In the United States, cataracts are the most common cause of vision loss in adults over 50. They are curable with cataract surgery; a painless procedure to replace the eye’s worn-out, cloudy lens with an optically perfect artificial lens, designed to last forever.
If you’re considering cataract surgery, that means you have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to pick the kind of artificial lens which will be permanently implanted in your eye. There are several excellent lenses to choose from. However, before you start thinking about what kind of lens you’d like, first, you must decide what kind of cataract surgery to have. Basically, there are two options:
Basic Cataract Surgery
This is the kind covered by your insurance. It involves only the medically necessary components of the operation (i.e. removing your cloudy lens and implanting a standard-issue implant). Your procedure will be performed in a facility determined by your insurance company. No astigmatism correction is included in your operation, no dedicated refractive testing is done before surgery, and you should expect to wear glasses for all distances (near and far) after surgery.
Refractive cataract surgery ($1,275/eye)
This is the personalized option, not covered by your insurance. Your procedure will be performed in a custom-designed procedural wing of our clinic. Specialized refractive testing (corneal and retinal tomography with aberration assessment) is conducted to optimize intraocular lens selection and to minimize the need for glasses. Correction of mild astigmatism is included at no cost.
Patients opting for Refractive cataract surgery are also eligible to receive “premium” intraocular lenses to correct greater amounts of astigmatism and / or “multifocal” lenses, which reduce dependence on glasses at all distances. These premium lenses are an additional cost, determined by the kind of lens chosen.
After you select what kind of cataract surgery to have, the next choice is what type of lens you’d like permanently implanted inside your eye. If you selected “basic” cataract surgery, your lens choice has already been made for you by your insurance company. If you’ve selected “refractive cataract surgery,” you have the option of picking which lens you’d like to receive.
Included at no additional cost in both Basic and Refractive Cataract Surgery packages
The “standard” lens, covered by your insurance. In patients without significant astigmatism, this lens provides excellent quality near or distance vision, but not both. Patients selecting this option should therefore expect to wear reading (or distance) glasses after surgery.
Multifocal/Extended Depth-of-Focus Lens
Available for patients selecting Refractive Package, $1,925/eye
The “special” lens, not covered by your insurance. These lenses are designed to minimize the need for glasses, and they typically provide improved vision in the distance and up close. These lenses therefore provide a greater range of vision than standard monofocal lenses. However, the tradeoff for this improved range of vision is glare, halos, and starbursts are more visible at night, and the quality of your vision might not be as sharp as with a standard monofocal lens.
Toric (Astigmatism Correcting) Upgrade
Available for patients selecting Refractive Package $980/eye*
Both monofocal and multifocal lenses are also available in “toric” designs for patients with significant astigmatism. “Astigmatism” is warpage of the corneal surface. Toric lenses correct for this warpage, resulting in improved quality of vision.
*The toric upgrade available for an extra cost for patients receiving a monofocal lens, and is included for free for patients receiving multifocal/ extended depth of focus lenses.