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Lens Implants

Intraocular Lens Implants (IOL's)

What Are Intraocular Lens Implants (IOL's) ?

Lens implants in the eye are referred to as Intraocular Lens Implants or IOLs. All IOLs involve inserting a lens inside your eye rather than placing it on the surface of the eye like a contact lens. Most lens implant procedures involve replacing your existing lens with a new lens to improve your vision. There are several types of IOLs available to help correct your vision, all of which can also be performed in connection with cataract eye surgery with the exception of Phakic Implants.

Overview of Lens Implant Surgical Procedures (IOL)

To learn more about lens implant eye surgery procedures, please click on the links below or scroll down this page:


 

Overview of Lens Implant Surgical Procedures (IOLs)

Refractive Lensectomy (RLE) or Clear Lensectomy (CLE)

When an IOL is used to replace a lens that is clear, the procedure is referred to as RLE (Refractive Lensectomy ) or CLE (Clear Lensectomy). During RLE or CLE surgery the surgeon will remove the clear lens of the eye and implant a new lens to help correct your vision. Since the lens that is removed does not have a cataract, this is considered a refractive procedure, not a cataract surgery procedure, even though both procedures involve the same operation of replacing your lens with a new lens to help improve your vision. The refractive surgeon will calculate the power of the replacement lens implant through special measurements of the length and curvature of the eye, which are then entered into a special computer formula. Various IOLs are available to replace your existing lens that will improve your vision.


RLE/CLE lens implant procedures are generally available for people who have:

  • Moderate to high levels of Astigmatism (blurred vision)
  • Farsightedness (Hyperopia)
  • Nearsightedness (Myopia),
    • Can be especially helpful for people with a high degree of nearsightedness (Myopia) where LASIK or Phakic implants are not suitable procedures.


The currently approved FDA approved lenses for RLE (Refractive Lensectomy) or CLE (Clear Lensectomy) include:

  • Toric Implants
  • Multifocal Implants
  • Accommodating Implants
  • Monofocal Implants


Intraocular Lens Implants and Cataract Surgery

When an IOL is used to replace a cataract or cloudy lens, the procedure is referred to as cataract surgery. During cataract eye surgery the surgeon will remove the cloudy or cataract lens of the eye and replace your lens with a new lens to improve your vision. The cataract surgeon will calculate the power of the replacement lens implant through special measurements of the length and curvature of the eye, which are then entered into a special computer formula. Various IOLs are available to replace your cataract lens that can help you see better


The lenses the FDA has approved for Cataract Surgery include:

  • Toric Implants
  • Multifocal Implants
  • Accommodating Implants
  • Monofocal Implants


For a general discussion of treatments for Cataracts, including cataract eye surgery (where the cataract is removed and replaced with one of the above lenses, please visit: Cataract Surgery Overview


Cataract surgery lens implant procedures are generally available for people who have:


  • Moderate to high levels of Astigmatism (blurred vision)
  • Farsightedness (Hyperopia)
  • Nearsightedness (Myopia)
    • can be especially helpful for people with a high degree of nearsightedness (Myopia) where LASIK or Phakic implants are not suitable procedures.


Phakic Implants


Phakic Lens Implants are currently approved to correct extreme nearsightedness. FDA approval for astigmatism is expected in the near future. Phakic Implants involve inserting a new lens between your natural lens and your cornea (the outer lens on the surface of your eye).

Types of Lens Implants (IOLs)

The following lens implants are available for patients seeking to improve their vision as either an RLE/CLE procedure or as part of cataract eye surgery:


Toric Implants. Because most people who are nearsighted or farsighted have some degree of Astigmatism (including those with cataracts), Toric Implants and Limbal Relaxing Incisions are two refractive surgery options available for many Nearsighted patients who have Astigmatism. In addition, these procedures often can be performed during your cataract surgery. If you have significant Astigmatism, your best option may be to be corrected for Monovision with Toric Lens Implants. Unlike a Monofocal IOL Lens, a Toric lens has two focus points instead of one. A Toric Implant can reduce your astigmatism much like your glasses but since it is inside your eye, your astigmatism is nearly always corrected when properly performed. The technique is similar to a normal lens implant (IOL), but the Toric lens has to be properly positioned in order to successfully correct the astigmatism. Toric Implants will have no effect in correcting any reading problems (Presbyopia) or farsightedness unless the Toric lens is set for a monovision focus.


Toric Implants are a refractive surgery procedure that can help correct your vision for:

Cataract Surgery. A Toric lens may also be implanted in your eye during cataract surgery.


Multifocal Implants. A Multifocal Lens Implant is a lens that has a different power in the center of the lens and another power in the periphery of the lens so that vision can be focused for far or near out of the same eye. Consequently, a Multifocal Lens can help correct Nearsightedness, Farsightedness, and Presbyopia. The two FDA approved implants are the Restor multifocal lens by Alcon (link) and the Rezoom multifocal lens by Abott Medical Optics. There is the potential for more side effects like night glare and halos with these lenses than are usually seen with Monofocal Implants. Your surgeon should discuss these side effects with you to help you decide whether to choose this option. The only advantage of a multifocal lens is to reduce or eliminate the need for reading glasses (presbyopia). Multifocal Lens Implants do not reduce Astigmatism. For patients who have Multifocal Lens Implants, Limbal Relaxing Incisions may help reduce Astigmatism (and glasses and contacts lenses are also options that may reduce or correct any Astigmatism in that eye).

Multifocal Lenses are a refractive surgery procedure that can help correct your vision for:

Multifocal Lens implants are generally not covered by insurance and will add approximately $900 for the additional cost of the implant plus an additional fee for the refractive surgeon to implant the lens.

Accommodating Implants. Accommodating Lens Implants are designed to change shape or position when a patient attempts to focus up close for reading. Because Accommodating Lenses have only one power, like a monofocal lens implant, the risk of night halos and glare is similar to a regular lens implant. Although they seem to work in some patients, in general the reading vision is not as good as with a multifocal and in some patients Accommodating Implants produce a variable effect on a patient’s ability to read better up close. Accommodating Implants do not reduce Astigmatism. For patients who have Accommodating Lens Implants, Limbal Relaxing Incisions may help reduce Astigmatism (Glasses and contacts lenses may also be options that may reduce or correct any Astigmatism in that eye).

Accommodating Implants are a refractive surgery procedure that can help correct your vision for:


Cataract Surgery. An Accommodating Lens may also be implanted in your eye during cataract surgery. Accommodating Implants are generally not
covered by insurance so there is charge of around $900 for this type of lens and an additional fee for the refractive surgeon to implant the lens.


Monofocal Implants. Monofocal Lens Implants have only one power and can be used to correct vision to treat nearsightedness or farsightedness, or for monovision correction. Before the approval of the multifocal and accommodating implants, many patients had one eye corrected more for reading vision and the other eye more for distance vision through the use of Monofocal Implants. Many patients can adapt to this type of vision and the majority of patients still choose this option, especially if their vision was corrected for Monovision with contact lenses or the patient had Monovision either naturally or after LASIK or another laser vision correction procedure.


Monofocal Implants are a refractive surgery procedure that can help correct your vision for:

Cataract Surgery. A Monofocal Lens Implant may also be implanted in your eye during cataract surgery. Because these are standard monofocal lenses, these lenses are usually covered in connection with your cataract surgery by Medicare or your insurance and no additional fees should be charged by the surgery center for the lens or by the refractive surgeon for implanting this type of lens implant. Monofocal lenses are not covered by Medicare nor are these lens implants covered by a vision or health insurance plan if you do not have a cataract.

Phakic Implants.

One type of IOL known as a Phakic lens implant may be a good option for patients seeking to improve extreme nearsightedness with a lens implant surgical procedure. Unlike cataract surgery or RLE/CLE, a Phakic lens is inserted between your cornea and existing lens. Please note that a Phakic implant is not an option for cataract surgery since because this type of lens cannot be used to replace your cataract lens (as it is inserted between your cornea and existing lens).

Refractive Surgery Treatment for:

A Phakic Implant is an intraocular lens implant (IOLs) that is surgically placed inside the eye in front of the eye’s natural lens by a refractive eye surgeon. Phakic Lens Implants are used to correct higher amounts of nearsightedness (Myopia). Because this is a refractive surgery procedure performed inside the eye rather than on the surface of the eye as is done in laser vision surgery, the risks are slightly higher, which is why finding an expert refractive surgeon who performs this procedure is recommended. To learn more about finding an expert in phakic implants, please visit: How to Find a Highly Qualified and Experienced Eye Expert for Lens Implants Surgery


Phakic Implants are utilized for higher amounts nearsightedness (Myopia) nearsightedness (Myopia) usually above -8 Diopters (D) to -10 Diopters (D) and up to -16 D, in an eye, which is often not correctable by laser eye surgery. (Please refer to our eye glossary for a definition of the term “diopter”). Phakic Implants can also be used in cases with lower amounts of myopia where laser eye surgery is not recommended because the cornea is too thin or is abnormally shaped. At present, these implants are not approved by the FDA to correct astigmatism, but FDA approval is expected in the near future.

Two Phakic Implants, which have been approved by the FDA, are listed below:




How to Find a Highly Qualified and Experienced Eye Expert for Lens Implants Surgery (Including Cataract Eye Surgery)

Our Trusted LASIK / Caract Surgeons Directory features highly qualified LASIK and refractive surgery experts who have proven experience, are active in the field of refractive surgery, and have been professionally recognized for their research, accomplishments, and contributions to advancing vision correction care.


Most of the eye surgeons in our directory also perform lens implants and cataract surgery procedures and many of these eye doctors are leading experts when it comes any refractive surgery or to cataract surgery, including lens implants. In other words, the typical surgeon listed at Trusted LASIK Surgeons is not simply a LASIK specialist, but a vision correction expert who is also an accomplished surgeon in a variety of refractive and cataract surgery procedures.


Please visit our directory of vision correction experts to find an experienced eye surgeon closest to you and review the profile of an expert surgeon to see if they perform lens implant procedures or cataract surgery (depending upon your vision needs). Even if the surgeon nearest to you in our directory does not offer lens implant surgical procedures or cataract eye surgery, we believe that surgeon may be able to refer you to an experienced and qualified surgeon in your local area who can help diagnose and treat you for your vision problems if a lens implant or cataract surgery is the best option for you. If you do contact a surgeon in our directory, please let them know you found them through Trusted LASIK Surgeons.

To find a vision correction expert surgeon who has qualified to be listed at Trusted LASIK surgeons in another area, please visit:

Find a Trusted LASIK Eye Surgeon

The screening process and standards used by Trusted LASIK Surgeons™ can be found at:

How Are Lasik Eye Surgeons Qualified at TLS