Close-Up or Distance? Now Cataract Patients May No Longer Have To Choose as Surgeons Refine Procedure
Advancements in Technology and Latest FDA Approval Opens New Door for Patients Considering the Most-Often Performed Surgery
PHILADELPHIA PA-August 25, 2016 --For the estimated four million people a year in the U.S. considering cataract surgery – the question to patients had always been “What do you want to see better? Choose one or the other: close-up or distance?” Now, thanks to the latest chapter in advancing technology in the lens replacement surgery, patients may not have to make that choice anymore. They can have it all. Imagine that.
Cataract patients at Wills Eye have been implanted with the new Tecnis ®Symfony Intraocular Lens (IOL,) manufactured and distributed by Abbott, for the first time in the USA since the lens received FDA approval in May. A cataract is a condition in which the lens inside the natural aging eye becomes cloudy. Many patients notice the symptoms of a cataract as cloudy or blurred vision, faded color patterns, poor night vision, doubling of images or the frequent need to change eyeglass prescriptions. Cataract surgery is performed when an eye surgeon removes the cloudy, aging natural lens of the eye and replaces it with a new intraocular lens. The procedure, typically lasting under an hour and allowing the patient to see clearer after recovery, is considered one of the safest and most common surgeries performed by eye surgeons each year. The number of cases is expected to grow significantly as the population ages and as new lens choices are introduced that will offer more options for improving vision and quality of life – even for the growing number of patients younger than 65 years of age -- earlier than the typical demographic of cataract patients.
The Symfony IOL, made of acrylic, had been widely studied, with data from more than seven studies in over 2000 eyes being collected. Data showed that people who received the Tecnis® Symfony Lens achieved significantly improved intermediate, as well as near vision compared to those who received other lenses.
“This represents a huge leap forward in the technology options we can offer our patients,” said Mark Blecher, MD, Co-Director of The Center for Primary Eye Care and Advanced Cataract Surgery at Wills Eye Hospital in Philadelphia. “While the surgery and recovery period are expected to remain the same, the FDA-approved lens is the next generation of sophisticated technology so patients will have the chance to see close up, distance, in between, and in some cases, may also be able to finally get out of glasses altogether. It could be the closest thing we have now to restoring natural vision to people than ever before,” Blecher said.
Wills Eye Hospital is a global leader in ophthalmology, established in 1832 as the nation’s first hospital specializing in eye care. U.S. News & World Report consistently ranks Wills Eye as one of America’s top ophthalmology centers since the survey began and has the most nationally ranked ophthalmologists in the country. Wills Eye is a premier training site for all levels of medical education. Its resident and post-graduate training programs are among the most competitive in the country. One of the core strengths of Wills is the close connection between innovative research and advanced patient care. Wills provides the full range of primary and subspecialty eye care for improving and preserving sight, including cataract, cornea, retina, emergency care, glaucoma, neuro-ophthalmology, ocular oncology, oculoplastics, pathology, pediatric ophthalmology and ocular genetics, and refractive surgery. Ocular Services include the Wills Laser Correction Center, Low Vision Service, and Diagnostic Center. Its 24/7 Emergency Service is the only one of its kind in the region. Wills Eye also has a network of seven multi-specialty, ambulatory surgery centers throughout the tri-state area. To learn more, please visit www.willseye.org.