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Find out about the intraocular lens options available and how they are fitted
There are 2 main types of lens surgery: phakic intraocular lens surgery and refractive lens exchange.
Phakic intraocular lens implantation (PIOL) puts artificial lenses into your eyes without removing the lens you already have. Your surgeon will make a small cut in your eye and fit the new lens in.
Refractive lens exchange (RLE) is very similar, but before the new lens is placed into your eye, the existing one is removed. Stitches are not required in either type of surgery.
A monofocal lens is the most common type of artificial lens implant. It has one focusing point that can be set to correct your vision for distance – intermediate or near distance– but not all at the same time. Most people have monofocal lenses so that they can see clearly at a distance, and they use reading glasses for close work.
Multifocal lenses are designed to help you see near, far and in between, without glasses or contact lenses. These types of lens implants reduce your dependence on glasses by giving you clear vision for more than one set distance.
A multifocal IOL has different zones set at different powers. These IOLs provide both distance and near focus at the same time. They are designed so that your brain learns to select the right focus automatically.
Toric lens implants can be used to correct astigmatism, depending on how your cornea is shaped. Astigmatism is caused by an uneven curve in your cornea or lens. The toric lens is designed to correct this error.
Sometimes patients undergoing lens implant surgery or cataract surgery will receive a monofocal lens with a different power in each eye so that they don’t have to use glasses for most daily activities. The dominant eye is generally corrected for distance, and the other eye is corrected for near sight. Many people successfully use monovision with contact lenses. Successful monovision requires surgery to both eyes.