vision at both near and distance, so reading glasses or bifocals were necessary for near vision following surgery.

However, in March 2005, the FDA approved Alcon's ReSTOR lens, the first and only lens that uses apodized diffractive technology to provide patients with both near and distance vision. In clinical trials, 80 percent of patients reported "never" wearing reading glasses or bifocals following bilateral surgery - the highest level of freedom from glasses ever achieved in IOL clinical trials.

Both Dr. Hale and Dr. Qamar attended the April 2005 meeting of the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery in Washington, D.C., where investigators from around the world presented results from ReSTOR trials. Both were impressed with the success of the lens and believe it will soon become a very popular choice, both for cataract patients and as an alternative to laser vision correction for select patients, especially those over 40 who would benefit from improved near and distance vision.

Alcon AcrySof Lens

Since 1995, over 21 million AcrySof lenses have been implanted worldwide. In essence, the AcrySof is the exact same lens as the ReSTOR, but without the apodized diffractive technology that boosts near vision.

Even though the ReSTOR lens is a significant advancement, the AcrySof remains an excellent alternative for those who are not good ReSTOR candidates or whose insurance won't allow use of the ReSTOR.

One advantage of AcrySof is its flexibility, which allows it to be folded and then inserted into the eye through a small incision that typically does not require stitches.

Furthermore, AcrySof unfolds gently, which allows us better control than lenses of other materials. Surgery is safer and more predictable, because the lens is easier to handle.

AcrySof contains a UV absorber that provides protection equal or better than other UV blocking lenses and offers the option of blue-light filtration, which may play a role in reducing the development and progression of macular degeneration.

Evidence that AcrySof is an excellent ocular implant material continues to grow. Recent studies show that patients with AcrySof lenses experience less postoperative complications than patients with silicone lenses. In addition, fewer AcrySof patients require YAG laser procedures postoperatively.

All told, we believe the many advantages of AcrySof make it a safe choice during surgery and an excellent performer over the long-term.