After decades as an eye surgeon, I still become excited and amazed at the technological breakthroughs in our field. The latest product that adds a new dimension of clarity and versatility is the Tecnis Symfony® lens by Abbott Medical Optics..
Imagine that you suffer from the cloudy, blurry and altogether
impaired eyesight caused by cataracts. Or, you have poor vision that even glasses and contacts can’t fully correct. Then, in a brief procedure, a surgeon implants a lens in each eye that gives you the best vision of your life that will last for the rest of your life. After a short recovery period, you’re reading 6-point type or clearly seeing road signs a quarter mile away.
For many people, lasik surgery can provide even better than 20-
20 vision and eliminate the need for reading glasses. But for those with cataracts or those who simply want the optimal procedure available, an intraocular lens, or IOL like the Symfony, will leave you breathless at the depth and clarity of your vision.
A little history about cataract surgery:
Until the late 70’s, cataract patients had to wear thick glasses as a substitute for their now missing lens. The breakthrough at that time was that instead of removing the entire cataract, surgeons scooped out the clouded, damaged inside of the lens, leaving the lens’s outer envelope intact. They then implanted an IOL into the “envelope” or “cavity” which gave the implanted lens a natural support system. Success dramatically improved, although patients still had to wear reading glasses to see things nearby.
Fast forward to this century which has seen the breakthrough of implanted bifocal and
multifocal lenses that allow cataract patients to see at a variety of distances, thus eliminating the need for reading glasses. If you’re a listener of FM radio in Detroit, you’ve heard Karen Savelly of WCSX (94.7) and Bobby Mitchell of WOMC (104.3) talking with amazement about how implanted lenses not only solved their cataract problem, but also gave them sharp, glasses-free vision at virtually all distances.
Now, in just the last few months, the FDA approved the Tecnis Symfony® IOL to be used in the treatment of cataracts. Whereas the standard multifocal IOLs cater to distinct focal points for varied distances, the Symfony lens boasts no drop off in vision regardless of the distance, meaning that the quality of vision should remain consistent over a full range of viewing conditions.
Cataract surgery using traditional lenses is covered by Medicare or insurance and all patients are required to pay are their deductibles, like any other procedure. The additional cost for the newer technology IOLs is why many people still opt for the traditional technology and simply use reading glasses after the cataracts are removed.
I always give my patients a variety of options and costs and tell them all cataract solutions are excellent. But for those who are interested in a multifocal solution and freedom from all glasses or contact lenses, the multifocal IOL’s are clearly a step above. And now, the Symfony lens takes it another wonderful step further.
In fact, the Symfony and the previously developed multifocal lenses and so effective that, as mentioned above, people without cataracts and a little extra to spend opt for this surgery at all ages as the ultimate, lifelong vision solution.
We’ve come so far since your father or grandfather had to wear those thick and omnipresent glasses after cataract surgery. Today, cataract surgery with the implanting of intraocular lenses is the safest operation in the world, boasting more than a 98% success rate.
I think you’ll like those odds and the comfort and clarity that will accompany your life-changing, pre or post-cataract vision.