from Sarasota Center of view is one of three vision centers nationwide offering one of the latest technological advancements in cataract surgery. the TECNIS Synergy intraocular lens was developed by Johnson & Johnson Vision to provide complete, uninterrupted vision so patients do not need to wear glasses or contact lenses. It is the most advanced lens implant for cataract surgery to date.
âThe big thing that has changed is not the cataract procedure, but the lens implant,â says Center for Sight medical director William Lahners, MD, FACS. changes. “
Lahners says the first change occurs between the ages of 40 and 50, when the lens stiffens and the use of reading glasses or bifocals is required. The second stage is the development of cataracts, where the lens loses its transparency. Cataract surgery is simply removing this cloudy lens and replacing it with a clear lens.
âWe’ve been using intraocular implants, or IOLs, for about 40 years, but they’ve made some really amazing progress,â says Lahners. âIn 2003, the very first advanced technology lens approved by the FDA was introduced, and since then we have been able to offer both far vision and near vision in both eyes. Synergy is the latest and greatest advance in this technology.
Before the Synergy lens, even advanced technology implants had limitations in their ability to simultaneously provide far and near vision. This new technology will allow a full range of vision in a wider range of lighting conditions to patients who qualify for the lens. Patients will have improved contrast sensitivity, visual acuity and depth perception. According to Lahners, the preoperative screening of patients requires biometric analysis of the eye to determine who is a good candidate and the success of the procedure.
âDoctors like me, who perform thousands of surgeries a year, have the best chance of success and getting a perfect result,â says Lahners. âWe also have the ability to make postoperative corrections or improvements, adjusting vision to get closer to where patients want to be. “
Who makes the perfect candidate? Lahners says someone with a healthy eye and the ability for high quality vision. Not everyone qualifies for these lenses; you must have a healthy cornea (front part of the eye) and retina (back part of the eye). Implanted in a healthy eye, the lens has a better chance of success.
Is the Synergy lens covered by insurance? Cataract surgery has a medical and visual component. The medical component – that which interferes with daily functioning – may be covered by Medicare, Medicaid, private and secondary insurance. Vision is something that health insurance generally does not cover, so there will be a charge for the lenses themselves. Lahners says the total cost depends on the individual’s deductible.
While the TECNIS Synergy intraocular lens is only available at three vision centers – California, South Dakota and Florida – Johnson & Johnson is hoping for a widespread deployment as ophthalmologists nationwide become familiar with the technology.
âWhen companies come out with a big leap forward, they like to have deployments in the best centers,â says Lahners. Lahners says that in addition to traditional cataract surgery, these centers offer laser cataract surgery – a more precise way of doing things, including a method that helps correct refractive errors or changes in the body. optics of the eye that make vision blurry.
The ultimate benefit of this new lens is to allow patients to return to lifestyles that poor vision would not allow, such as playing sports and reading. âThis kind of technology brings us one step closer to providing complete vision for everyone,â says Lahners.