When you have a cataract, the lens of your eye becomes cloudy. Light cannot pass through the lens easily, and your vision becomes blurred. Cataract and implant surgery takes about 15 minutes and is an outpatient procedure. It is usually done with topical anesthesia (drops to numb the eye) and mild intravenous sedation (medicine to help the patient relax). The surgeon makes a few small incisions close to the edge of the cornea and then inserts a small, ultrasonic instrument to break up the center of the eye’s natural lens, which is then vacuumed out through one of the incisions. The surgeon folds and inserts the intraocular lens implant (IOL) through the same incision. These incisions are usually self-sealing, requiring no stitches.
The most common type of IOL is the monofocal or fixed-focus IOL . The monofocal lens helps you attain clearer vision at one distance. Note that eyeglasses and contact lenses are still required in order for you to see clearly at all ranges of distance.
Another type of IOL is the multifocal IOL . The multifocal lens has several rings of different powers built into the lens. This type of implant allows the individual to see at a range of distances.
A third type of IOL is the accommodative IOL . The accommodative lens has a hinge designed to work with your eye muscles, allowing the lens to move forward as the eye focuses on near objects and backward as the eye focuses on distant objects. This movement allows you to focus at different distances.