A 'Symfony' of Improvements in Cataract Surgery

February 2, 2017 John Zdral, MD


New class of lens brings big benefits

Patients who need to get rid of the cloudy or blurred vision caused by cataracts can also eliminate the need for distance or reading glasses in the same procedure, thanks to a breakthrough called the Symfony Lens.

Recently approved by the FDA, this first-of-its-kind lens implant offers clear vision — at near, intermediate and far distances — while also correcting age-related farsightedness, astigmatism, and other issues that diminish vision quality.

“This advancement in lens technology allows patients to perform close-up activities like reading, use their computers and tablets at intermediate distance, as well as clearly see objects farther away,” explains John Zdral, MD, a board-certified ophthalmologist at St. Jude Medical Center and one of the first in Southern California to use the new lens. “Allowing patients with cataracts to see clearly at all distances — without depending upon glasses — is a dramatic improvement in care.”

During cataract surgery, the natural lens of the eye is removed and an artificial lens, called an intraocular lens, or IOL, is inserted. The IOL most commonly used in cataract surgery is a monofocal lens, which typically improves distance vision, but leaves closer objects out of focus. In contrast, the Symfony lens use diffractive optics — similar to what is used in an advanced photographic lens — to improve both the range and quality of vision, while also eliminating the glare, halos and loss of contrast that can accompany other types of lenses.

The Symfony IOL is implanted into the eye during a normal cataract operation, with patients typically able to return to their usual routine 24 hours after surgery. “After carefully watching the clinical trials of this lens as well as its widespread use in Europe, it’s exciting to offer this choice to patients,” Dr. Zdral says, one of the doctors chosen for the U.S. Symfony pre-launch. “Because it eliminates the drawbacks of traditional lens implants, it improves patients’ quality of life — which is exactly what we’re here to do.”

For more information, call (877) 459-DOCS (3627) or visit stjudemedicalcenter.org

This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your health care professional's instructions.


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