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Types of intraocular lenses (IOL) used in cataract surgery

How is the lens implanted?

Before you have your cataract surgery, we have to measure your eye for an intraocular lens.
We liken this to measuring your shoe size, but it’s much more sophisticated. Measuring the eye for the IOL is called Eye Biometry, and a Clinica London nurse carries out the procedure.
The cataract surgeons at Clinica London, Ms Laura Crawley and Mr Jaheed Khan are very experienced in this procedure. The intraocular lens is made of a high-quality biocompatible plastic. Modern lens implants are very flexible allowing them to be folded up before being inserted into the eye. This flexibility allows a tiny incision with few or no stitches and speeds up recovery time.
Once the intraocular lens is in the eye, the folded intraocular lens will unfold into its original shape and fill the capsule that originally held the cataract. The lens implant is very stable and lasts lifelong.

The different types of lenses

There are broadly two types of intraocular lenses. The most commonly implanted lens is a fixed focus distance monofocal lens.
As the name suggests it is a lens that gives high-quality distance vision without glasses, but a reading prescription is needed for close work. A variation on the distance lens is a toric lens implant. This is used in patients who have significant astigmatism.
Your surgeon will advise whether you need this type of lens implant and further tests will be needed before surgery to ensure that you receive the correct lens power.
The second type of lens is a multifocal lens. This type of lens implant has focusing areas of different powers to try to give good distance and near vision. This type of implant is not suitable for everyone as the different focusing powers can cause glare. These lens implants are also known as premium implants, and if your surgeon thinks you may be suitable for this type of lens, there is an additional cost as the major insurers do not cover these implants.
Ms Laura Crawley and Mr Jaheed Khan will advise you at your consultation what type of lens you should have. They will then arrange for bespoke measurements so that they can choose the right power of the intraocular lens for you. We base the power of the IOL on measurements of the length of your eye, and the curvature of your cornea, the transparent window at the front of the eye. The measurements are known as biometry. The nurses carry out these measurements in the technical room at Clinica London.
For information on cataract surgery at Clinica London, please contact Jenny Burrows on the number at the top right-hand side of this page.


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