New Cataract Surgery Improves Depth Perception

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Cataracts will affect all of us at some point.

They are a natural part of aging, but they are treatable with surgery.

That was something 70-year-old Vivian Gemelos was putting off.

“I noticed that the distance occasionally was foggy, computer work was difficult, the numbers gave me problems,” she said.

In traditional cataract surgery, surgeons remove the diseased lens and replace it with a mono-focal lens.

Patients still need reading glasses afterward.

But new technology is eliminating the need for glasses of any kind.

It’s an updated abbott multi-focal lens.

“These new lenses, which have been very successful, allow patients to have a much further depth of feel so they could see things on their computers, kindles, and stuff like that,” said Dr. Tal Raviv, New York Eye and Ear Infirmary.

Dr. Raviv performs the surgery in two parts.

First, a laser makes precise cuts in the lens and softens the cataracts.

Then the implant is placed during a quick procedure in an operating room.

“What’s nice about this surgery is once the lens comes out and we put a new implant in, we’ve corrected their eye and that’s the way it will remain forever,” said Dr. Raviv.

Surgery takes about 20 minutes and Dr. Raviv says patients start seeing clearer in a few hours.

The new lenses are not covered by insurance yet.

They cost between $3,000 and $5,000 per eye.

Gemelos says she’s thrilled with the results.

“The light is clearer, and colors are more vibrant, and as I said, I’m a visual person and I love painting and I was amazed with how bright the colors were, and I never realized that before there was an issue,” she said.

Like with any surgery, there are risks of infection and other complications depending on your overall health.

Be sure to talk to your eye doctor about your options.

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