Traditional cataract surgery utilizes single-focus, or monofocal intraocular lens implants (IOLs). With a monofocal lens, there will be one focal point for obtaining optimal vision. Traditional cataract surgery is the basic cataract surgical procedure that is covered by Medicare and most insurance policies. For most people, monofocal IOLs are calculated to improve distance vision, meaning that reading glasses, bifocals, or trifocals will be necessary after surgery to see at near (reading, for example) and intermediate (reading sheet music or seeing the dashboard of a car, for example) ranges. This type of implant works well for people that do not mind having to wear eyeglasses to “fine-tune” near or distance vision.
In some instances, monovision cataract surgery can be performed with single-focus IOLs. One eye is implanted with an implant to help see well at distance, and the other eye utilizes an implant to see better at near or intermediate ranges. While this type of correction can be beneficial to help patients see at multiple distances, eyeglasses may still be occasionally required to see at near or intermediate ranges.
Missouri Eye Institute-Springfield and Joplin each utilize a femtosecond laser on premises to provide laser-assisted cataract surgery for all types of cataract surgery. This laser platform allows the surgeon to create 3-D imaging of your eye, which provides more accurate information and treatment choices during your cataract removal. The laser’s advanced technology allows the surgeon to use precisely-placed laser pulses to effectively soften the cataract for removal, and it reduces risk of infection during the procedure. It helps to ensure the most appropriate condition for the best lens placement, which ultimately helps to restore your vision to its fullest potential. Additionally, the laser can be used to aid in the correction of astigmatism, an eye condition that causes the curvature of the front of the eye (cornea) to not be perfectly round. The femtosecond laser can be used to correct minor to moderate amounts of astigmatism by creating incisions to relax the curvature of the cornea, thereby reducing or eliminating astigmatism. The use of the femtosecond laser during standard IOL cataract surgery is not included in the fees for this type of implant.