Frequently Asked Questions About
The Tecnis Multifocal IOL
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What is the Tecnis Multifocal IOL (Tecnis IOL)?
Traditional monofocal lenses, including lens implants, focus light to only one point in space. A Tecnis IOL has more than one point of focus. The Tecnis IOL, which is a type of multifocal, has two points of focus, one at distance and the other at near.
What is the benefit of the Tecnis Multifocal IOL implant?
The Tecnis IOL implant focuses light from distance and near simultaneously. This feature addresses both distant and near vision and makes the recipient less dependent on glasses or contact lenses.
Is the Tecnis Multifocal IOL similar to the natural lens of the eye?
No. The natural lens of a young person changes shape to produce a change in focus. As a person ages, the natural lens becomes more rigid and functions more like a monofocal lens. Lens implants do not change shape. The Tecnis IOL compensates for the eye’s inability to change shape by allowing the eye to see at distance and near simultaneously through the same optic.
Why do you recommend the Tecnis Multifocal lens?
Dr. Cherry has direct experience with the Tecnis Multifocal lens. He feels that it is well designed to provide simultaneous distance and near vision while minimizing unwanted side effects such as glare and halos around lights.
Are there any alternatives?
The primary alternative to multifocal lens implantation is monofocal lens implantation. If you request a monofocal lens, you will have to decide whether you want distance vision or near vision after surgery. You cannot have both with a monofocal lens. Dr. Cherry does not like to implant lenses in a monovision arrangement (that is, one focused for distance and the other for near). There are other multifocal lenses on the market. At this time he is most satisfied with the overall design and clinical results of the Tecnis Multifocal lens.
Are there any risks or side effects to a multifocal lens implant? Implantation of a multifocal lens is associated with all the risks and side effects of cataract surgery. These will be explained separately. In addition, certain side effects are more likely with a multifocal lens than a conventional monofocal lens. There is a 25% chance you will have glare and halos around lights, most noticeably at night. These effects may interfere with your ability
to drive comfortably at night. You should know that approximately 7-8% of patients implanted with monofocal lenses also notice glare and halos.
Will I see 20/20 after surgery?
We hope so, but we can’t guarantee it. You are paying for the service and the implant, not the result.
Will I need glasses after surgery?
If you opt to receive a monofocal lens you will definitely need glasses after surgery. If you receive a multifocal lens there is a good chance you won’t need glasses. 80% of patients implanted with the Tecnis Multifocal lens in both eyes in the FDA clinical trial did not need glasses after surgery for distance or near vision. Of course, not every patient in the trial was spectacle independent. The odds of becoming free of spectacles are better if your corneal astigmatism is low and your eyes are healthy.
Is a multifocal lens recommended for every patient?
No. It is recommended for most patients, but not for patients who were previously implanted with a monofocal lens in one eye, patients with a history of corneal refractive surgery (RK, PRK, LASIK, etc.), or eyes with reduced visual potential, such as those with macular degeneration or diabetic retinopathy.
Why don’t you recommend the lens for patients who had refractive surgery?
Lens power calculation is not very accurate at this time in eyes that have had corneal refractive surgery. Precise power calculation is essential to good outcomes with a multifocal lens.
What if I don’t see 20/20 without glasses after surgery?
We will prescribe glasses to optimize your vision. You may also elect to wear contact lenses if you would like.
Why doesn’t insurance (or Medicare) pay for a multifocal lens?
These entities pay for surgery and devices that restore functional vision. They will not pay for services that reduce dependence on glasses or contact lenses. While Medicare and insurance will cover the cost of a standard lens implant, they will not pay for the “portion” of a deluxe implant that imparts multifocality.
Can I have a multifocal lens implanted later if I decide not to do it now?
No. The decision needs to be made prior to cataract surgery.
Can I be implanted with a multifocal lens in one eye only?
Yes you can, as long as your other eye has a clear natural lens or an early cataract. If your other eye already has an implant, you are not a good candidate for a multifocal lens implant.
Will I need multifocal lenses in both eyes?
A multifocal lens should be implanted in both eyes ultimately.
Will it take longer for my eye to recover from surgery?
Recovery from cataract surgery is the same whether you receive a monofocal lens or a multifocal lens. The number of appointments before and after surgery is also the same.
When do I have to decide?
We would like you to decide at the time of your scheduled preoperative visit. We need 7 to 10 days to order the multifocal lens implant.
What do I do if I want the multifocal lens?
You should tell one of our office staff. They will have you sign a non-covered service waiver next to a bold YES. If you don’t want the lens, you will sign the non-covered service waiver next to a bold NO.
Can I talk to the doctor before I decide?
Yes you can, but if your questions are answered on this list, you will likely receive the same response from the doctor.