A cataract is a clouding or discoloration of the eye’s lens. When a cataract is removed, the surgeon is actually removing the natural lens of the eye. After the cataract is removed, the surgeon places an artificial lens into the eye to help it focus. This is called an intraocular lens implant (most often simply referred to as an “implant”). Implants have become the standard of care and they are placed in all cataract patients unless there is some unusual reason an implant cannot be used. Choosing the right implant can make all the difference in the world regarding the patients visual outcome.
Over the past few decades, foldable implants have gained popularity as they can be placed into the eye through a much smaller incision. These implants have flexible optic lenses made of acrylic or solid silicone. They can be placed into the eye through a self-sealing incision as small as 1/8th of an inch. Sutures are not usually required due to the small size of the incision and its self-sealing design. These small foldable implants also enable the surgeon to perform topical cataract surgery eliminating needle injections, patches and shields.