In the Spotlight – Symfony Lens
The cataract specialists at Eye Center South recently performed the first cataract surgery in the Wire Grass featuring the Tecnis Symfony intraocular lens implant, the only cataract lens of its kind in the United States to receive FDA-approval to provide patients a full range of continuous high quality vision.The Symfony intraocular lens implant (IOL) is manufactured by Abbott Medical Optics, Inc. (AMO) and is the only extended depth of field IOL designed to correct the effects of presbyopia by helping patients focus at near. The FDA approval also includes a Toric version of the lens – the Tecnis Symfony Toric IOL – for patients with astigmatism.
Cataract Lens Improves Range and Quality of Vision
“This truly is a major advance not only in lens implant technology, but also in the quality of outcomes we are now able to provide our patients, especially those with presbyopia,” said Sebastian Heersink, MD, a cataract & refractive surgeon at Eye Center South and one of the first surgeons in the country to implant the Symfony lens. According to AMO, the new Symfony IOLs were specially developed with features to improve both the range and quality of vision. Because of its unique capabilities, the Symfony lens is being classified as a new category of cataract lenses.In studies conducted by AMO, cataract patients in the Symfony IOL group achieved greater improvements in intermediate and near vision while maintaining similar distance vision when compared to a standard aspheric monofocal IOL. Symfony patients were also more likely to achieve reduced overall spectacle wear and high overall visual performance in any lighting condition.Because cataract patients today lead much more active lifestyles, they prefer to have clear vision at all distances. Initial results at Eye Center South with the Symfony intraocular lens confirm that patients are able to enjoy a broader range of high quality vision at all distances, including seeing objects at near distances.
Approved By Medicare
Although approved by Medicare and the insurance industry, the Symfony lens is not fully covered by insurance. So similar to our Toric and multifocal IOLs, cataract patients will experience an out-of-pocket expense for the Symfony lens.
In clinical studies, the Symfony lens:
- Provided seamless, day-to-night vision. Patients could see objects sharply and clearly at near, intermediate and far away distances, and points in between.
- Provided high-quality vision. Some IOLs leave patients with the inability to focus clearly due to competing wavelengths of light passing through the lens at different angles. The Symfony lens has been engineering to correct these issues.
- Demonstrated a lower incidence of halo and glare, which may be perceived as rings or blurring around bright lights. Glare and halo can sometimes affect an individual’s ability to drive at night or to perform other visual tasks.
Seamless High-Quality Vision
As the evolution in lens implant design and technology continues to offer surgeons and patients improved outcomes and expanded options, there are still limitations to the new technology lenses. The key to Eye Center South’s success with lenses like the Symfony IOL is in our ability to match a patient’s lifestyle, expectations and general ocular health with the appropriate lens. No manufactured IOL is perfect in all of its capabilities, but the Symfony is definitely a sizable improvement in our ability to offer the same type of seamless, high quality vision that our eye’s normal lens provides in our younger years.
As with any IOL, there are inherent risks and possible complications that can occur with implanting the Symfony lens. Patients with pre-existing conditions such as diabetes, glaucoma, macular degeneration and heart disease may have a higher risk of experiencing complications after cataract surgery. Patients with previous trauma to their eye are not ideal candidates for the Symfony lens.