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Tecnis Multifocal


After your cataract is removed, an artificial lens is required in order for you to focus objects at a distance. Prior to 1970, the cataract was simply removed and no lens implant was inserted. This left the patient extremely farsighted, requiring very thick “Coke bottle” glasses to see (much like the kind that George Burns famously wore). Since 1985, every patient now gets a standard artificial lens implant as part of routine cataract surgery. These lenses are monofocal, which means they can only focus objects at one distance. These monofocal lens implants require the patient to wear bifocals or reading glasses in order to see objects up-close.

Tecnis MultifocalAbout 15 years ago, scientists and engineers began working on a lens implant that would allow bifocal vision and thus render the patient no longer dependent on eyeglasses after cataract surgery. The early versions of these lenses had major drawbacks, were difficult to implant, and lost their effect with time. Since 2005, the technology has improved drastically with the introduction of Restor ®and Tecnis ® Multifocal lenses.

Can a Multifocal Lens Eliminate the Need to Wear Glasses?

If you find it inconvenient to wear glasses while engaging in hobbies or participating in outdoor activities, a premium multifocal intraocular lens might be ideal for you. The Tecnis Multifocal® implant has been uniquely designed to improve vision at all distances – up close, far away and everything in-between; giving cataract patients their best chance to eliminate glasses.

Does selecting a multifocal lens mean complete freedom from glasses? For many patients, it does. During clinical trials, 90% of Tecnis Multifocal® IOL patients reported never wearing glasses after having the lens implanted in both eyes, as compared to only 8% of patients with monofocal lens implants.

How Much Does a Multifocal Lens Cost?

Whether you choose the standard (monofocal) lens implant or the premium (multifocal) implant, your insurance will cover the cost of cataract removal, surgeon’s fees, local anesthesia, and other fees typically associated with routine cataract surgery. Medicare and other insurance providers cover the cost of the monofocal implant as well; however, they do not cover the cost associated with the premium lens implant. This is over and above what your insurance will pay, no matter how “good” your insurance or supplemental insurance coverage is.

Tecnis MultifocalWho is the Ideal Candidate for a Multifocal Lens, and What are the Associated Risks?

The best candidates for the new technology are easygoing, adaptable and patient individuals who are highly motivated to eliminate their reliance on glasses. However, as with many things, there may be a tradeoff – while you may gain clear vision throughout your visual range, you may experience some side effects including halos or glare. Most patients find these tradeoffs tolerable, but a few (less than 1%) find it difficult to adapt to their new vision post-surgery.

Because of the technology behind the multifocal lens implant, surgery on both eyes should be completed in a relatively short time frame (usually within two (2) weeks) in order for your brain to most successfully adapt to your new vision (neuroadaptation). After surgery on the first eye alone, your overall vision will immediately be much better than the cataract obstructed view you experienced prior to surgery. However, you might feel “out of balance” and will likely notice more glare or “halos.” Once the surgery is completed on the second eye, your eyes will begin to work together to allow your brain to adapt to your new vision. You will learn where to hold objects for best viewing and the initial halos will gradually phase out during the four (4) to six (6) month neuroadaptation process. Once the eyes have healed, any residual astigmatism may need to be treated with the laser to further refine your vision. This is included in the initial fee and is only required in about five percent (5%) of cases.

In order to qualify for the benefits of the premium lens implant, your eyes need to be healthy (except for cataracts) and free from advanced glaucoma, macular degeneration and cornea scars or swelling.