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Premium IOLs: ReStor, Tecnis®, Crystalens

Premium IOL Cataract Surgery
Or Conventional IOL Cataract Surgery

How to Choose?

All patients considering cataract surgery need to understand the difference between Premium IOL (intraocular lens) Cataract Surgery and Conventional IOL Cataract Surgery so they can be fully informed.  We are providing this material as a way to help educate our patients.  Please feel free to ask your technician or physician any questions you may have.

Conventional cataract surgery patients usually see well in the distance without spectacles but they often have difficulty with near work activities without spectacles.  In other words, following cataract surgery, glasses will be needed most of the time for tasks such as reading, paying bills, hobby and craftwork, card playing and grocery shopping.

Many patients desire better visual function following cataract surgery and do not want to have to be dependent on spectacles all the time for their near vision tasks.  For these patients we recommend a procedure termed Premium IOL Cataract Surgery.

Our practice has extensive experience with this technology as we have been performing Premium IOL Cataract Surgery for over two years.  Most patients are extremely pleased with the results of their surgery because they rely much less on glasses than they would have had they undergone conventional cataract surgery.

Because Premium IOL Cataract surgery allows for greater freedom from spectacles than conventional cataract surgery we recommend Premium IOL Cataract Surgery to our patients that desire a more natural and functional vision than standard cataract surgery provides.

Some patients may be very interested in Premium IOL Cataract Surgery but may not be candidates for this procedure because of other co-existing ophthalmic problems besides their cataract.  All relevant eye conditions will be discussed with you by your surgeon.

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Premium IOL Cataract Surgery

What is a “Premium IOL”?
Premium IOLs are specially designed intraocular lens (“Implants”) which are designed to not only allow patients to see for distance without spectacles but to also see most near vision tasks without spectacles.  Typical types of Premium IOL include ReSTOR, Tecnis®, and CRYSTALENS.

How does it differ from conventional cataract surgery?
With conventional cataract surgery a standard focusing lens or implant is used.  This implant typically gives patients good distance or near vision without correction (or with minimal correction) but often leaves patients essentially 100% dependent on glasses for reading (if IOL is focused for distance, or distance if IOL is focused for near).

What can I expect if I have the Premium IOL implant?
Compared to near vision with a standard lens the Premium IOL offers significant advantages:  Again, with a standard lens, patients will be essentially dependent on spectacles for all their near work.  With Premium IOLs, there is marked decrease on spectacle dependence for near tasks such as reading.  If patients perform significant high detail near work they may still feel there vision can be enhanced with spectacles even if they have a Premium lens.

Although there is additional testing required to plan the Premium IOL Cataract Surgery, the patient’s overall experience should be similar to that of a patient undergoing conventional cataract surgery.

What are the risks and downsides?
The risks of cataract surgery with a Premium IOL are similar to the risks with a standard lens in regards to the surgery.  With regard to vision, some patients with a standard lens notice glare, halos, or distracting lights when driving at night.  With the Premium IOL, patients can also notice these visual phenomena.  In our experience it is rare for these symptoms to be very bothersome; however if the patient is significantly troubled by the visual symptoms the Premium IOL can be removed and a conventional lens replaced.

Patients should understand that even though their range of vision should be better than they would be with a conventional lens they will still wear some type of glasses, some of the time, for some activities.

What does it cost if I have commercial insurance or Medicare?

Both commercial insurers and Medicare cover the cost of standard cataract surgery with a standard lens.  Patients will have individual co-pays or deductibles dictated by their specific insurer for their cataract surgery.

Commercial insurers and Medicare have chosen to consider Premium IOL Cataract Surgery as a “deluxe” or “upgrade addition” to standard cataract surgery and they do not cover any of the associated fees.

Astigmatism and Cataract Surgery

Astigmatism is a common problem that requires many patients to wear glasses in order to see more clearly, even after cataract surgery because conventional Intraocular Lenses do not correct astigmatism.  In patients who desire improved vision without glasses, both Dr. Liss and Dr. DeStafeno can insert a special type of lens implant to correct astigmatism.  If you have little or no astigmatism following surgery you are much more likely to have better vision when you are not wearing glasses.

It is important for you to know the following before deciding if you wish to have your astigmatism reduced at the time of cataract surgery.

  1. Astigmatism reduction will not significantly delay your recovery or prolong the length of your operation.
  2. Almost all patients will have less astigmatism than they would have without the corrective surgery.
  3. You will still need to wear glasses for some activities.  (Most patients wear glasses at least part of the time after cataract removal, especially for reading, unless a special multifocal lens implant has been used). However, it is likely that your vision will be clearer when you are not wearing glasses than it would have been without astigmatism correction.
  4. If you wish to have your astigmatism treated at the time of your cataract removal, special measurements will be taken to determine the type of astigmatism correction required for your eye.
  5. Health insurances will not pay for astigmatism correction.  They consider the correction of astigmatism a completely elective procedure.  Patients are therefore responsible for the additional charge, which includes additional testing and the increased cost of the “toric” intraocular lens.
  6. The results of astigmatism correction will be evaluated after surgery and usually become stable at 2-4 weeks after the procedure.

Chester County Eye Care proudly provides its expertise in laser vision correction and ophthalmology to patients traveling from nearby cities. For your convenience, we have provided driving directions from the following locations.