Crystalens or Restor as a Multifocal IOL After Cataract Surgery?

April 1, 2010

I am 40 yrs old and in need of cataract surgery. I have taken prednisone and inhaled steroids for asthma, which may have contributed to the formation of cataracts.

I knew nothing of monofocal or multifocal IOL’s when I started to suffer degraded vision in my left eye. I received opinions from 2 optometrists. One was for Restor and one for Crystalens. It may have just been the $3000 extra per eye over a monofocal IOL, but my initial impression was that the multifocal lenses were some sort of shady up-sell.

Now after thinking about it, I really do not want to have to rely on 2-3 pair of glasses and feel the extra $$$ might be worth it. I have worn glasses or contacts since grade school and am a pretty active guy. I set my mind on getting a multifocal lense after my second opinion (better bedside manner). This second optometrist recommended Restor, while the first optometrist had recommended Crystalens.

I am all bet set to get this done next month, but I am second guessing now. Can you recommend some impartial reading on the subject? My right eye is supposedly about a year behind in needing surgery.




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146 Responses to “Crystalens or Restor as a Multifocal IOL After Cataract Surgery?”

  • Shurley

    I’ so confused! Need carapace surgery in my left eye for sure. A good friend is so happy with her multifocal IOLs……I consulted with a nice doctor who just kind of flew past the details, just telling me quickly how I would see so great immediately, etc. doing a little research on brands, I. Called the office to ask which type of multifocal she used, having noticed some people seemed displeased with one brand….to discover that this doc was planning to use monofocals, but different in each eye, placed some certain way (special surgical skill?). I can only guess work like glasses lens only inside the eye, instead of the multifocals, which I understand have many, many rings of vision fields, the eyes choosing what they need to see well…..I need to see well to do closeup and intermediate things…IF I had to wear glasses for distance help, not so important…tho’ for the extra costs involved, can’t it be both?? I have never worn glasses full time; never bifocals or trifocals, just Rex readers or Rex distance glasses….tried progressives twice, did not work…because I am older and have some balance problems, on and on it goes….what to do, what to do?? The surgeon finally gave the procedure he recommends “blended vision, using the monofocal implant; however, they cost like multifocals!! As I said, I am so confused!
    Thank you for any suggestions, or options or insight!

  • ChrisArt

    I’m 48 & have a cataract in my right eye, possibly from laser surgery for a retinal tear and/or long-term use of asthma medication.

    I am having real trouble deciding between monofocal lenses or the Symfony multi-focal lens. (I have virtually no astigmatism.)

    My main concern is choosing the right lens which will allow me to have the ability to draw and paint. I would rather live without driving than being able to draw and paint.

    I’m having trouble figuring out which lens might be best for me because I will need to be switching my focus constantly back and forth from my sketchbook to my subject. My sketchbook is generally about 17” from my eyes, and my subject would be either 32” from me, 7 feet from me, or more if it’s the landscape in the distance.

    Ideally I’d like to never wear glasses again if I can help it as I’ve been wearing them most of my life. But I’m happy to wear corrective lenses if they will help keep me drawing.

    My question is are you able to switch your focus back and forth repeatedly from close (17”) to farther (32”-7 feet) without any trouble?

    Also, my optometrist told me that I would not be able to correct my vision with glasses if I go with the Symfony lens. My surgeon said it is possible. Is it possible? Does anyone have any experiences with using glasses with a multi-focal lens? Good or bad?

  • Brenda

    My husband is 45, and T1 Diabetic. He reads constantly and works on computers all day and is an avid TV watcher. His surgeon recommended Crystalens but after what I’m reading, I’m not sure that is right for him at all. His driving is casual day-to-day. His cataracts are quite advanced and he need to choose quickly. Does this sound like a good fit or is this sounding like an up-sell?

  • Myrna

    I have been nearsighted all my life, have cataracts and my right eye is dominant . My left eye needs cataract surgery now. My cataract surgeon has recommended that I get Crystalens for mid and near vision in the left eye and that later when I have the right eye done I get the Crystalens for far and mid-range vision in that one.

    I have two questions: Does that sound like a good working solution for seeing well for distance, computer, and reading? 2. Does the Crystalens continue to work even in patients in their 80’s and 90’s? I am 76 but expect to live that long. Are there any long-term studies that answer that question?

  • Shelley Lapkoff

    This blog, as well as your website, is very helpful! I am almost 60 years old, female and about to get cataract surgery in both eyes. Trying to decide among IOLs. I wish i could use you, Dr. W, for my surgery but I live in Berkeley california.
    1. Do you have any clones out here?! any doctors you recommend? I have kaiser but willing to go to a private doctor if he is as good as you are!
    2. What about waiting? It seems like the longer one waits the better the technology. I could wait a bit longer.
    3. I had perfect near and intermediate vision until recently (-2.0 in both eyes and about -0.75 stigmatism), and i really want that back. this is of utmost importance. Of course, it would be nice to have perfect distance vision too. I used to correct to only 20/40, hoping my eyes would self correct. (They didn’t), so i am used to not having perfect distance vision. Thoughts about mono vs restor? (seems clear not to do crystalens)
    4. My mom had glaucoma in her early 60s. Does that affect your advice? (I get checked regularly.)

  • sharon

    Please comment regarding the Nanoflex lens, its availability etc. Also, is it worth paying extra for the laser cataract surgery? Thanks.