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For Cataract Patients

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If you have been recently diagnosed with a cataract, you have options for the type of surgery that can help correct the cataract. Here is an overview of the cataract surgery options available to you.

Standard Cataract Surgery

In modern cataract surgery, an intraocular lens ("IOL", or "lens implant") is implanted when the cataract is removed. The new lens implant serves to focus light entering the eye. If the cataract is simply removed and nothing further is done to focus the light, vision would be very blurred. Using the intraocular lens to focus the light is currently the most common way of solving the problem. The implant is intended to be permanent and does not require removal for cleaning. The traditional lens implant is MONOFOCAL, having an optimal focus at one pre-chosen distance. Eyeglasses are typically needed to focus at other distances. Standard cataract surgery is a covered benefit with most Kaiser Permanente and other insurance health plans. Copays do apply and vary according to your plan. Please refer to your Evidence of Coverage for details.

Multifocal IOL for Cataract Patients

If reducing or eliminating your dependence on glasses for distance and/or reading is a high priority for you, you may want to consider a multifocal IOL as part of your California cataract surgery procedure. Multifocal lenses give patients a full range of vision (near, intermediate and far), thus allowing many people greater independence from eyeglasses. The surgical procedure for monofocal and multifocal IOL is similar, only the lens is different.

The Kaiser Permanente Laser Vision Correction Center offers a wide range of multifocal IOL options for cataract patients including ReZoom™ (by Advanced Medical Optics), ReSTOR® (by Alcon Laboratories), and Crystalens® (by Bausch and Lomb.) Call us today to discuss your cataract surgery options.

Northern California locations offering Multifocal IOL

Toric IOL for Cataract Patients with Astigmatism

Many patients have corneal astigmatism, which requires them to use glasses even after cataract surgery. A Toric lens can reduce or eliminate the need for glasses to correct your astigmatism.

If you have astigmatism and are concerned primarily with improving distance vision, AcrySof® Toric (by Alcon Laboratories) eliminates the need to have two corrective procedures. It provides improved quality distance vision and decrease dependency on glasses as compared to traditional lenses.

The photos below are simulated images of vision with astigmatism and cataract and vision with both a standard cataract lens and a Toric IOL.

Vision with cataract and astigmatism.

Vision with a standard cataract lens. Vision may be blurred or distorted if astigmatism is not also corrected.

Vision with a Toric IOL. Your dependence on glasses is decreased.

Northern California locations offering Toric IOL

Cataract Surgery Options at a Glance

Several IOL options are available for cataract patients through Kaiser Permanente Ophthalmology/Eye Care Services. Please contact your ophthalmologist to find out what type of lens is best for your specific needs.

  Monofocal Toric Multifocal
Examples of lenses Standard cataract lens Toric IOL ReZoom, Restor, Crystalens
Procedure Cataract removed Cataract removed Cataract removed
What the lens does corrects cataract only corrects astigmatism corrects all distances (near, intermediate and distance)
Patient type All cataract patients Cataract patients with astigmatism Some cataract patients
Eyeglasses May be needed to enhance chosen distance

Needed for distances not chosen
Glasses may be needed to enhance vision, but the quality of vision will be greatly increased Greater independence from glasses

Glasses potentially needed to fine tune vision for selected activities
Covered (if Kaiser Permanente member) Cataract Surgery Cataract Surgery Cataract Surgery
Additional cost None Cost of lens

Refractive counseling, comprehensive testing
Cost of lens

Refractive counseling, comprehensive testing