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Cataract surgery with the new Tecnis Symfony Lens

A cataract is a clouding of the eye’s natural lens. The surgery to remove a cataract is one of the most common and successful surgeries performed in the United States. An ophthalmologist is the doctor, or eye surgeon, who performs the cataract extraction.

At Metrolina Eye, in Charlotte, Union County, and Indian Land, our ophthalmologists have the cataract operation down to a science. Our team has performed well over 20,000 operations.  We perform our cataract operations in Indian Trail, North Carolina; Monroe, North Carolina; Charlotte, North Carolina; and Indian Land, South Carolina. We perform most of our cataract operations in outpatient surgery centers. We can also perform cataract operations at the hospital on an outpatient basis.

In a procedure that takes less than ten minutes, not only can we improve your vision, but we may also be able to reduce or eliminate your need for glasses. We accomplish this improvement by using special lens implants that provide better vision at distance, at near or both. One the most popular lens implants being used is the Tecnis Symfony Lens.

This lens uses an improvement in technology to provide great distance, great intermediate and even some up-close vision, without glasses.  This lens implant may cause some glare and halos at night. However, the Tecnis Symfony lens causes the least amount of glare and halos of any multi-focal type lens implant we have used at Metrolina Eye. I recommend this lens for anyone who wants to have a range of vision, especially at distance and intermediate, without using glasses. I tell patients to expect to wear glasses for near vision for reading small print, especially in dim light. After I perform the surgery on my patients, most tell me they NEVER use any glasses! We always recommend sunglasses to protect the eyes from the sun.

What are some of the downsides and side effects of cataract surgery with the Tecnic Symfony Lens? First, though not common, the ones I discuss with patients the most are glare and halos at night. I tell patients, that if they expect to do a lot of night driving, I would avoid this lens. For most patients who do not plan to drive at night, these side-effects are not a significant issue for them. They would rather have the range of vision without glasses. Secondly, any cataract operation includes risks of bleeding, infection (very, very rare), dry eyes (common) and floaters (not uncommon). Finally, any specialty lens that decreases a patient’s dependence on glasses is not covered by insurance. So, expect more out-of-pocket costs for surgery with these lenses. However, for the patients who get these lenses, the benefits far outweigh the risks and costs. More than 92% of patients who get these lenses in the United States would opt for these lenses again if they had the opportunity.

How do you know if the Symfony Lens is right for you? Call and make an appointment with one of the cataract surgeons at Metrolina Eye Associates today. We accept all major insurances, including Medicare, for a cataract evaluation exam.

By: Dara Khalatbari, MD

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