Cataract surgery is the one of most commonly performed eye surgery. It has got high levels of safety and predictability of outcomes.
IOLs are manufactured mostly from Hydrophilic or Hydrophobic clinical quality plastic polymers. Hydrophilic polymers create highly pliable lenses that are relatively easier to introduce in the eye. However ,the incidence of lens capsule becoming opaque is higher, though eminently treatable with YAG laser capsulotomy. This kind of material may also be avoided in diabetic patients as it binds to silicone oil, in case patient undergoes VR surgery in future (the chances are low though for this kind of surgery). Hydrophobic Polymers are increasingly the choice of material for eye surgeons across the world. The polymer research is continuing in various directions to make the IOLs behave as close to the natural lens as possible.
IOLs are available in different refractive options as well; mainly mono focal and multi-focal. Mono- focal lenses have a fixed focus and necessitate use of reading glasses after surgery. Multi-focal lenses are designed to work at all distances and obviate reliance on corrective lenses post surgery for most of the daily activities. There are advantages as well as limitation of multi-focal lenses which you must discuss with your doctor. Current knowledge discourages use of multi focal lenses in diabetics.
Toric lenses are also available to take care of of cylindrical power as well as Toric Multifocal lenses which also help in assisting in near vision.
There is a fiscal impact for each lens that a patient should know and discuss probable outcomes as well as challenges that may arise in the post operative period peculiar to a lens design such as glares, halos, floaters etc.
It is important to discuss with your surgeon about the material, design, probable visual outcomes and limitations of an IOL that is selected for insertion in your eye.
Please obtain the bar code of the IOL inserted in the eye from the hospital and keep it safe for future reference.
An informed decision is always important to match expectations in outcome of a surgery.