Question: I am 51 years old and have been advised that cataract surgery and a lens implant is needed in my left eye. I recently switched to multifocal contact lenses (-9.5 power) and am disappointed to have been told that I am not a candidate for a premium multifocal lens implant IOL and that I will need to wear reading glasses after the surgery. My doctor said this was due to the shape of my eye. Is there any hope of me consulting with another cataract surgeon and being told that cataract surgery can leave my free of needing reading glasses?
Answer: Your disappointment with not being a good candidate for a multifocal lens implant after cataract surgery to avoid having to wear reading glasses is understandable-especially in consideration of your adaptation to the multifocal contact lenses. It is not clear from your description what part of the “shape of your eye” is the issue-and you don’t state whether you are wearing rigid or soft lenses, so it is difficult to offer much more than some general comments. First, if you are a rigid gas permeable lens (RGP) lens wearer this could very well complicate the precision and accuracy of the measurements and calculations used for the lens implant. If you had induced astigmatism or other shape changes from the contact lens wear this could be a challenge. With less complex lens implants, the calculations are still subject to this variation, however with the multifocal lens implant the lack of precision will lead to a much greater level of dissatisfaction if it is present. You do not say if the shape of your cornea is otherwise normal or regular and thus one suspects that you might have a great deal or natural or induced astigmatism-which also could make the successful implantation of a multifocal lens implant more of a challenge as the astigmatism would ten need to be corrected after the cataract surgery either with a Limbal Relaxing Incision (LRI) or LASIK surgery in order to obtain full functioning and vision correction. If there is any doubt in your mind it is never inappropriate to get a second opinion. Find the best Cataract Surgeon in your area who is also a LASIK Surgeon and schedule a consultation. By finding a Refractive Cataract Surgeon you will avail yourself of the best information regarding your complex optical situation along with the need for cataract surgery.
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