Advanced technology lens candidates include individuals with cataracts that impair vision, as well as patients over age 45 who desire a full range of vision in each eye without corrective lenses. Patients with health problems, such as diabetes or a chronic infection, should wait until those conditions are under control before scheduling this procedure. You are not a candidate for an advanced technology lens if you have already undergone a cataract correction procedure. Your surgeon will perform a careful examination before making any recommendation. At that time, your eyes will be measured to determine the correct lens power for your advanced technology lens.
As long as your eye is healthy, you can have an advanced technology lens implanted, even if you have already had a refractive procedure like LASIK.
An advanced technology lens is implanted on an outpatient basis in less than 20 minutes. The eye is numbed with eye drops, and medications are given for relaxation. Your surgeon removes the eye's natural lens and replaces it with the new lens. You will feel only slight pressure. After the procedure, your surgeon administers drops to control inflammation and prevent infection. The very small incision requires no stitches and heals quickly.
Most patients can drive and return to work after only a few days. The eye may still be sensitive to touch and to light, and sunglasses are recommended for outdoor activity. Your surgeon will advise you regarding activities you should avoid while the eye is healing.
Generally, your surgeon will implant an advanced technology lens in one eye first, then monitor the healing and vision of that eye before scheduling the procedure for your other eye.
The advanced technology lens procedure is virtually identical to the cataract procedure that has been performed safely for the past 25 years on more than 65 million eyes in the U.S. alone.
For cataract patients, the choice is between a traditional lens plus glasses for near vision or the greater visual freedom offered by an advanced technology lens. Patients without cataracts can choose bifocals or the chance to recapture a full range of vision without corrective lenses. Before advising you, your surgeon will consider the health of your eyes, your lifestyle and the demands of your occupation and hobbies. Ultimately, the decision is yours. Ask yourself, "What would my life be like without glasses?"
Yes. Medicare pays the standard cataract benefit and the patient pays an additional charge for the advanced technology lens and related technical services. Because advanced technology lenses are an upgrade from the standard monofocal replacement lenses usually used in cataract procedures, they are considered elective. The implantation of an advanced technology lens requires additional pre-operative testing to measure for lens accuracy. These tests are not covered by Medicare or most health insurance plans. Associated Eye Care's additional fee for an advanced technology lens includes an Extended Care Component that covers these tests as well as post-operative office visits for up to twelve months, beginning on the date of surgery.