The crystalens® Cataract IOL Lens

Created on: Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The crystalens® is an accommodative IOL (intraocular lens) that presents an exciting vision correction option for patients with cataracts. Like traditional IOLs used in cataract surgery, the crystalens® is used to replace a patient's natural, cloudy lens.

However, what makes the crystalens® unique is that it is the first accommodating IOL that allows patients to focus on objects at all distances, the same way a natural lens focuses. This means that patients who receive the crystalens® at our Boston practice usually do not require contact lenses and eyeglasses for daily activities following surgery. This is different from patients who receive standard, non-accommodating IOLs, which only produce clear distance vision.

About Cataracts

This lens of the eye lies behind the iris and the pupil and works to focus light onto the retina, which is located at the back of the eye. The lens also adjusts the eye's focus, allowing us to see objects at all distances. Sometimes, as we age, protein from our eye's lens clumps together and clouds the lens. This is called a cataract, and it can greatly impair a person's ability to see.

Cataract Surgery with PhacoemulsificationFor over 50 years, surgeons have been treating cataracts by surgically replacing clouded lenses. Today, cataract surgery is considered one of the safest and most effective procedures in medicine.

If you have noticed that your vision seems blurred or hazy, light seems glaring, or colors seem duller than usual, you may have a cataract. Please contact our practice so we can evaluate your vision and determine if cataract surgery is right for you.

Cataract Surgery: Placing the crystalens®

Before placing the crystalens®, the surgeons at our Boston practice will place eye drops to dilate your pupil and anesthetize your eye. You will then be asked to lie down, a microscope will be positioned over your eye, and your eyelid will be propped open with a special tool. The surgeon will then proceed to place the crystalens® in your eye. You will feel no pain, and the entire procedure will take less than 20 minutes. After surgery, more drops will be placed in your eye and you will be asked to wear a temporary eye patch.

Within a day or two of surgery, your distance vision should greatly improve. However, you middle and near vision may be blurry for about two weeks. It may take several months before you achieve optimal vision. Though some people wear glasses for some activities following placement of the crystalens®, you will not be dependent on the lenses.

The crystalens® vs. Fixed IOLs

The crystalens® is unique because it is the first FDA approved accommodating IOL in the United States. It was designed to mimic the eye's natural way of focusing in order to allow patients to see clearly at all distances. Unlike the crystalens®, the design of standard, fixed IOLs prevents them from moving to focus (accommodating). Therefore, patients who receive fixed IOLs remain dependent on glasses to see items close up.

Possible Risks/Side Effects

Though the crystalens® is very safe, all surgery involves some degree of risk. The following are possible risks and side effects that may be caused by undergoing this procedure:

  • Rare sight-threatening complications include infection, hemorrhage, and retinal detachment.
  • Some patients experience temporary light sensitivity following surgery.
  • Following cataract surgery, some patients experience minor night vision problems, such as glare.

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General Considerations

  • Most patients with good general health are candidates for crystalens® implantation. However, those with chronic infections, uncontrolled diabetes, or other health problems may not be suitable for the surgery.
  • Patients who have had prior refractive surgery can still receive the crystalens®.
  • Patients who have already had cataract surgery are not candidates for the crystalens® procedure.
  • Seniors undergoing crystalens® treatment can now receive standard cataract surgery reimbursement. Visit our financing page for more information.

Before you undergo crystalens® implantation, your surgeon will thoroughly evaluate your vision and overall health to determine if it is right for you. To learn more about the revolutionary crystalens® procedure, contact our Boston practice today.



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