What is ReSTOR® IOL?
AcrySof® IQ ReSTOR® IOL is an intraocular lens that provides a full range of vision for patients after cataract surgery, significantly decreasing their dependence on glasses or contact lenses. The ReSTOR IOL replaces the natural lens of the eye which has been removed during surgery. Its optic design enables it to bend light to a focal point of the retina, facilitating distance vision. By distributing light on the retina in such a way that images at various distances are clearly perceived, it provides multifocal visual clarity.
The ReStor IOL has been shaped using a special process called apodized diffraction to provide increased depth of focus. Diffraction involves the bending or spreading of light to multiple focal points as it passes through the lens. Apodization is a process through which such light is gradually tapered to create a smooth transition which allows accurate focus at various distances.
The lens of the ReSTOR IOL is convex on both sides, or biconvex, and is made of soft plastic so that it can be folded prior to insertion. This allows the surgeon to make an incision smaller than the diameter of the lens itself. After the IOL has been surgically inserted into the eye, it gently unfolds to restore vision. The IOL is constructed with supporting arms which provide for proper positioning in the eye.
CANDIDATES FOR RESTOR IOL TREATMENT
Any individual who desires multifocal vision without the use of reading glasses, bifocals or contact lenses may be a candidate for ReSTOR IOL. While the ReSTOR IOL was originally designed for patients with cataracts, having cataracts is not necessary to qualify for the ReSTOR IOL. Patients with chronic infections, uncontrolled diabetes or other health problems may have to wait until these conditions are under control before they can undergo this corrective eye surgery.
BENEFITS OF RESTOR IOL TREATMENT
There are several benefits to ReSTOR IOL treatment which include:
- A soft, foldable acrylic lens
- Smaller incision in the eye
- Correction for both cataracts and presbyopia
- Filtering of blue light for more vivid color perception
- Correction of spherical aberrations that appear with age
THE RESTOR IOL PROCEDURE
The ReSTOR IOL procedure is a relatively simple one. The cataract-impaired lens of the eye is removed through a tiny incision on the edge of the cornea and replaced with the ReSTOR IOL. The procedure takes between 15 to 45 minutes to complete and is performed as an outpatient surgery. After approximately an hour of medical observation, the patient is able to leave the surgery center almost immediately. The patient usually returns for a follow-up appointment with the physician the day after the procedure. The recovery period from the ReSTOR procedure is quite short. Patients are generally able to return to normal activities the following day.
There may be some itching, discomfort and sensitivity to light after surgery. These symptoms are usually managed satisfactorily with eye drops that have been prescribed by the ophthalmologist. These symptoms almost always subside within a few days as the eye heals and patients may begin to enjoy the clarity of vision the new lenses provide.
RISKS OF THE RESTOR IOL PROCEDURE
As with any surgery, ReSTOR IOL surgery has potential complications. The chief risk associated with ReSTOR IOL treatment, and with all multifocal lens procedures, is that certain individuals simply do not adapt to the new way of seeing. Although most patients adjust in less than a month, many take as long as 6 months to a year to make the adjustment. A small number of patients are never able to adapt to the multifocal lenses which, although rare, is a serious complication.
Most of the risks associated with the ReSTOR IOL treatment are side effects common to all cataract procedures and all are complications at the surgical site. These risks may include:
- Swelling or bleeding
- Retinal detachment
- Secondary cataract formation
- Eye redness or irritation
- Sensitivity to light
- Blurred vision, halos or glare in low light
In general, ReSTOR treatment has a high rate of success with few complications. A majority of patients report improved vision right after surgery.