Cataract surgery has undergone tremendous technological advances since the days of your parents and grandparents. As one of Indiana’s leading cataract and refractive surgeons, J. Rex Parent, M.D. was one of eleven physicians in the United States (out of 17,500 ophthalmologists) who participated in the national study leading to FDA approval for the first “multifocal” intraocular lens and the first surgeon in the Midwest to implant a multifocal lens. Dr. Parent implanted his first multifocal IOL in 1984 during this study.
Dr. Parent continues to stay abreast of the latest developments in eye care. He has participated in many FDA approval studies involving several types of multifocal IntraOcular Lenses (IOL’s).
monofocal and multifocal lenses
A monofocal lens corrects only one distance, so you will still need to wear glasses after the surgery to see at other distances. A multifocal lens can improve your distance, intermediate, and most of your close vision. The goal is to enhance your vision with an intraocular lens (IOL) that may provide you with a full range of vision, thus minimizing your reliance on glasses, including reading glasses or bifocals. This multifocal lens does not rebirth the patient but does allow them remarkably improved vision at most distances.
It is important, when considering cataract or Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE) surgery, that the patient is informed of the most recent intraocular lens (IOL) options, along with their advantages and disadvantages. Ninety-two to ninety-seven percent of patients who have had multifocal intraocular lens implants report “never” or only “sometimes” wearing glasses. Although, patients should also be informed that no matter which IOL is implanted, glasses might be needed for “fine-tuned vision”.
The monofocal lens is the standard lens used in cataract surgery and is covered by Medicare or private insurance. If the patient chooses the multifocal lens to be less dependent on glasses, the patient is responsible for the cost of the upgraded lens. Neither Medicare nor private insurance will cover the cost difference of the upgraded lens.