In July, the FDA approved the Symfony® intraocular lens, the first lens of its kind to offer extended depth of focus for cataract patients. During clinical trials, researchers found the new lens typically provided better visual acuity at near, intermediate and far distances, than previous multifocal lens technology.
Key-Whitman Eye Center’s President and Chief Surgeon Jeffrey Whitman, M.D., is excited to provide this new innovation at his Dallas eye surgery center, because “Symfony offers the advantages of monofocal lens implants without the disadvantages some patients experience with multifocal lenses.”
Tecnis, the manufacturer of the Symfony intraocular lens, designed the new lens with innovation and consumers’ present day needs in mind.
As Dr. Whitman explains, “Symfony was designed to reduce the weaknesses found in other multifocal lenses. The goal was to create a lens to treat vision loss that would be very strong for intermediate vision, where most of our life is now (computer work, tablets, etc.), while maximizing distance vision and providing good near or reading vision as well.”
While cataract patients have had multifocal lens options for several years now, some patients experienced side effects that didn’t typically occur with traditional monofocal lenses – namely halos and glare.
“The clinical studies revealed that the amount of halo and glare with Symfony was similar to a standard lens as opposed to a high-technology multifocal lens, which is pretty impressive. The new lenses also come in a toric or astigmatic correcting model, so we can treat astigmatism with the lens at the same time,” Dr. Whitman says.
During an eye health exam, the eye doctor will perform tests to determine if your eyes are healthy enough to undergo laser cataract surgery with a lens implant like Symfony. According to Dr. Whitman, “Most people with normal, healthy eyes – and even most patients who have had LASIK surgery – should be good candidates for laser cataract surgery with Symfony intraocular lenses.”
“Folks with unhealthy eyes, retina problems, macular degeneration, or scarring in the front part of the eye on the cornea, those patients may not be good candidates for the procedure. Unfortunately, they may have limitations in their vision where they won’t experience the full benefits of the lens,” Dr. Whitman says.
One of Dr. Whitman’s signature pieces of advice for people seeking vision correction – cataract surgery, LASIK eye surgery, intraocular contact lenses, etc. – is to turn to an eye health practitioner who offers the full gamut of options.
As he explains, “At Key-Whitman, we offer a full range of the latest technologies, so we can provide a solution that maximizes each patient’s individual vision correction needs. For example, patients with certain eye conditions may benefit from options such as Crystalens® multifocal lenses or traditional aspheric optic lenses that can deliver the best quality of vision without side effects to any ongoing eye disease.”
The Symfony procedure is exactly the same as any other type of cataract surgery Dr. Whitman performs. It’s simple to undergo, and patients don’t feel any eye discomfort during surgery. Depending on how fast the patient heals, within a few days or a week, vision typically improves quickly.
“The No-or-Low Drop Laser Cataract Surgery option can be used with the Symfony lens and offers patients two options. One, at the end of the procedure, we can actually instill the anti-inflammatory and antibiotic medication in the eye, so there is decreased usage and expense of eye drops.
“For patients who are not candidates for the No-Drop option, we can prescribe a combination drop that’s much less expensive than typical prescription drops, which can cost hundreds of dollars. Plus, with the Low-Drop option, you only have to use the drops a few times a day,” explains Dr. Whitman.
Take advantage of your flexible spending account and year-end healthcare insurance deductibles – schedule your cataract surgery now!
To find out if you’re a good candidate for the Symfony intraocular lens or to weigh your laser cataract surgery options, contact us. You can schedule a cataract surgery consultation with Dr. Whitman at our Dallas headquarters by calling (214) 220-3937 or request an appointment via our handy online form.
ABOUT DR. WHITMAN
Jeffrey Whitman, M.D., is a nationally renowned eye surgeon, board certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology. President and Chief Surgeon of Key-Whitman Eye Centers in Dallas since 1996, Dr. Whitman is a frequent participant in clinical trials and is known as a respected researcher, innovator and leader in refractive cataract surgery, LASIK eye surgery and for his extensive experience implanting high-technology lenses. He is frequently called upon to serve on the boards of local and national medical associations and organizations. Dr. Whitman and his wife were both born in and reside in Dallas and enjoy fitness, playing tennis and traveling.
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