“I had cataract surgery in another country, and I am unhappy with my vision. I was told by other doctors that the lens is ‘acrylic’ and cannot be removed. Is this true?”

Did you know that intraocular lens implants (IOLs) can be replaced?  While the intent of cataract surgery is to remove the natural lens and insert a permanent IOL, circumstances may arise where a different IOL would be desirable.  Examples include: the visual result after surgery not being what was expected; or a better type of IOL becomes available years after the original surgery.  It is not uncommon in my practice, for example, to meet patients who had surgery elsewhere and did not achieve glasses-freedom after cataract surgery.  Regardless of whether the surgeon did not offer multifocal implants, or the patient was not considered a candidate for a particular IOL, more often than not there is a better IOL option available. The recent case is a great illustration about what can be done:

This patient had a complicated cataract surgery in another country and was left with poor vision and the need for full-time glasses, making both work and leisure activities difficult.  The non-foldable (acrylic) single-vision implant was easily removed and exchanged for a multifocal lens. The patient can now both read and drive without the need for glasses.

If anyone you know is disappointed with the results of their cataract surgery, be sure to tell them the good news: there may be a solution to their poor vision!

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