Lens Implant Multifocal Center

The Multifocal procedure is a form of Refractive Lens Exchange, in which the natural human lens is replaced with an artificial lens.  The Multifocal lens provides both distance and near focusing.  This procedure is best for patients over fifty years old who are looking to be free of eyeglasses for both distance and near.  The procedure is very similar to cataract surgery and has a quick recovery.  Most patients see well the following day after surgery and can resume normal activities within one or two days.

Drs. Liu and Beers of our Lens Implant Multifocal Center have been performing Refractive Lens Exchange and cataract surgery for many years with excellent results.  In fact, Dr. Beers teaches the Stanford University Ophthalmology Residents how to perform the lens implant procedure, and Dr. Liu has taught this procedure at UC Irvine.  At the time of your consultation we can determine if you are a good candidate for the Multifocal procedure.

Clinical trials showed that over 80 percent of patients receiving the Multifocal lens never required glasses for any task following surgery.

Clinical Results

Finally, quality vision and true freedom from glasses

During the AcrySof® Multifocal IOL clinical studies, patients experienced lifestyle enhancement through quality vision, and greater freedom from reading glasses and bifocals. In fact, according to the AcrySof® Multifocal clinical studies, four out of five patients with the AcrySof® Multifocal IOL reported never wearing glasses following cataract surgery in both eyes, compared to only 1 out of 10 patients with monofocal lenses. This is the highest level of freedom from glasses ever demonstrated in an IOL clinical trial.

Additionally, the AcrySof® Multifocal clinical studies indicated that nearly 94% of the study subjects were so satisfied with their new quality vision that they would have the AcrySof® Multifocal IOL implanted again.

How does it work?

The AcrySof® Multifocal IOL is a multi-focal lens that contains a unique mechanism to provide both distance and near vision.

The apodized diffractive optics comprises 12 concentric “steps” around the optic zone of the lens. These steps, which appear as rings in the diagram below, create different focusing levels from near to distant vision.

You need a cataract surgeon, not a LASIK surgeon.

It is important to note that Refractive Lens Exchange ( RLE) is not performed by refractive surgeons who only specialize in LASIK or PRK. RLE is very different from these procedures and therefore a doctor who only does LASIK may not even mention this alternative to you. Drs. Beers and Liu have extensive cataract surgery experience and they use the newest, most advanced lenses such as the Multifocal and Crystalens. Crystalens is the only FDA approved accommodating lens; it works in a way that is similar to how a young natural eye would change focus.

Refractive Lens Exchange

People who are over 50 may have presbyopia (hardening of the natural lens) and/or the beginnings of cataracts. Cataracts tend to get worse over time, eventually requiring cataract surgery. 
If you have early cataracts, you are better off having a refractive lens exchange now rather than LASIK. An artificial lens can provide significantly better vision for you (especially if you are currently using glasses or contact lenses) and because your natural lens has been removed, there is no chance of developing a cataract in the future.

Refractive Lens Exchange for Hyperopia

For extreme farsightedness (Hyperopia), refractive lens exchange is a much better alternative than LASIK. The surgery has been done safely for decades and it leaves the cornea untouched.

The Procedure

RLE is an outpatient procedure that is very similar to cataract surgery. Drs. Beers and Liu will begin by numbing your eye with a few anesthetic drops. They will then make a tiny incision in the outer capsule of your eye’s lens. Using a probe, they will gently remove your lens and insert a high quality lens implant of the correct power. The surgeons use the newest multi-focal and accommodating lens implants which gives the patient the ability to focus at different distances. RLE provides good distance vision as well as an improvement in near vision. The surgery is generally completed without stitches in approximately 20 minutes.

For more information Refractive Lens Exchange, please read our RLE FAQs.

Am I a candidate for RLE surgery?

You may be a candidate if you:

  • are over age 50 and having trouble with your vision
  • do not qualify for laser vision correction such as LASIK, because you are hyperopic
  • have presbyopia and want to eliminate reading glasses

How is RLE different from cataract surgery?

RLE and cataract surgery are essentially the same surgery. It’s just that they are performed for different reasons. RLE is an elective procedure done to improve one’s vision and eliminate the need for glasses. Removing the cataract in cataract surgery is done for medical reasons. Glasses and contact lenses can not correct your vision if you have a cataract in your eye.

What are the differences in lenses?

IOL’s come in many sizes, shapes and materials. Each has a unique characteristics and capabilities.

Single Power Lenses

  • Corrects only distance vision
  • Does not accommodate in eye
  • Glasses required

Multifocal Lens

  • Multiple, fixed focal points
  • High level of spectacle independence
  • Some night haloes can occur

Accommodating Lens

  • Single focal point
  • Uses eye’s natural focusing mechanism

Can RLE cure astigmatism?

RLE does not correct astigmatism because astigmatism is not caused by the lens, itself, but by an irregularly shaped cornea. However, if you have an astigmatism, Drs. Beers and Liu can perform a corneal astigmatic keratotomy (AK) at the time of your RLE or LASIK 24 weeks after you’ve had RLE.

Is the RLE procedure painful?

No. Drs. Beers and Liu will give you Valium to relax you and will place anesthetic drops in your eye. The procedure only takes about 20 minutes.

Will I still have to wear glasses after surgery?

Because Drs. Liu and Beers generally use either the multifocal or the  Crystalens® accommodating lens which  both have  the ability to focus both near and far, many of our patients no longer need glasses.

What are the risks of RLE surgery?

The risks associated with RLE surgery are the same as the risks associated with cataract surgery. There is a very low risk of infection since Drs. Beers and Liu will prescribe antibiotic drops after surgery. The chances of a retinal detachment are slightly higher for people who are very nearsighted and have had cataract surgery.

What are the benefits of RLE surgery?

The biggest benefit of RLE surgery is you will have much clearer, more precise vision without the use of glasses or contact lenses. Another strong advantage to the surgery is that you will never have a cataract in that eye because your lens has been removed.

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