Cataract removal surgery has been one of the most commonly performed eye surgeries in recent years. Due to continual advancement in technology and products, we have witnessed substantial improvement in patient outcomes since the early days of cataract treatment.
The purpose of cataract surgery is to remove the clouded lens and restore optimal vision by replacing the natural lens with a man-made structure. This is referred to as an IOL, or intraocular lens. Initially, replacement lenses did little more than restore clarity. More recently, we have experienced advances that allow us to also minimize or eliminate patients’ need for eyeglasses. This is achieved by the appropriate selection of IOL.
What is the Tecnis Symfony IOL?
Historically, cataract patients have selected an appropriate IOL from one of two categories: monofocal or multifocal. The Tecnis Symfony IOL is part of new-generation replacement lenses, one that does not involve distinct focal points. Instead, this type of intraocular lens elongates the focus of the eye to accommodate all distances.
What is the difference between multifocal IOLs and traditional IOLs?
A traditional intraocular lens, or monofocal lens, is inserted in place of the eye’s natural lens that has been clouded by cataracts. This type of IOL has a singular point of focus, which is determined by the eye surgeon based on vision data obtained prior to surgery. After cataract surgery and the placement of a monofocal IOL, distance vision should be very clear without the need for eyeglasses. Patients may still require the use of reading glasses to optimize near vision.
Multifocal lenses were developed with the intent of eliminating or greatly reducing the need for corrective eyeglasses after cataract surgery. The multifocal IOL disperses light that enters the front of the eye onto two distinct points, also set by the ophthalmologist. These two points may be distance and intermediate or distance and near. While the multifocal lens may offer more benefits than a monofocal IOL, limitations have been noticed. Some patients may continue to need eyeglasses at certain times. Halos and glares may also be noticed at night.
It is important to note that the Tecnis Symfony IOL differs from both the monofocal lens and the multifocal lens. This IOL has no points of focus and therefore is less likely to cause halos and glares. The elongated focus of the Symfony IOL supports a continuous flow of sharpness and clarity from near through intermediate and to distance vision. This continuum is advantageous due to the much lower instance of blurriness between two distinct points (if any). According to clinical studies, approximately 85% of patients treated with the Tecnis Symfony IOL no longer rely on eyeglasses for clear vision at any distance.
What is the procedure of cataract surgery with the symphony IOL?
Cataract surgery is a standard, precision procedure that follows the same basic steps regardless of the type of IOL that is selected for lens replacement. The procedure is one of the safest and most effective ways to correct cloudiness due to cataracts and is conducted millions of times every year.
Cataract surgery is an outpatient procedure that is conducted after the eyes have been numbed with medicated drops. Ultrasound technology is incorporated into our surgical process, which supports the disintegration of the clouded lens through a tiny incision, and eliminates the need for stitching of that incision. Once the clouded lens has been fully removed, it is replaced with the replacement lens. This new lens naturally adheres to the eye, and the incision heals quickly to support the new lens.
What is the recovery after surgery?
One of the benefits of cataract surgery is that very little downtime is needed. Patients should arrange reliable transportation to and from the office. At home, rest is all that is needed to help the eye recover. A protective shield may have been placed over the eye after surgery. Our staff will provide guidance on when the shield may be removed and when, if at all, it should be worn.
There should be little, if any, discomfort to speak of after cataract surgery. Most patients report relatively clear vision within the same day after their procedure, though it is also not uncommon for waves or blurriness to linger for a few days.
What are the risks of surgery with Tecnis Symfony IOL?
The primary risk associated with cataract removal is an infection, which is inhibited by antibiotics.
Learn more about how you can get clearer vision with cataract surgery and the Tecnis Symfony IOL. Call our Springfield, MA office at (413) 782-0030.