IOL procedure

Posted , 10 users are following.

Hi guys,

Wondering if anyone has had the IOL lenses surgery to correct their vision? I have myopia and astigmatism since i was 5 years, I'm not candidate for Lasik as my cornea is too thin but i was advised i could have IOL lenses inserted instead. All the research i've done on it shows that it is mostly used for cataracts so im wondering if anyone has done to correct anything other than cataracts and also how much was the procedure?

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  • Posted

    delia - i had the Panoptix Toriq IOLs put in both eyes about 1 month ago. My vision is now really food at all distances and i need no glasses at all. So far, my biggest "issue" is with concentric circles around lights at night. But dr and others say it could be a few months before it starts to improve with brain adaptation. again, i am only a month post op and just finished the eye drops today. Vision is 20/20 and 20/25 and astigmatism was corrected.

    As for cost, that was an ouch... Total cost for surgery and these trifocals was roughly $12K, with my medical insurance picking up about $4,500 of it, so $7,500 out of my pocket. Had i selected the monofocal basic lenses, it would have been 90%+ covered, but at 55 years old, i wanted to ditch the glasses for good. It was expensive, but for my lifestyle and work, i think it will be great for me. i am in front of a computer most of the time and use to need glasses, but not anymore. it is great for me. Hopefully the light rings will go away eventually, but even if they dont, i will still be happy i selected these IOLs. i hooe this helps a bit.

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    • Posted

      Hi Joe,

      I'm hoping it's not as expensive over here in Canada, I did get an examination a couple of years ago and I believe it was about $2500 per eye back then, hoping it's around the same now. Unfortunately in Canada is not covered by either healthcare of even private health insurance as it is elective, if I was having it done to correct cataracts then yes it would be free or claimable. Fingers crossed!

      Quick question, did you have both eyes done at the same time? I couldn't' find anything about it and it seems that they would do one eye at the time, was this case for you?

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    • Posted

      Delia -

      Well, I had 3 different options for my IOLs.

      First were the monofocal IOLs that were the least expensive and would have been an out of pocket of maybe $500 as it was covered by insurance. These would have given me good distance vision, but would have needed glasses for intermediate and close vision as well as for the astigmatism correction.

      Second was the Alcon Toriq bifocal IOLs that were $2,200 additional per eye. They would give good distance and intermediate vision and the Toriq would correct for the astigmatism, but I would have needed glasses for close up reading and computer work (I work on a computer all day long).

      Third option was the Panoptix Toriq Trifocal IOLs that were $3,500 additional per eye. These IOLs corrected for distance, intermediate and close up vision, as well as corrected for the astigmatism. This would give me highest chance for needed no glasses at all which was very attractive to me. I HATE glasses...

      So, that gives the pricing payout that I had for the options. Now, it does not go in to the potential side effects of each lens for things like halos/rings, starbursts, etc, so it is important to do your research to understand the pros and cons.

      I have some of these issues (concentric jagged rings of light around light sources, especially at night) with the Panoptix trifocals, but they might improve a bit over time as the brain gets use to the new normal. To be honest, I am not holding my breath as I know that what I am seeing is just how the physics of optics work. And I knew that going in to it.

      Just got back from my 1 month checkup and I am 20/20 right eye and 20/25 left eye. So given the overall experience, if asked would I do it again and pick the same lenses, I would say yes. Yes, I have the rings and they can be distracting a bit when driving, but for the other 98% of the time, the improvement in vision is awesome and for my particular case, outweights the impact of the rings. On a side note, one BIG improvement is with regards to headaches. I used to get headaches on a daily basis from eye strain, as the cataracts were causing blurry vision in both eyes, so both were working overtime trying to focus and refocus and were continually fighting each other. Since the second eye was done, I have had zero headaches. I will say that the week between eye one and eye two was really weird as I think my brain was really confused with being able to focus one eye and not the other. As soon as the second one was done, the adaptation really accelerated for my overall vision.

      As for your other question regarding the procedures. I had one done on 12/3 and the second done a week later on 12/10. I have heard that they "typically" won't do both at the same time, and to be honest I was happy to have had that week separation even with the brain focus confusion I spoke of above.

      I hope that this helps. Good luck!!

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    • Posted

      Delia -

      Note that those prices above were over and above the base surgery cost, and in my case, also included using the laser assisted procedure.

      The standard scalpel surgery and anesthesia costs were paid for by insurance less the standard deductibles. I think the surgery costs were somewhere around $1,600/eye and then another add on expense of a for me to do the laser assisted procedure that was included in the per eye costs outlined above for each lens type. The monofocal pricing would have been without the laser assisted procedure. Only the advanced lens implantation was using the laser.

      I hope that makes sense. Have a great day!!

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    • Posted

      Dalia I had my surgeries in Canada - New Brunswick. Here they would never perform cataract surgery same day on both eyes. I had a 6 week wait and glad there was. The IOL shifts back and forth while it heals/settles and adheres - reason why power can be .25 diopter either way and you could end up needing glasses anyways even with premium lenses.

      With cataracts surgery us covered but if you are doing at a private clinic it will cost you and they may do both same day as they aren't regulated by medicare. But often 2 weeks minimum between surgeries as the surgeon can adjust power calculation on 2nd eye depending on where first eye ends up

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    • Posted

      Tamarinda - I had cataracts. Really bad in right eye and just slightly better in left. Had a lot of white out glare in night time driving. It was terrible, and they were really starting to affect my overall vision (blurriness, cloudy/foggy, etc). I would not ever go to this extent for something that was really not a medical need. There would have been too many potential pitfalls, some of which I have now, that would steer me away from something like that. Just my personal opinion, especially now after having the cataracts procedures in both eyes and experiencing the side effects.

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  • Posted

    Hi Delia,

    I'm the medically conservative type and have had positive dysphotopsias from a multifocal lens (and some with the monofocal in the other eye but a little bit better). I was mildly nearsighted without astigmatism, and now I have astigmatism after IOL insertion. I did this for cataracts, age 50.

    Friends who have IOLs for cataracts mostly all note that lights are brighter, sometimes too bright. Even those who don't call them dysphotopsias.

    The latest surgeon I saw said, "there is nothing like your own lens." He's right. Even though I'm still pleasantly surprised by the clarity of detail with my IOLs, there is a different quality to what I am seeing...our natural lenses really are exquisite. Gorgeous. I had to mourn the loss of mine even though they were too cloudy to see through.

    There is an adjustment period for the brain after IOL implant.

    My friends who have had Lasik mostly all have starbursts or halos. One doesn't mention those but she still wears glasses. She is happy because her prescription is milder, though They all have dry eyes, and I do a bit now too. I guess cutting into the cornea causes that.

    It sounds like you've done research, which is critical. My feeling is that anything that can be corrected without invasive procedures is better done that way. But as I said, I tend to be medically conservative. Those lasik folks all say they are pretty happy they did it, but remember that most people realize after a while that staying angry only hurts them.

    How strong is your myopia and astigmatism? Have you asked the ophthalmologists for patients who would he willing to talk about their experiences? You'll probably get a bit of a negative skew on this forum, since most contented patients won't post here.

    Ill be interested in what you choose to do!

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    • Posted

      Hi Tamarinda, Thank you for your insight! I've been wearing glasses since I was 5 years old and contact lenses since I was 16 and I've worn every kind of lenses out in the market. I am extremely shortsighted and have astigmatism which makes it worse. I have to wear either glasses or contact lenses 24/7 or I can't see at all and at after all these years I am just ready to ditch them. I am only 37 years old so this could also act as a prevention for cataracts later on. I completely agree with you though, our lenses are definitely better although I feel that in my case it may be the opposite 😦 mine gave up a long time ago. Are you wearing glasses to help with the astigmatism?

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    • Posted


      It sounds like you're frustrated and tired of lenses, and I can understand how that feels. I was only mildly near sighted and wore contacts from age 20 onwards. I never minded them but of course I could see when I woke up. I traveled oceans, rain forests, and lots of other remote places with contacts. I loved them.

      I was given a toric contact to try but my eye is quite dry and the lens is not as comfortable as they used to be. That is one caution for you: you may not be able to wear contacts after corneal incision of any kind Some folks do, some folks find them irritating.

      Your myopia is strong and this may be a reach, but you know there are eye exercises for presbyopia that help with myopia too. Look for Ray Gottlieb Presbyopia Reduction. They're quite fun! I like the way they stretch my orbital muscles.

      I also found that when I became presbyopic around age 40, I removed one contact lens, and that eye went back to 20/20! I read a book called Take Off Your Glasses and See, which had some very interesting ideas and exercises. It didn't stop me from getting cataracts, but I gained a new perspective on vision in general. Our brains are malleable and exquisitely sensitive, and sometimes we over-splint things. A splinted limb will atrophy and weaken, and that may apply to eyes too. If the mind has decided it doesn't want to see something (sometimes there is an emotional source of dis-ease), forcing it to see may result in it pulling back even more. I guess with my mild myopia, that was at least partially the case. Sometimes the mechanistic view of disease is helpful, and sometimes a broader view works. I combine them both.

      You're doing the right thing getting all the info so you can make an informed choice. Life will work out, I hope its a smooth road for you.

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    • Posted

      Well said Timandra - I too went through a mourning process. Never expected to hear the word cataract at age 53. My parents both in their 70s still haven't had to have cataract surgery. My surgeon was very sympathetic and said to me most people of cataract age are happy to have the procedure done as they gain something they lost years ago. For younger patients it is tough deciding what you want to lose. He was so right.

      You are right that one has to move on and choose life and joy otherwise remaining angry causes a bitterness. Have had to learn that lesson a few times. Wish you well.

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    • Posted

      Aw, that's just the WORST that your parents haven't has theirs done yet! Made me groan as I read it. 😄 We look to the previous generation as an example, right? My mom had hers at age 53. But back then, we thought that was OLD! Hahaha.

      This forum has really helped, hearing from people who have dealt with cataracts their whole lives, or who had traumatic cataracts when took the "Why me?" out of it. It also took the age part out: I don't have to feel that I am old. Of note, my best friend from high school was told hers are just starting...and she's a fine arts painter so her eyes MATTER!

      I'm grateful for the support from folks here. Just yesterday I was looking at the tree limbs, so clear, and the morning sun beams...and thought, "I'm gonna use these lenses for the next 50 years!"

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  • Posted


    I have had cataracts since birth, so I have not had a clear lens exchange, but having clear lens exchange is widely used here in Denmark, even people that only have developed presbyopia are having this procedure.

    I did have astigmatism as well, I have 3.0 toric premium lenses in both eyes, astigmatism is reduced to 0.25 both eyes, which is a really good result.

    I don´t know where you live, but in Europe we have had trifocal iols for 10 years, and a lot of people have had these as a clear lens exchange.

    Whether it is a good idea or not I guess depends a lot on the person who receives it.

    It is easy to get disappointed, because the theoretical perfect is never achieved and these lenses do have side effects such as halos around lights in the dark.

    That said, those people I have talked to that have had a clear lens exchange have been very happy with it.

    There are two youtube videos that I really think you should see, I think it is exactly the information you are looking for. They are made of a guy in Europe who have had the first trifocals on the marked, the Finevision, as a clear lens exchange to get rid of presbyopia.

    He explains a lot about side effects as well, even that I think he have had more side effects than I have with my premium lenses.

    Search youtube for these two videos:

    "Testimonial Trifocal IOL lens inplant from day 1 to 11 months after operation"

    "Trifocal IOL lens inplant testimonial from month 12 until month 24 (part 10)"

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    • Posted

      Thanks so much for the links and the extra info, I'll be sure to check them out! I live in Canada and laser eye surgery is pretty popular in here too, although I think the IOL procedure is not as widely available and only a few clinics perform the operation so I've struggled to find people who have undergone the surgery.

      I realise that it wont absolutely fix my issues but anything would be better than my situation now, I've been wearing glasses since I was 5 years old and contact lenses since I was 16 years old, even if I still have to wear glasses for reading or any other small issues after the surgery, I would take that over having to wear either glasses or contact 24/7, it's a small price to pay to be able to enjoy life without constantly having to remember to pack contact lenses (paying for them too) and glasses. But again, thanks so much for the videos, the more info I can find on it before I make my decision the better so I am truly grateful.

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    • Posted

      Well, In Denmark clear lens exchange is very common, here are some eye clinics that almost only do clear lens exchange. I think it might be because we have had the trifocal iols since 2010. I believe the trifocal iols have only been in Canada a couple of years.

      When it comes to clear lens exchange you will find many different opinions, but most will be rather conservative, and say wait.

      I am probably one of the few that would say go for it, if the surgeon finds you to be a good candidate.

      I had congenital cataracts, and have had quite poor vision all my life, with really bad contrast vision, when I was outside I would not be able to say if my smartphone was on or off, for me it was a blank screen as soon as I went outside, just as an example.

      All my life I have seen eye doctors at the public hospitals that said wait as long as possible, because they did not know, what was hiding behind the cataracts. So in some way it made sense - but now 5 month after iol implants I wish I had taken the step many years ago!

      So I fully understand your situation and how frustrating it must be, and I fully understand why you would consider a clear lens exchange, and as long as you make a well informed choice, so you know the risk and downsides, I don´t see anything wrong with pursuing you dream of being free of lenses and stuff.

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