Monday, June 6, 2011

Cataract-Lens Implants or Laser Surgery?

Question: Are multifocal lens implants and laser surgery both options for cataracts. If so which is better. Multifocal lenses were the only option given to me.

Answer: You may be confusing several different things here. Cataract Surgery is performed to remove clouding of the crystalline lens in the eye-a Cataract. At the time of a Cataract operation a tiny plastic lens implant is placed in the eye to replace the focusing power lost by the removal of the crystalline lens in order to correct vision. Up until recently primary Cataract Surgery did not involve the use of a laser. Today in a very limited number of surgery centers a laser can be used as part of the Cataract removal however it's use is not at all common or usual at this time. Whether the Cataract is removed by the advanced technique currently in widespread use or removed using a laser-you still need to have a Lens Implant in order to see clearly after Cataract Surgery. If you are asking whether Laser Eye Surgery such as LASIK is used to provide the primary vision correction after Cataract Surgery the answer is no. Laser Eye Surgery such as LASIK is used to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness and/or astigmatism but NOT aphakia-the condition whereby the crystalline lens has been removed from your eye due to a Cataract. Sometimes a laser is used after a Cataract operation to treat a condition called "posterior capsular opacification" which occurs in as many as 30% of eyes after Cataract Surgery and sometimes Laser Eye Surgery such as LASIK might be used to enhance or refine the results of a multifocal lens implant-but in virtually ALL patients an intraocular lens implant (IOL) is the primary method of vision correction after Cataract Surgery.

Important Note: The information presented on the About Cataract Surgery Blog or provided in response to a request for information in the Ask Cataract Surgeons section on is not intended to diagnose or treat eye problems, eye conditions or eye diseases including appropriateness of treatment, risks, complications or side effects as related to Cataracts, Cataract Surgery of Lens Implants. In particular a response to an inquiry made on the Ask Cataract Surgeons section of is not meant to take the place of the professional medical care provided by your eye doctor, ophthalmologist and Cataract Surgeon. Contacting us via e-mail or any other means is not a substitute for medical care.

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