Lens Replacement Surgery Technology

Lens Technology

Sir Harold Ridley at St. Thomas’ Hospital London performed the first Lens Replacement Surgery more than 50 years ago, using pioneering lens technology.

The last 15 years has seen rapid improvements in intraocular lens technology with the availability of aspheric, monofocal, toric, accommodative and multifocal lenses.

They have the potential to provide a full range of vision without spectacles. Advanced optical diagnostics, an understanding of patient’s visual needs and immaculate flawless surgery are critical to achieve good results with these lenses. In inexperienced hands these lenses can lead to suboptimal results. These lenses play a crucial role in the success of advanced refractive cataract surgery and lens exchange surgery.

There is no single lens design which is suitable for all patients. The key challenge is to tailor-make the choice of replacement lenses to meet the individual visual needs of a patient. Over the last 15 years we have vast experience of using the full range of lenses and have developed some pioneering assessments and techniques in this area.


To achieve a full range of vision, the CustomLens technique uses PANFOCAL vision assessments to tailor-make the choice of replacement intraocular lenses for each eye of a patient undergoing lens exchange or advanced refractive cataract surgery. Many of our patients have two different lens designs with complementary strengths implanted in each eye to provide the full range of vision from distance, intermediate and near tasks.

As there is no such thing as the perfect lens, combining lenses with complementary strengths in the two eyes is often the only way of getting the full range of near, intermediate and distance vision without glasses or contact lenses.

Aspheric Monofocal Lenses

These lenses are designed to give excellent clarity of vision at a single focus. They are usually used to provide good distance vision without spectacles and can also be used in a monovision/blended vision system where one eye is focused for distance and the other for near to correct presbyopia.

We recommend using such a system in patients who have successfully used it with contact lenses. This lens can also be used as part of our bespoke CustomLens approach to advanced refractive cataract and lens exchange surgery.

Toric Lenses

Toric Lenses are used to correct astigmatism. Astigmatism is a condition in which the eye does not focus evenly and may be associated with long-sightedness, short-sightedness or both. It is usually related to the eye ball having a greater curvature in one meridian, like the oval shape of a rugby ball rather than the more even, spherical shape of a football. The surgeon has to align the lens correctly in the eye to correct astigmatism.

We recommend these lenses in patients with high levels of astigmatism. This lens can also be used as part of our bespoke CustomLens approach to advanced refractive cataract and lens exchange surgery.

Multifocal Lenses

As the name suggests these lenses have more than one focus. Imagine a bundle of 100 light rays being focused by the lens, approximately half of these rays will be used to focus distant objects and the other half for near objects. The optical design of these lenses can be tweaked to change the proportion of light used for distant and near objects in different lighting conditions.

Restor, ReZoom, Tecnis and OculentisMplus are all brand names of various multifocal lenses. All multifocal lenses will produce haloes around bright lights and reduce the brightness or contrast in the image. The vast majority of patients adapt to these effects and find them insignificant for day-to-day activities; as time goes by as your visual system optimises your vision.

We recommend multifocal lenses in patients who want to read well without glasses, are happy to use glasses for heavy computer work and are prepared to accept the haloes that are part and parcel of the optics of these lenses. Advanced lens designs have made these lenses very successful, and many of our custom lens patients have a multifocal in one eye and an accommodative or monofocal lens in the other.

Mono Multivision is a technique which provides a good long term solution in patients who enjoy good uncorrected distance vision but need reading glasses, by using these lenses in their weaker eye only.

Accommodative Lenses

Crystalens and Synchrony are the two leading accommodative lenses we use. These lenses can be thought of as zoom lenses and have a wider range of focus. The zoom on these lenses is strong enough to focus from far to intermediate distances.

The near vision is usually good enough to read large print in bright lights, but most patients require a pair of simple reading glasses for consistently easy reading. Unlike multifocal lenses, these lenses do not induce haloes or reduce the contrast of your sight.

We use these lenses in patients who want good glasses-free vision for far- and intermediate-distance vision activities such as using a computer, and are happy to use a pair of reading glasses.

These lenses require the very careful measurements and surgery to achieve good results. In many of our CustomLens patients we combine this lens with a multifocal lens to achieve the full range of near, intermediate and distance vision without glasses.

For more information on the different lenses available at the Vision Surgery and Research Centre, call 01482 339 515, or fill out the form below to get a FREE guide to Eye Surgery.

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